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How Do Humans Contribute to Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Global Warming?


Question: How Do Humans Contribute to Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Global Warming?
Answer: Throughout most of human history, and certainly before human beings emerged as a dominant species throughout the world, all climate changes were the direct result of natural forces.

Industrial Age Accelerates Global Warming
That changed with the start of the Industrial Revolution, when new agricultural and industrial practices began to alter the global climate and environment. Before that time, human activity didn’t release many greenhouse gases, but population growth, deforestation, factory farming, and the widespread use of fossil fuels are creating an excess of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and contributing to global warming.

Science Links Global Warming to Human Activity
In February 2007, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), representing the work of 2,500 scientists from more than 130 countries, stated that human activity "very likely" has been the primary cause of global warming since 1950. (In science, nothing is ever claimed to be "certain" or absolute, which leaves open the possibility of further research and discovery, but the term “very likely” indicates more than 90 percent certainty and is considered virtual confirmation.)

The IPCC report also said that human activity has been a major contributor to climate change since the start of the Industrial in the mid-1700s.

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