Man’s Contribution to Global Warming

Nicolas Loris /

Out of the entire atmospheric makeup, only one to two percent is made up of greenhouse gases with the majority being nitrogen (about 78 percent) and oxygen (about 21 percent). Of that two percent, “planet-killing” carbon dioxide comprises only 3.62 percent while water vapor encompasses 95 percent. And of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, humans cause only 3.4 percent of annual CO2 emissions. What does this all boil down to? As shown by the accompanying graph, not very much.

Indeed, anthropogenic effects are real but carbon is such a small portion of the natural cycle, and let’s not forget both the sun and carbon are needed for natural cycles that are good for the earth such as photosynthesis—the process by which plants turn sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates. (For more, check out this Global Warming Primer published by the National Center for Policy Analysis.)

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