per year by 2100 can be prevented by aggressively reducing greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Earth is a greenhouse

Most of the sunlight that hits the earth is reflected back into space, but some is trapped by the earth’s greenhouse gases (GHGs), which warms our planet. However, as more and more GHGs are released into our atmosphere, too much heat is being absorbed, raising the temperature of the earth.

illustration of the earth's greenhouse effect

GHG Sources

Sixty percent (60%) of the emissions from burning fossil fuels (crude oil, coal, and natural gas) stay in the air.

illustration of the biggest sources of GHGs

What are the GHGs?

illustration of the GHGs by amount in atmosphere

CO2 emissions

By burning fossil fuels for energy, human activities have increased the concentration of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere by more than 40 percent since the start of the Industrial Revolution (1760).

chart showing the amounts of carbon in the atmosphere from 1775 to 2000


[sources: Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, NOAA]