What really causes climate change? There is so much detail that it is impossible to cover everything about climate change. However, in order to fight climate change, you need to know the causes.
Cause 1: Fossil Fuels
Non-renewable energy is just as it sounds: it is not renewable. But it also has another name. Dirty energy. This is because when using fossil fuels to create electricity, it releases the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel, but it still releases carbon dioxide. To use fossil fuels for electricity, it requires the burning of decayed and compressed organic matter. Once an organism dies, it will take centuries for it to decay enough for use. There are three types of fossil fuels that can be used for electricity: coal, oil, and natural gas. Coal releases the most carbon dioxide, but it is also the most abundant. Natural gas cleanist of the three, but it is still not clean. Coal is also the cheapest of the three.
Cause 2: Cars
Cars are another cause of climate change. They also release greenhouse gases. They use fossil fuels in their engines, and they also burn fossil fuels. However, they do not use coal. They use gasoline. Gasoline, or refined oil, is another type of fossil fuel. It is mined from the Earth and then put in cars. When burned, it is able to power cars but it also releases carbon dioxide.
Trucks are even worse than cars because they are less fuel efficient. That means that they will release more carbon dioxide.
Cause 3: Farming/Livestock
Farming and livestock generate different types of greenhouse gases. Certain practices on agricultural soil release nitrous oxide (N2O). Some of these activities are the applications of synthetic and organic fertilizers, drainage of organic soil, and over-saturated soil. Nitrous oxide accounts for over half of the emissions from the U.S. Agricultural Sector.
Livestock, such as cattle, produces methane (CH4) as part of their normal digestive processes, called enteric fermentation. It accounts for almost a third of the total emissions from the U.S. Agricultural Sector.
Other practices such as rice cultivation and manure treatment also releases methane and nitrous oxide.
Cause 4: Deforestation
Deforestation is a concern that is well accepted as animal habitat loss and many other tragic events. But it also has an impact on climate change. Plants are a natural solution to climate change. They suck in carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas emitted by humans. Know that plants do not breathe in all of the carbon dioxide, but some.
Deforestation is not an exact cause of climate change. It just accelerates the effects that are caused by the other causes listed here.
Cause 5: Coolants
Coolants, such as air conditioners (AC's) or refrigerators, sometimes release greenhouse gas emissions. To quote a New York Times article, "Some [hydrofluorocarbons, a type of greenhouse gas,] are released during the manufacturing process, if your air-conditioner or refrigerator has a leak, or when you throw a unit away, possibly causing some molecules to escape, especially if it’s disposed of improperly." This study is important because as we know, climate change is caused by greenhouse gases, and coolants sometimes emit them.
However, even if your air conditioner does not directly emit greenhouse gases, they are still contributing to climate change. Due to the fact that fossil fuels are the main source of energy, and coolants require energy, they are causing the burning of fossil fuels. This adds up to about 100 million pounds of carbon dioxide a year, and 6% of the American total residential energy consumption.