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How Do Humans Cause Global Warming?

The last two decades have seen numerous debates on the role of humans in global warming. A
recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has pointed out that human
activity is the main reason for global warming. In this article, we will take a look at some of the
factors which contribute to climate change, to know more on how do humans cause global
For a long time, we have collectively refused to take responsibility of the damage that we have
caused to the environment. But, after a U.N. panel on climate change concluded that modern
global warming is "most likely" caused due to human activities, there is no escaping the fact
now. What is really surprising is the time it took to ascertain the real cause precipitating global
warming. No other species in this world has the capacity to use nature's vast resources for its
benefit, so the blame lies squarely on us. There are several ways in which everybody, including
you and me contributes his bit to the growing threat of climate change. Let us take a look at some
hard facts to know how we are party to the threat to our environment.
While there is a rigid denial of human involvement in climate change by many, a simple fact on
the increase in the concentration level of carbon-dioxide will set the record straight here. Carbondioxide has been known to cause an increase in the earth's temperature. The level of carbondioxide in the atmosphere was around 280 parts per million (ppm) before the industrial
revolution. Rapid industrialization combined with globalization surely benefited us, but led to an
increase in the concentration of carbon-dioxide. As per the estimates, the level of carbon-dioxide
was around 380 ppm in 1998, and it is still increasing. Carbon-dioxide is a by-product when
fossil fuels are burned. To meet the demands of a burgeoning population, the government and
corporations have had to cut vast tracts of forests. This is one of the prime reasons behind the
increase in the levels of carbon-dioxide. Fossil fuel combustion is one of the major reason for
carbon-dioxide emissions (about 70%). The air that comes out of the exhaust of our vehicles also
contains carbon-dioxide, and with the number of cars on our streets, you can imagine how each
one of us contributes to global warming. The leaders of the world have recognized the threat of
global warming and Kyoto Protocol was a sincere step to fight climate change, but unfortunately,
some powerful countries continue to evade the guidelines in order to satisfy their self-interests.
Human activity, in various forms has led to an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases
in the atmosphere. Let us take a look at the human activities that contribute to global warming.
Human Activity and Climate Change

Humans are dependent on fossil fuels for their basic necessities, and fossil fuels are
sources of carbon. Whenever a fossil fuel is burnt, carbon dioxide is produced as a byproduct, which contributes to the greenhouse effect.

Airplanes release high amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Even while
driving a car, carbon-rich exhaust enters into the atmosphere.

Deforestation is another significant reason for greenhouse effect. Fewer number of trees
means lesser amount of carbon dioxide would be converted into oxygen. Deforestation
not only contributes to global warming, but it also disturbs the ecosystem.

You may be surprised to know that eating non-vegetarian food and foods that are out of
season also contributes to global warming. This is because of the fact that these foods
need to be shipped from all other parts of the world to be made available to you, and their
transportation contributes to the greenhouse effect.

Skeptics, who care two hoots about climate change often state that global warming is an
unavoidable process and it has been occurring since time immemorial. While it is true that
volcanic eruptions and forest fires do emit greenhouse gases, but the percentage of natural forces
behind global warming is much lower than that of human activity. One of the main reasons why
global warming has been relegated to a handful of environmentalists fighting for the entire
human race is because we all are living in a constant state of denial. Many of us are fully aware
of the ramifications of our actions, but the very thought of our involvement in climate change is
repulsive to our mind. But, the stark reality is that escapism seldom solves an issue, a strong
resolve does. The people we have chosen to represent us can't take decisions which can prove
catastrophic for our future generation. The need of the hour is to take ownership of the issue and
urge our leaders to take drastic steps to counter it.