The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years, there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat. The last ice age abruptly ended about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that changing the amount of solar energy our planet receives.
“Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal”. – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.
Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This long-term body of data reveals the signals of a changing climate.
The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases such as methane was demonstrated already in the mid-19th century. For example, methane is 20 times more dangerous to climate and it is released from illegal dumps and unmanaged landfills globally every second!
Many of NASA’s instruments have scientifically proven that greenhouse gases have the ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere. There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases are the cause of the warming of Earth’s atmosphere (https://climate.nasa.gov/).
Ice cores are drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. Ancient evidence can also be found in tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks. This ancient, or paleoclimate, evidence reveals that current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.
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