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Go to the "Carbon Dioxide" puzzle piece for more information about Human Influences on this gas.

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Global Climate Change: Human Influences
Image showing a scale balancing Human Activity and Nature.
In his book "Biogeochemistry: An Analysis of Global Change," William  Schlesinger states, "Humans affect the global system by creating a large biogeochemical flux where none existed before". This means that while nature has its own way of keeping all of its systems in balance, human activities have created an imbalance--a flux--among the systems.

One such imbalance that our species may be causing is in the earth's climate. Many human activities produce gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect, a process that warms the earth's atmosphere. The gases that contribute to this effect are called greenhouse gases. At natural concentrations, greenhouse gases benefit the planet by maintaining temperatures required for life. However, human activities are increasing the concentrations of these gases in the atmosphere. This is increasing the greenhouse effect and thus increasing the global temperature of the planet. Major greenhouse gases include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and tropospheric ozone (O3). The biggest influence humans have on the greenhouse effect is the production of carbon dioxide (CO2). This is a very powerful greenhouse gas that comes from many human activities.

Find out more about the chemistry of human influences on global climate change.

 

Overview ..|.. Human Influences ..|.. Impacts
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