So what IS global warming? If you're confused about what's happening, what all the fuss is about perhaps, this is a very simple description to help you out. Global warming refers generally to the rise in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere (specifically the air closest to the surface, where we live) and oceans in the past century or so. The concept also insinuates that this trend will continue unless fairly large steps are taken to mitigate our greenhouse gas emissions
- the major force behind the warming.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change our surface temperature has risen by almost one degree Celsius over the past century, which they believe is the result of human-fueled increases in concentrations of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. These gases cause the warming due to the greenhouse effect. They also predict that the warming and climate change will continue, and that temperatures are likely to increase by up to just over six degrees Celsius by 2100. An increase of this multitude would be extremely hazardous for human life on this planet, as it will cause food shortages,
rising sea levels, severe weather like hurricanes and droughts, and it will also cause our water table to fall and endanger a large portion of the population. There are many likely consequences of letting global climate change happen, and we are letting it happen, with few countries taking the steps necessary to prevent it. To delve deeper into these risks, check out this article.