Why is the Earth Warming?

The earth is warming because we humans are adding gasses to the atmosphere that trap heat. It’s really that simple.  We humans have been burning fossil fuels (gas, coal, oil, etc.) at an increasing rate over the past 150 years – primarily for use in heating, electricity generation, and transportation.  When these fuels are burned, they release Carbon Dioxide into the air.

A few things.

  1. Carbon Dioxide is a natural part of the air. But we humans have increased its concentration by more than 40% in the last 150 years.
  2. Carbon Dioxide is the most abundant heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere. So increasing the amount of it results in more heat trapped.

The chart below, from @ZLabe, shows the concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere from 1959 through 2020. Carbon Dioxide is measured in parts per million, that is the number of molecules of Carbon Dioxide for every million molecules of air. This chart shows that we humans have increased the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere by roughly 33% in just the last 60 years!


Categories: Weather Blog