While we have discussed the effects of climate change here in our region and around the world, we haven’t talked about what causes climate change. While it is a complicated subject, the overall agreement among scientists is that human activity is the biggest contributor to our changing climate.

Let’s start with what greenhouse gases are. Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are some of the gases that prevent the infrared radiation produced by the earth from escaping into space, causing the earth to warm up. Think about it like an actual greenhouse.

Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere when burning fossil fuels. Methane is released by livestock and other agriculture practices. and nitrous oxide released by commercial fertilizers.

While carbon dioxide levels have been rising and falling naturally in the atmosphere over the last 800,000 years, in the past century, we have seen a record spike in carbon dioxide over a very short period of time.

The increase in greenhouse gases has a direct impact on global temperatures.

Now, because of the rapid increase in our average temperature, we are seeing the climate change, harming us and the ecosystem as a whole.