Greenhouse gases are released into the air from many sources. This pie chart shows where they were coming from in 2004.
Click on image for full size
IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group 3
Tackling the Global Warming Challenge
By sending greenhouse gases into the air, we have made Earth’s greenhouse effect stronger. This has caused global warming. So what can we do about it?
If we put fewer greenhouse gases into the air, we can slow global warming. There are technologies that can help. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that getting our electricity from gas, nuclear power, or renewable energy instead of coal will make a difference. Driving smaller cars with good gas millage or riding buses or trains would make a difference too. Bicycling and walking are great solutions.
Scientists are inventing new technologies like advanced wind turbines, solar power, and fuels. New hybrid and electric cars are being developed and so are airplanes that use less fuel. Scientists are also looking for ways technologies to get carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. These inventions might be ready in the near future.
It will take time to slow down global warming. However, by taking steps today we could prevent some catastrophic impacts of warming in the future.
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The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist
, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store
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