The globe is heating up. Earth temperatures are still ticking upward and both land and oceans are warmer now than 1880 when the record-keeping began. This temperature rise, in a nutshell, is global warming.
Here are the bare numbers, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): Average surface temperatures rose a total of 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit (0.95 degrees Celsius) between 1880 and 2016. In the summer of 2017, the Paris Agreement was ratified by 159 world nations. It aims to halt that warming at 2.7 degrees F (1.5 degrees C) above Earth's average temperature during preindustrial times. This goal is what most scientists and policymakers agree will be a challenge to meet.
The Greenhouse Effect
The main driver of today's warming is the combustion of fossil fuels. Due to the interaction between Earth's atmosphere and incoming radiation from the sun, the hydrocarbons heat up the planet via the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide could trap heat close to the Earth's surface. It makes a big difference in how much heat was trapped with even small changes in the amount of those gases.
Primary greenhouse gases including water vapour, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), ozone and nitrous oxide (N2O) are released by burning fossil fuels like coal and oil releases. Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas. In 2015, CO2 accounted for about 82 per cent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to an EPA inventory.
There is an unprecedented increase in CO2 in the atmosphere as we know through high-accuracy instrumental measurements. We know that CO2 absorbs infrared radiation [heat] and the global mean temperature is increasing," CO2 makes its way into the atmosphere through a variety of routes. The primary way that U.S. emissions warm the globe is through burning fossil fuels which releases CO2.
Excessive CO2 in the atmosphere Deforestation is highly contributed by deforestation, which is the second largest anthropogenic (human-made) source of carbon dioxide. Carbon that is stored by trees during photosynthesis is released when trees are killed.
Methane is much more efficient at trapping heat and is the second most common greenhouse gas. There are some hopeful trends in greenhouse gas emissions.
Effects of global warming
Paradoxical effects, such as more serious snowstorms can occur as the globe is becoming hotter on average, thereby increasing temperature. Climate change can affect the globe in several big ways. This could be by melting ice, by drying out already-arid areas, by causing weather extremes and by disrupting the delicate balance of the oceans.
The big melt
Melting of glaciers and sea ice are perhaps the most visible effects of climate change. The last century's warming has hastened their demise of ice sheets even though they have been retreating since the end of the last Ice Age about 11,700 years ago.
Another impact of global warming: extreme weather. Hurricanes and typhoons are expected to become more intense as the planet warms. The engine that fuels the storms are hotter oceans that evaporate more moisture. Extreme snowstorms can paradoxically be created by climate change. Again, warming ocean temperatures lead to increased evaporation of moisture into the atmosphere.
Global warming causes most immediate impact beneath the oceans. Oceans act as a carbon sink — they absorb dissolved carbon dioxide. The marine ecosystem is very badly affected by this, even though it is not a bad thing for the atmosphere.
How to solve global warming
A growing number of business leaders, government officials and private citizens have been proposing steps to reverse the trend of global warming. They are concerned about global warming and its implications and suggesting ways to overcome.
Paris Agreement is the most ambitious effort to forestall warming. The aim is to keep warming "well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius," according to the United Nations. Each signatory shall set their own voluntary emissions limits and make them stricter over time to the treaty agreed to. By shifting from fossil fuels to less carbon-intensive sources, there is an attempt to solve climate change with big shifts in energy production. To cool the planet, some scientists even think geo-engineering will be needed.
Since 1880, there is an increase in average global temperature by 1.7 degrees F (0.94 degrees C).
Since the 1980s, the minimum expanse of Arctic summer sea ice has declined 13.3 percent per decade.
Since 2002, there has been a decrease in land ice by 286 gigatons a year.
Global sea level has risen 7 inches (176 millimetres) in the past century.