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Causes

Use of fossil fuel

Since the start of the industrial era (ca 1750), increasing amounts of energy have been required to undertake work which might have previously been undertaken by humans beings themselves. A product of the combustion process involving fossil fuels is the production of carbon dioxide which, being lighter than air is congregating in the upper atmosphere. As our rate of consuming fossil fuels is still increasing, ever increasing amounts of carbon dioxide are being recorded in the upper atmosphere (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide since 1750 (ACE, MMU)

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