Refresher: How CO2 Causes Global Warming (Video)

A new year is nearly upon us, and it will likely be a yet another year in which we see slowly increasing average global temperatures. With 2010 likely to be the hottest on the temperature records yet, the trend is only projected to continue. Unfortunately the consensus among the majority of incoming American politicians is that this isn't an issue at all, and that human activity has nothing to do with those record-breaking temperatures recorded around the world. This video expertly explains the fundamentals of why they're wrong. The video, comprised largely of clips from NASA and programs on PBS Nova/Frontline, was assembled by Peter Sinclair of ClimateCrocks. It's a fine introduction to some of the most important basics of climate science -- how the greenhouse effect works; how CO2 causes global warming.

It also acts as a definitive refutation to the nonsense certain folks like to peddle about CO2 being "natural" and posing no concern to the earth's climate system (even when emitted in massive, industrial-scale amounts). The clip starts off with famed GOP Rep. Michelle Bachmann iterating that gem, but it's been voiced by climate action-opposing pundits and politicians of every size and stripe.

So if you take away one thing from the above video, let it be this: The role of carbon dioxide in the Earth's greenhouse effect has been proven as extensively as just about anything in all of science -- it traps heat and keeps the planet warm. Therefore, adding millions upon millions of tons of the stuff to the earth's atmosphere means, yes, more trapped heat, and an even warmer planet.

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