Global warming

Global warming refers to the rise in global temperature near the earth’s surface due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere absorbing more infrared radiation.   According to the National Climatic Data Center, before the Industrial Revolution (about the year 1800), levels of carbon dioxide were about 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv); current levels are greater than 380 ppmv and increasing at a rate of 1.9 ppm yr-1 since 2000. This increase is attributed to burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas and oil), solid waste, trees and wood products, and as a result of certain chemical reactions (e.g., manufacture of cement).  Furthermore, because plants absorb CO2 (thus remove it from the atmosphere) as part of their biological carbon cycle, deforestation further leads to increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

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