The main cause of global warming

Main cause of global warmingIt took more than 20 years to broadly accept that mankind is causing global warming with the emission of greenhouse gases. The drastic increase in the emission of CO2 (carbon dioxide) within the last 30 years caused by burning fossil fuels has been identified as the major reason for the change of temperature in the atmosphere (click the following link for a summary and graphs about the cause and effects of global warming ).

More than 80% of the world-wide energy demand is currently supplied by the fossil fuels coal, oil or gas. It will be impossible to find alternative sources, which could replace fossil fuels in the short or medium term. The energy demand is simply too high.

Another issue is the non-renewable characteristic of fossil fuels: It took nature millions of years to generate these resources, however we will have used them up within the next decades. Alone the shrinking supply will not make it possible to continue as usual for a longer time.

The main cause of global warming is our treatment of Nature

  • Why have warnings about climate change been ignored for more than 20 years?
  • Why were ever more scientific evidence demanded to find the coherence of man-made CO2 emissions as cause of global warming? Why wasn't common sense reason enough to act?
  • The true cause of global warming is our thoughtless attitude to Nature.

    Why can one still today find people who stick their head in the sand and don't want to understand what's going on in the earth's atmosphere?
  • Why do most people refuse to change their personal behavior voluntary in order to reduce CO2 emissions caused by their activities?

The answer to all these questions is a rather simple one:

In our technology and scientific minded world, we seem to have forgotten that mankind is only a relatively minor part of Nature. We ignore being part of a larger whole.

We believe to be able to control Nature instead of trying to arrange ourselves with Nature. This haughtiness is the true main cause of global warming. As a matter of fact, some people still believe that technical solutions alone would be sufficient to fight global warming.

Although we are guests on Earth, we behave as if no further visitors would arrive after us. It's like having a wild party where we destroy beds, the kitchen as well as the living room of a hotel without ever thinking about our future staying in the hotel nor about other guests arriving later.

The lesson from global warming is to base all decisions on deep respect and consideration for Nature.

In addition, our unit of measure is more and more often money only. What has no price tag, seems to have no value to us any more. In doing so we mix up economic growth with general well-being and financial income with personal happiness, respectively.

There is a loss of value behind this attitudes. We got blind for the true reason of our incarnation on earth:

We live here to train those traits , which will finally lead to perpetual harmony with ourselves and with our environment as well as to inner calm and peace.


The ultimate global warming solutions is to behave as part of a larger whole

Many people between 20 and 65 years seem to live for the one and only purpose of earning as much money as possible in order to be able to buy as many things as possible. In this light, it is not surprising that discussions about potential solutions to fight global warming concentrate on technical measures instead of a fundamental change of our attitude to life in general and to Nature in particular.

Someone who respects Nature and regards mankind as a part of a larger whole would never dream about using up non-renewable resources in a short time nor would this person contaminate the environment with gigantic amounts of pollution. By contrary, someone who respects Nature and regards mankind as a part of a larger whole would in all decisions carefully evaluate any effects on Nature. The preservation of Nature would be given a very high priority. On this base, it wouldn't have been possible to deny and ignore global warming for more than 20 years!


It's your personal decision whether you want to be the cause of global warming

In this context the question is whether global warming and its effects will eventually wake up mankind and spark off a change of paradigm. Will we understand this hint of Nature to follow the true meaning of life or will we continue to let us manipulate by media and advertisement as sheer and willing consumers in the economic cycle? Will we continue to strive for power, prestige and possessions following the concept „the more the better "? Shall economic growth and an ever increasing personal income continue to be the reason for being here, beyond everything else?

These questions can and must be answered by everyone. It is not primarily a decision of politicians or of the government. Everyone has to make a personal decision.

It is in our very own interest to induce fundamental changes in our attitude and behavior towards Nature: Modesty and humility, admiration and respect for all life on Earth instead of arrogance and haughtiness.

Let's emphasize it again: Not the others need to change, we must change ourselves. There are no international treaties or additional national laws required to start changing. We can start to change our consciousness immediately. It is really only about our personal behaviour - independent of what others do or don't do.

It's time for change!


The cause of global warming

I can only agree with the second last sentence in your comment that we should take better care of our planet. I disagree with the rest of your comment because you are mixing up causes and effects of global warming.

Where do you take evidence that "...the temperature rising and falling does drive CO2 levels..." in the atmosphere? Neither vegetation nor oceans "produce CO2". The ocean water can store some CO2, the warmer the water the lower the amount of CO2 which can be absorbed by the water, however. So heating up the water of the oceans does release some of the CO2 absorbed earlier. This is called a feedback-effect of the warming of the oceans. It should not be mixed up with the cause of warming.

The vegetation is converting CO2 into oxygen - vegetation is actually reducing the CO2 level in the atmosphere (it is doing just the opposite of what you are saying). This is one of the reasons forests are so important!

There is indeed scientific evidence that increasing the CO2 levels in the atmosphere is causing the Earth to warm up . We know how much CO2 we are releasing with burning of fossil fuels . We can measure the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and we can compare them with CO2 levels thousands of years back using ice core samples.

You can download from a spreadsheet to simulate the main cause and effects of global warming yourself. This is quite helpful to get a feeling for the magnitude of the problem we are facing. Or you can also view some simulation results of ways for mitigation of the effects of global warming .


What is the cause of global warming


CFC's are greenhouse gases (ghg), so if you are saying CFC's are the (main) cause of global warming then you are at least agreeing that global warming is caused by greenhouse gases. And many greenhouse gases (at least the CFC's) are man-made. In other words: you seem to agree that global warming is caused by human activities.

