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Why Is Our Climate Changing?

The Earth's climate changes through natural processes, but also as a result of our society's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. GHGs, such as carbon dioxide and methane, have an insulating effect on our atmosphere. Thus, the Earth is getting warmer much faster than ever before.

Diagram of the Greenhouse Effect
Gases in our atmosphere act like a greenhouse to keep the sun's heat in and help make our planet livable. Without this natural insulation, the Earth's surface would be much colder than it is now.
© Government of Canada

There has been an unprecedented increase in global temperature over the last 100 years. This can be linked directly to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide from human sources. The effects of climate change are evident on a local to a global scale. Sea levels are rising, polar ice is melting and weather is becoming less predictable.