Greenhouse gases emissions from human activities are causing rapid and extreme changes in the global climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor and ozone.
These gases occur naturally in the atmosphere but carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are also produced by human activities like:
- the burning of fossil fuels for energy, transportation and industrial activities;
- the burning, deforestation or decay of plant matter and forest materials;
- the conversion of land for agriculture, cattle grazing and biofuel production.
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere act like a blanket, trapping heat and keeping the Earth warm enough to sustain life. The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased due to human activities and the blanket has become thicker, trapping more heat and increasing global warming. This is known as the enhanced greenhouse effect and is the driving force behind modern climate change.
A participant to the Participatory Action Research in Sto Tomas asks a question on the greenhouse effect.