The main cause of climate change is human activity, but natural processes also contribute. Bright surfaces reflect a portion of the incoming sunlight, while the rest is absorbed and re-radiated by the surface and atmosphere. Some of this absorbed solar energy escapes into space, while the rest is stored as heat and re-emitted. Disruptions to this energy balance affect the climate. The warming of the earth will continue to increase significantly in the next few decades to centuries.
Human activities have been the main driver of climate change since the 1800s
Global warming is happening due to the burning of fossil fuels, especially coal, oil, and natural gas. Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has increased by 0.07degC. Since the mid-20th century, the rate of global warming has doubled. And many of the hottest years on record have occurred over the last two decades. We’re facing a climate emergency that’s unavoidable, and it is human activities that are to blame.
Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have risen dramatically over the past two centuries, thanks to human activities. Carbon dioxide concentrations were only about 280 parts per million in the early 1800s. Today, the atmosphere contains more than 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide. These levels are measured at the Mauna
Loa Observatory in Hawaii
This evidence confirms that human activities are the main driver of climate change.
Earth will continue to warm considerably more in the next few decades to centuries
Recent research has shown that the Earth will warm substantially more in the next few decades to centuries, and that land temperatures will increase so much that vast areas of the planet will become uninhabitable. While this is far from catastrophic, it will make many cities and nations uninhabitable. If we continue to emit greenhouse gases, the Earth’s surface temperature will rise by 13.5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2070, scientists say. The average surface temperature will rise only 5.4 degrees, but that is still a lot of warming.
The rate of future global warming is uncertain
And depends on future emissions, feedback processes, and natural influences. Some of these are cloud formation, changes in ocean circulation, and natural greenhouse gas cycles. Many of these processes are unpredictable, and we don’t yet know which ones will have the greatest effect. While some of these changes are natural, some are the result of human activity. We should take these risks seriously and act now to prevent them
From causing more damage to the Earth’s environment.
Natural changes in the earth’s surface also contribute to climate change
Human activities are largely responsible for the current change in climate, such as the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and ocean-atmosphere exchange. Other contributing factors include natural processes, such as volcanic activity and changes in the Earth’s surface. Human activities have increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, and these gases absorb solar and infrared radiation. In turn, they increase
Human activities, such as land use change, also alter the climate. For example, deforestation and urbanization have changed vegetation patterns, resulting in changes in Earth’s reflectivity. These changes also affect ecosystems, affecting migration patterns of birds and flowers. As a result of these changes, humans are the primary cause of recent global climate change. However, solutions to this problem are possible.
Amnesty International’s work supporting environmental defenders
Amnesty International’s work supports the rights of environmental defenders and people affected by climate change. Their campaigns promote better climate policy by advocating for increased action from richer countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The goal is to reduce global emissions by half by 2030. This would save billions of lives and protect the planet. However, their efforts often face threats from governments around the
Amnesty International supports the UNFCCC’s call for comments on its draft General Comment No. 26 (2021) on land and economic, social and cultural rights. In particular, Amnesty International argues that the draft comment should include priority suggestions for strengthening key provisions. While this may seem like a lot of work, these recommendations are critical in helping protect the rights of environmental defenders in the face of climate change.