The Industrial Revolution has changed forever the relationship between humanity and nature. There is growing concern that by the middle or the end of this century, human activities will have changed the basic conditions that have allowed life to thrive on earth.
The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is one of a series of recent agreements through which countries around the world are banding together to face this challenge.
The Climate Change Convention focuses on something particularly disturbing: we are changing the way energy from the sun interacts with and escapes from our planet's atmosphere. By doing that, we risk altering the global climate. Among the expected consequences are an increase in the average temperature of the earth's surface and shifts in world-wide weather patterns.
Over the last a hundred years, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased because of greater industrial, agricultural and transportation activities, mainly due to utilization of fossil fuels.
The accumulation of these gases, known as greenhouse gases because they trap heat in the earth´s atmosphere, in an effect similar to that of glass panes in a greenhouse, prevent radiation from escaping from the planet´s surface into space.
As a result, the Earth is becoming warmer (its mean temperature is increasing), endangering the delicate temperature balance that makes human life possible in our environment.
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