Nineteen of the twenty warmest years since records began back in the 1880s have occurred since 2001. Global temperatures have been increasing fast over the past 40 years. It's hard to deny (for most people at least) that things are changing. Weather patterns are becoming more and more unpredictable, which explains why we're seeing mass flooding in some places and fires raging for months across vast areas of the globe.
Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and methane, are emitted by activities that are every day in our modern lives. Factories, transport, and agriculture on a massive scale all emit vast amounts of these gases which then go into the atmosphere. They act as a kind of barrier which stops sunlight from being able to leave the atmosphere, which leads to increasing temperatures.
Let's take agriculture as an example. Cows release a lot of methane are one of the biggest agricultural contributors to climate change with a third of all agricultural emissions coming from this. In the USA alone, more than 32 million cattle were slaughtered both commercially and in farms in 2017 . But it's not just that the emissions from the cows that are the problem. We have to cut down trees and forests to make room for the cows and the crops needed to feed them, which adds to the problem.
Let’s not forget the massive destruction of the Amazon rainforest that occurred in 2019 caused in part to make room for crops and more cows. In August 2019, Brazil had experienced 72,000 fire outbreaks, an 84% increase in the same period the previous year .
Forests are very good at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. By cutting down trees on a massive scale, not only are we leaving all the animals that called these forests home without shelter, we are also removing one of the remedies to our increasing emissions.