However, there are several theories as to why. Some believe that because the planet had experienced many different climates long before humanity evolved to where we are today, climate change is simply part of planet Earth’s natural ebb and flow.
However, most scientists agree that recent changes can’t be explained by natural causes alone. This side of the scientific community suggests that human activity is most likely responsible for the recent global warming.
Burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas in order to create energy releases carbon dioxide (CO2) – one of the most potent greenhouse gases – into the atmosphere. Worse still, as well as using more fossil fuels, people are chopping down forests and woodlands.
This is a dangerous combination of behaviours because trees and green spaces have historically acted as greenhouse gas ‘sponges’, soaking up CO2 during photosynthesis.
The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased dramatically since the industrial revolution. As long as we continue using resources and creating greenhouse gases the way we are, the planet will continue to get warmer.
You can find in-depth guides and informative videos about climate change on the Met Office website. Their Climate Guide pages are a great place to start if you’re interested in learning more about greenhouse gases and the effect this has on the planet.