Many scientists who have been doing the recent research on global warming present their work through the American Geophysical Union. They have no particular political agenda other than to learn how natural processes work and make that information known. Based on the outcome from a considerable number of studies reported in their organization, the AGU has issued a AGU statement about the causes of global warming in 2003. Here are some quotes from their report:

"Human activities are increasingly altering the Earth's climate. These effects add to natural influences that have been present over Earth's history. Scientific evidence strongly indicates that natural influences cannot explain the rapid increase in global near-surface temperatures observed during the second half of the 20th century.

Human impacts on the climate system include increasing concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons and their substitutes, methane, nitrous oxide, etc.), air pollution, increasing concentrations of airborne particles, and land alteration. A particular concern is that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide may be rising faster than at any time in Earth's history, except possibly following rare events like impacts from large extraterrestrial objects. ..."

"The unprecedented increases in greenhouse gas concentrations, together with other human influences on climate over the past century and those anticipated for the future, constitute a real basis for concern."

Since the publication of the above cited AGU report evidence has further grown for anthropogenic greenhouse gases being the major cause of global warming and carbon dioxide playing a more and more important factor . For an individual, the easiest way to help mitigating climate change is to reduce the energy consumption (or generally consume less goods) which will almost automatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions as well as the emissions of other greenhouse gases.

The bottom line of my text above is that we should treat Nature with more respect and in all decisions carefully evaluate any effects on Nature. Someone who respects Nature and regards mankind as a part of a larger whole would never dream about using up non-renewable resources in a short time nor would this person contaminate the environment with large amounts of pollution.

Global warming doesn't primarily ask for a technical solution but for a different thinking and attitude. We must regain the true meaning of life . We incarnate to train those personality traits, which will finally lead to perpetual harmony with ourselves and with our environment as well as to inner calm and peace. This goal can only be reached with a respectful treatment of Nature.

What caused global warming?


Hypothesis that other influences than greenhouse gases (e.g. variations of the sun's radiation) cause current global warming or that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 do have no or very little impact on climate change have been around quite a while. However there are a number of good sites on Internet scientifically explaining the cause of global warming. One of my favourites is .

Specific answers to most of your suggestions can be found at:

Best regards


Global warming is caused by greenhouse gases

Even if vegetation is sometimes releasing a little bit of CO2, the net effect is clearly a conversion of CO2 into oxygen (O2) and sugar (C6H12O6) called photosyntheses. The following text is an exerpt from the online Biology Book of Estrella Mountain community college, which is a recommended source for details about the role of our vegetation.

„...Plants may be viewed as carbon sinks, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and oceans by fixing it into organic chemicals. Plants also produce some carbon dioxide by their respiration, but this is quickly used by photosynthesis. Plants also convert energy from light into chemical energy of C-C covalent bonds. Animals are carbon dioxide producers that derive their energy from carbohydrates and other chemicals produced by plants by the process of photosynthesis.

The balance between the plant carbon dioxide removal and animal carbon dioxide generation is equalized also by the formation of carbonates in the oceans. This removes excess carbon dioxide from the air and water (both of which are in equilibrium with regard to carbon dioxide). Fossil fuels, such as petroleum and coal, as well as more recent fuels such as peat and wood generate carbon dioxide when burned. Fossil fuels are formed ultimately by organic processes, and represent also a tremendous carbon sink. Human activity has greatly increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in air. This increase has led to global warming, an increase in temperatures around the world, the Greenhouse Effect. The increase in carbon dioxide and other pollutants in the air has also led to acid rain, where water falls through polluted air and chemically combines with carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, and sulfur oxides, producing rainfall with pH as low as 4. This results in fish kills and changes in soil pH which can alter the natural vegetation and uses of the land. The Global Warming problem can lead to melting of the ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica, raising sea-level as much as 120 meters. Changes in sea-level and temperature would affect climate changes, altering belts of grain production and rainfall patterns...“

The lag of CO2 behind temperature in ice core samples does by no means prove that the current warming cannot be caused by CO2. Earlier warming periods after ice ages back in history have not been triggered by CO2, but no one here has made this claim. In other words: the causes for the initial warming after ice ages are different from the causes of our current global warming. (see e.g. this article in NewScientist

On the other hand, no climate scientist does seriously challenge the idea that more CO2 heats the planet.

The current global warming is clearly caused by an increase of greenhouse gases as a result of human activities. A recommended reading is the special report of climate change of NewScientist where many common misunderstandings of sceptists are discussed. 

Eating meat causes methane and CO2 emissions

Yes, cattle-breeding and generally agriculture does indeed have an important effect on global warming. So your question is not at all off topic!

See our article with the title: Are cows the true cause of global warming?


How you can help to mitigate global warming

There is a lot of information available what individuals can do to stop or at least mitigate global warming:

Let me know if you need more links or information!


Cause of global warming was different in the past


Deforestation is estimated to be responsible for about 20% of the effects of current global warming. So there is certainly some truth in what you are saying about trees.

As you mentioned, the Earth has already had several warming periods. However there is not just one single way to initiate a global warming period. Who is saying that all global warming periods have been caused by the same effect?

So earlier warming periods may easily have been caused by different effects than the current one. In fact, most of the earlier global warming periods have been caused by a change in the sun's radiation. The current global warming however is mainly caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases.

You can fracture your leg with skiing, but you can also fracture your leg if you fall down the stairs. If you fractured your leg already two times with skiing, this is still no proof that in the third case it was caused by skiing as well. Maybe you have had a car accident or anything else.

It is similar with the cause of global warming: The cause for earlier warming periods can be (and indeed are) different from the current one.


The effect of cows on global warming

Yes, cattle-breeding does indeed have an important effect on global warming.

See our article with the title: Are cows the true cause of global warming?


Translations are welcome

I am sorry, I do not speak spanish. However if someone is willing to translate at least some of the content of this website into Spanish, please contact me. I would be happy to provide the webspace and the environment for this.