for everything that lives on Earth. Without it, there would be no life present on Earth. How Does CO 2 Contribute to the Atmosphere? Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) is an important greenhouse gas that is present within the earth’s atmosphere. This gas both absorbs heat and then slowly releases it over time. Without this process, our planet would not stay warm enough for life to be present. Over the lengthy history of our planet, the earth has experienced many natural increases in carbon dioxide within the atmosphere. This has led to different warming periods that signaled the end of various ice ages that our planet has experienced. As mentioned earlier, our planet appears to be currently undergoing a warming period. While there have been naturally occurring warming periods within the history of the earth, the current scientific consensus is that this change is occurring due to human activities. CO 2 emissions from human technologies— especially burning fossil fuels like coal and oil to generate power— have led to a rapid increase in the amounts of carbon dioxide levels within the atmosphere, which has caused temperatures to begin rising across the planet. These documented changes have led scientists to believe that our current experience of global warming and climate changes have been primarily caused by humans.
The New Weather: The Climate System
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