A rise in greenhouse gasses due to human activity

Chad Chevannes

The debate on whether climate change is real or a hoax seems to be a never-ending cycle of speculation, factual evidence and uncertainty. However, climate change is very real and plays a role in environmental factors such as weather and the overall global temperature


1950 marks the beginning of the industrial revelation.

The amount of Co2 (carbon dioxide) present in the atmosphere has significantly increased since the industrial revolution. Rising well above the previous highest level of Co2.

In an article written by National aeronautics and space administration (NASA), a conclusion was drawn stating that 95 percent of the present warming trend of Co2 is attributed to human activity.

In the article the author states that “There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response.” In the past decade the earth’s surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees.

This may not seem like much but, this small rise in temperature has had adverse effects on the planet. In the study of global temperature released by NASA the five warmest years on record were reported to have taken place after 2010.  2016 currently holds the record for the warmest year.


As sunlight hits the earth a percentage of that warmth is absorbed by greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide Co2 and methane CH4. Once the heat from the sun is absorbed it becomes trapped within the gasses causing the planet to warm, this process is called global warming. In an article  written by the US Environmental Protection Agency, “as of “1751 about 337 billion metric tons of CO2 have been released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels and cement production”.

The Co2 produce by the burning of fossil fuels is identifiable and can be differentiated from natural Co2. Thus scientist have the ability to calculate the amount of atmospheric Co2 present and determine where it came from.

Although the abundance of evidence suggesting climate change is directly linked to human activity; however,  many people believe that the current changes in the environments around the globe are attributed to other factors, where human activity ranks amongst the lowest.

In an article published on cfact.org titled “Climate Depot,” there were reports featuring over 1,000 scientist, who disagree with the claims that humans remain as a big contributing factor. In a 2012 survey produced by Purdue University, “47% of climatologists question the speculation that humans are the leading cause to changes in the global climate.”

As levels of Co2 in the earth’s atmosphere rise the concentrations begin to be come less identifiable. William Happer, PhD, a physicist at Princeton University states “additional increments of CO2 will cause relatively less direct warming because we already have so much CO2 in the atmosphere that it has blocked most of the infrared radiation that it can”.

Although there are many uncertainties, opposing viewpoint and angles speculating that climate change is not attributed to human factors. The overwhelming scientific data prove otherwise. After the industrial revolution there has been a significant increase in green house gasses and ozone depletion. In a 2010 study, Anderegg found that most climate researchers– abouimagest 97-98%, who are active in their field agreed that human activity is the primary reason for climate change. In this same study findings supporting that the expertise of scientists who believe humans are not the leading cause rank lower than their counter parts.


The global temperature is on the rise due to an increased amount of Co2 and greenhouse gas emissions. As the earth becomes warmer the effects of large amount of gasses in the atmosphere will become more evident. As technology advances we have a better chance of preventing the already changing atmospheric temperature. If Co2 levels continue to rise the earth will become too hot to accommodate the lifestyles we have grown so accustomed to.



Categories: Environment, Opinion

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