Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, cloud forests are dying, and wildlife is racing to keep pace. It has become clear that humans have caused the warmth of the last century by releasing greenhouse gases as we energize our modern life. Called greenhouse gases, their levels are now higher than at any other time in the past 800,000 years.

We often call the result global warming, but it causes a set of changes in the Earth’s climate, or patterns of long-term climate, varying from place to place. While many people think of global warming and climate change as synonymous, scientists use “climate change” when describing complex changes now affecting our planet’s climate and climate systems — in part because some areas are actually cooling off in the short term.

Climate change includes not only rising temperatures but also extreme weather events, displacement of wildlife and habitats, rising sea levels, and other impacts. All of these changes are emerging as humans continue to add warmer air to the atmosphere, changing the rhythm of the climate that all living things rely on.

What can we do – what can we do – to reduce this man-made global warming? How will we cope with the changes we have already made? While we find it hard to find everything, the future of the Earth as we know the beaches, forests, farms, and snow-capped mountains.

Doesn’t the temperature change naturally?

Human activities are not the only thing affecting the world’s climate. Volcanoes and solar eclipses from solar dots, solar eclipses, and solar panels also play a role. So do extreme weather conditions, such as El Niño.

But the climate models that scientists use to monitor Earth’s temperatures account for those things. Changes in solar radiation and minute particles suspended in the air from a volcanic eruption, for example, have contributed to only about 2 percent of the effects of recent warming. The balance comes from greenhouse gases and other human-caused factors, such as changes in land use.

The short term for this latest warmth is in unity again. A volcanic eruption, for example, releases particles that temporarily cool the earth’s surface. But their effect lasts only a few years. Events like El Niño also work in shorter and unpredictable cycles. On the other hand, global warming, which has had a profound effect on ice, occurs over hundreds of thousands of years.

For thousands of years now, greenhouse gases have been emitted by natural gas. As a result, the concentration of greenhouse gases and temperatures was not stable enough, which allowed human civilization to flourish within a more stable climate.

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