In the early 1960s, scientists recognized that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was increasing beyond their expectations. Later they discovered that methane, nitrous oxide and other gases were also rising. Because these gases trap heat and warm the Earth, as a greenhouse traps heat from the sun, scientists concluded that increasing levels of “greenhouse gases” would increase global warming.
As surface and water temperatures rise, human, animal and plant life respond. Scientific studies document these responses. In doing so, science builds a foundation for understanding how our lives are impacted by climate change and what we can do to slow or reverse changes.