Global warming is the gradual heating of Earth's surface, oceans and atmosphere. Scientists have documented the rise in average temperatures worldwide since the late 1800s. Earth's average temperature has risen by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) over the past century, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Temperatures are projected to rise another 2 to 11.5 degrees F (1.133 to 6.42 degrees C) over the next 100 years.
Most of the leading scientific organizations in the world acknowledge the existence of global warming as fact, according to a NASA report. Furthermore, 97 percent of climate scientists agree that the rate of global warming trends the planet is now experiencing is not a natural occurrence, but is primarily the result of human activity. That consensus was made clear in a major climate report released Sept. 27, 2013, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In that report, climate scientists indicated they are more certain than ever of the link between human activities and global warming.