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What Is Global Warming?

When we burn oil or coal - usually in our vehicles and power plants - we produce carbon dioxide (CO2), the most prevalent greenhouse gas. As greenhouse gases build up faster than they can break down, more and more heat is trapped in the atmosphere and the average temperature of the earth's surface rises.

What Causes Global Warming?

The driver of global warming is a thick blanket of polluted air thrown around the globe by power plant pollution, vehicle exhaust, the burning of fossil fuels to heat and cool our homes and workplaces, industrial waste, and deforestation. Normally, the Earth's climate allows life to flourish by the natural presence of some heat-trapping gases. But as increasing pollution puts more of these "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere, increased heat is trapped there and the climate is disrupted. The most prevalent greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, a natural byproduct of burning oil, coal, and other organic materials. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the temperature of the Earth's surface has risen most remarkably since the advent of the Industrial Revolution in America, and atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have increased by 30 percent since that time.

Information provided by Clean Air-Cool Planet.

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