a closer look at the facts.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
While carbon dioxide is an important gas that traps heat and allows for life on Earth, its concentration in the atmosphere has increased significantly in the past decades. Carbon dioxide is the main contributor to "forcing" climate change.
Total Ozone (Dobson Units)
The ozone hole
The ozone layer in the atmosphere protects us from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. Human use of gases like chlorofluorocarbons break down ozone molecules, forming a hole in the ozone layer over the South Pole.
Change in global surface temperature relative to 1951-1980 average
0.87 °C
Rising global temperature
The earth's temperature has increased at an extremely rapid pace since the 1970s. This has led to warming oceans, shrinking land ice, glacial retreat, and extreme climate events.
Burning fossil fuels
The burning of these non-renewable resources, including oil, natural gas, and coal, has increased amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect.
Methane in the atmosphere
Waste in landfills and cultivation of agriculture and livestock are significant contributors to methane in the atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is more active than carbon dioxide.
"Animal agriculture makes a 40% greater contribution to global warming than all transportation in the world combined; it is the number one cause of climate change."
--from "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer
Even the smallest changes in your daily lifestyle can make a huge impact on the environment.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Use reusable water bottles and carry around stylish reusable utensils to use on the go. Use reusable bags for grocery shopping and other errands.
Eat wisely
Eat organic and locally grown foods, and cut down on meat consumption. Manure from livestock, greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer and pesticides, and transportation of food shipments have extremely negative impacts on the environment.
Travel green
Walk or bike whenever possible. Take public transportation, carpool, and drive fuel-efficient vehicles to reduce carbon emissions from transportation.
Spread the word
Encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to make green changes to their lifestyle! Make plans to bike or carpool together, give reusable containers as gifts, and set a good example for combatting climate change!
Save our Earth.
Site produced by: Stephanie Tang
Information provided by:
NASA's Earth Science and
Communications Team