The global warming is really happening and it’s very sad. Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history.

So, what is global warming?

Global warming is the gradual heating of Earth’s surface, oceans, and atmosphere.

Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased faster than ever. And experts see the trend is accelerating: All but one of the 16 hottest years in NASA’s 134-year record have occurred since 2000.

Climate change deniers have argued that there has been a “pause” or a “slowdown” in rising global temperatures. But several recent studies, including a 2015 paper published in the journal Science, have disproved this claim.

How does it happen?

Life on Earth wouldn’t be possible without the warmth of the sun. The solar radiation hits the Earth and bounces back into space, but the delicate balance of gases that make up our atmosphere a small portion of it. Without this layer, Earth would simply be another frozen rock hurtling through space. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important gas in this layer of insulation.

Carbon is everywhere, in plants, soil, the ocean, and even us. We release it into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide through activities such as burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) and cutting down trees. As a result, today’s atmosphere contains 42 percent more carbon dioxide than it did before the industrial era.

So, we have released so much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that our planet’s atmosphere is now like a thick, heat-trapping blanket. By disrupting the atmospheric balance that keeps the climate stable, we are now seeing extreme effects around the globe. In this way, the climate changes, and it gets warmer. Extreme weather events also become more common.

Global warming has already begun. Since 1900, the global average temperature has risen by 0.7 degrees Celsius. Thus, the northern hemisphere is substantially warmer than at any point during the past 1,000 years.

Here are some serious effects of global warming.

1. Melting of Glaciers: The melting of glaciers will create a plenty of problems for humankind and the animals living on the earth. Due to increased global warming, the level of the sea will rise which will lead to flooding and this will, in turn, create havoc in human life. Apart from raising the sea levels, it will also endanger several species of animals and thus will hamper the balance of the ecosystem.

Areas in the Arctic are diminishing away and flowing into major oceans. Rising temperatures create a much-accelerated threat to wildlife and whole ecosystems in these regions. With glaciers melting at vast rates, a chain of events is being set into motion.

2. Climate Change: Irregular weather patterns have already started showing results. Increased precipitation in the form of rain has already been noticed in polar and sub-polar regions. More global warming will lead to more evaporation which will cause more rains. Animals and plants cannot easily adapt to increased rainfall. Plants may die and animals may migrate to other areas, which can cause entire ecosystem out of balance.

3. Droughts: While it may be flooding in Savannah, severe drought is happening elsewhere in the world. As temperatures warm, the presence of drought has increased in the western U.S. Add on top of that heat waves and no precipitation, whole forests have begun to disappear including tens of millions of trees in Colorado’s Rockies.

Large-scale evaporation will be the major cause of droughts in many places particularly Africa. Although it is reeling under the huge pressure of water crisis, increased global warming would further make the situation worse and will cause malnutrition.

4. Diseases: As the temperature becomes warmer, it can affect the health of humans and the diseases they are exposed to. With the increase in the rainfall, water-borne diseases are likely to spread like malaria. The earth will become warmer. As a result heat waves are likely to increase that can cause a major blow to the people.