What Causes Global Warming

By guest writer, Sarah B

Wondering what causes global warming?

It is one of the biggest questions in the scientific world today. This is because knowing the answer means we can more effectively address the problem of global warming. Global warming is often attributed to two main reasons -- natural occurrences such as volcanic eruptions and release of gases from swamps, and man-made causes.

what causes global warming in the natural world

There are actually numerous everyday or large events that can lead to the overall warming of the globe.

One of the main natural causes of global warming is volcanic eruptions. During the eruptions, thousands of pounds of dust and debris could be spew into the air. Huge amounts of carbon dioxide would also be produced. As one of the major greenhouse gasses, carbon dioxide traps the infrared radiation from the sun within the atmosphere, warming the earth in the process.

Another leading cause of global warming in the natural world is actually swamp gas. Places such as peat bogs and wetlands produce huge amounts of methane. Methane is also a greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming.

Did you know that what happens in the outer space can have an impact on Earth’s global warming? What causes global warming from such far distances is the sun. Changes in the sun’s solar radiation can actually cause a short-term warming or cooling of our planet.

The evaporation of ocean water has been known to release chemicals, such as stored carbon dioxide, which can either directly or indirectly contribute to global warming. Of course, as the Earth continues to warm, and more ice in the Artic melt, the evaporation of ocean water would become an even larger problem and we may eventually find ourselves in a vicious cycle that will be very hard to break.

what causes global warming in the manmade world

There are many things that we may do every day that contribute to the warming of the planet.

One of the most common things we do that contribute to global warming is driving.

Actually, it is the fuel we burn when driving that is the issue. Every time we drive down the street, we burn fossil fuels and this process releases carbon dioxide and other green house gasses, which traps heat in Earth’s atmosphere. Hence, minimize driving when you can and practice driving tips for going green.

In fact, it is estimated that 1/3 of the carbon dioxide emissions come from various forms of transportation. This figure excludes the contributions that airplanes make to global warming. The United Nations estimates that while airplanes are only responsible for 5% of global warming, this proportion could grow to 15% by the year 2050. Read more on global warming statistics.

Another common cause of global warming is the production of electricity. According to reports, nearly 40% of carbon dioxide emissions come from burning fossil fuels to make electricity. That means that when each of us uses electricity, we are indirectly burning fuels and emitting carbon dioxide into the air. That is why it is important for us to save electricity and practice energy efficiency tips.

Another major man-made factor of what causes global warming is deforestation.

Deforestation takes place on a large scale today, to obtain wood for paper and furniture production and to clear land for farms, buildings and cities. By reducing the number of trees available to take up carbon dioxide, the carbon cycle is disrupted. When rainforest deforestation takes place through the burning of forests, large amounts of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are released. With higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, more of the sun’s heat is trapped, inevitably leading to global warming. In fact, deforestation is now the second most prolific factor of global warming.

Do you know that animal farming also contributes to global warming?

This is because methane is produced by animals such as cows, bison and even elk. With large scale animal farming, large amounts of methane are produced by the animal farms. In fact, some environmental activists are calling for people to reduce their meat intake, as animal farms are such a major contributor to global warming.

Read related articles on what causes global warming:

  • Causes of global warming
  • Causes for global warming
  • Global warming causes
  • Human causing global warming:
  • Cause of global warming
  • Man causes global warming
  • Natural causes of global warming
  • Greenhouse effect and global warming

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