Since the industrial revolution, we have been burning fossils for electricity generation and transportation. The combustion of fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, increasing it’s concentration and enhancing the natural greenhouse gas effect. There are also natural sinks to these gases, such as forests which absorb CO2 through photosynthesis and oceans. So, where does all the carbon we release go?
There are other gases contributing to this enhanced greenhouse gas effect, and other sources as well, but carbon dioxide is the most abundant being responsible for about 60% of the enhanced greenhouse effect. Besides carbon dioxide, a well known gas is methane, resulting mainly from intensive farming, or nitrous oxides, from fertilisers. The emissions that cannot be further absorbed by the sinks accumulate in the atmosphere and there remain for many years, and continue affecting the temperature in the temperature. So, we can look at this as a balance… that ultimately we have to change.