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Global Warming

Global warming is the unusually rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century, primarily because of the release of greenhouse gases caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and other air pollutants collect in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation that would’ve normally bounced off the earth’s surface, thus increasing the temperature of the lower layers of the Earth’s atmosphere compared to the effective temperature. This phenomenon is known as the Greenhouse Effect and is the principal cause of global warming.

Higher temperatures are worsening many types of disasters, including storms, heat waves, floods, and droughts. A warmer climate creates an atmosphere that can collect, retain and dispense more precipitation, changing weather patterns in such a way that wet areas become wetter and dry areas drier. Changes in weather patterns can also cause the polar jet stream (the boundary between the cold North Pole air and the warm equatorial air) to migrate south, bringing with it cold, Arctic air. In recent years, many parts of the world have experienced colder than normal winters. It is estimated that global warming is responsible for 150,000 deaths every year.

The global average surface temperature rose 0.6 to 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.1 to 1.6° F) between 1906 and 2005, and the rate of temperature increase has nearly doubled in the last 50 years. In 2020, the land average temperature was 1.96 ± 0.04 °C above the average temperature from 1850 to 1900. This unambiguously exceeds the previous record of 1.88 °C observed in 2016. The Paris Agreement of 2015 called on nations to keep global warming under the dangerous threshold of 2°C, aiming for 1.5°C by 2050.

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