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Global Warming

Global Warming
Global warming is the gradual increase in global temperatures caused by the emission of gases that trap the sun's heat in the Earth's atmosphere (refered to as the "greenhouse effect"). Gases, both natural and man-made, that contribute to global warming include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and halocarbons (the replacements for CFCs). The carbon dioxide emissions are primarily caused by the use of fossil fuels for energy.

What is the "Greenhouse Effect"?
The greenhouse effect is a natural Earth process that helps to regulate the temperature of our planet and essential for life on Earth. It is the result of heat absorption by certain gases in the atmosphere (called greenhouse gases because they effectively 'trap' heat in the lower atmosphere) and re-radiation downward of some of that heat. Water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas, followed by carbon dioxide and other trace gases. Without a natural greenhouse effect, the temperature of the Earth would be about zero degrees F (-18 C) instead of its present 57 F (14 C). image of how the greenhouse effect works
Image from the Environmental Protection Agency

-explanation from NCDC

For further and expanded information, try the following links: *Paleoclimatology is the study of climate prior to the widespread availability of records of temperature, precipitation and other instrumental data. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.