In a well-balanced ecosystem, carbon capture from photosynthesis, carbon deposition in the soil and oceans, and carbon release from biological and geological sources are in equilibrium.
Since the beginning of the industrial age (in the 1850s), however, this equilibrium has been perturbed by increasing carbon emissions from the combustion of, in particular, fossil fuel. This has resulted in excess of CO2 in the atmosphere, which has reduced the capacity of the natural carbon sinks on land and in the ocean. The extra CO2 increases the greenhouse effect. More heat is trapped by the atmosphere, causing the planet to become warmer than it would be naturally.
Currently, more than 80% of the energy produced globally each year is generated through the fossil fuel combustion, generating more than 30 gigatons of CO2 annually. As a result, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have risen from 295 parts per million (ppm) to 408 ppm over the last 100 years, and have contributed substantially to global climate change, and resultant biological extinctions.
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