Without the natural greenhouse effect, it would be freezing cold on earth – researchers estimate that the average temperature would be -18 degrees Celsius, today it is +15 degrees Celsius. The problem: In addition to the natural greenhouse effect, there is also the man-made greenhouse effect. The most important cause of this human-created effect is the burning of fossil fuels such as coal or oil, releasing large quantities of CO₂. The CO₂ content of the atmosphere is constantly reaching new highs – and consequently the greenhouse effect is intensifying accordingly. The concentration of other greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide has also increased significantly – mainly due to the expansion of agriculture.
As a result, the average global temperature has already risen by more than 1 degree Celsius since the beginning of industrialization. Well-known climate researchers agree that this increase is due to humans. “There can never be absolute certainty – but the probability that humans are responsible for global warming is extremely high, close to 100 percent,” said Prof. Mojib Latif from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research in Kiel, for example, in an interview.