CLIMATE CHANGE IS NOT THAT COMPLICATED Here is the stuff you may wish to know but were afraid to ask.
Everything that was ever alive has carbon in it.
When we burn those things, the carbon goes into the air as carbon dioxide. Here's a NASA satellite video of carbon dioxide in our air.
The Earth has 2 ways to get carbon dioxide out of the air.
One is to put the carbon back into living things. We call this the "Short" Carbon Cycle. Plants draw carbon from the air. Animals eat plants and other animals. When they die and decompose, the carbon is goes back into air and soil and the cycle starts over. Even if a forest burns, the trees grow back in a lifetime. That's short.
The other way our planet gets carbon dioxide out of the air is the "Long" Carbon Cycle, burying dead plants and animals deep underground where, after millions of years under pressure, they become coal, gas, and oil. The burying part takes tens of thousands of years. That's long.
When we dig up and burn Long Cycle carbon, otherwise known as fossil fuels, the Short Cycle can't absorb all that carbon dioxide.
The carbon dioxide builds up in our air.
It blankets the earth and traps the heat of the sun. Here's the bad news: Its too late to completely prevent global warming. The longer we keep burning fossil fuels, the thicker the carbon dioxide blanket will be and the hotter our planet will get. If the world doesn't switch to clean energy by mid-century, its pretty much game over. Here's the good news.
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