Greenhouse gases, sometimes written as ‘GHGs’, are gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane) that trap heat from the sun inside Earth’s atmosphere. As more greenhouse gases are released into our atmosphere (largely through the burning of fossil fuels), more heat is trapped by them. This raises the temperature of our air, oceans, and water, changing our living conditions and increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events both globally and locally.
Mitigation addresses climate change by focusing on the causes of it, working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at their source. This is often contrasted with adaptation, which addresses how we respond to the impacts of climate change after they occur. Learn more about Waterloo Region’s climate adaptation plans here.