Since fossil fuels contain a high percentage of carbon and hydrocarbons, when they are used (combustion is necessary to extract energy), they emit carbon dioxide as a byproduct. Since fossil fuels took millions of years to create (through heat, pressure, and time), the quick burning of them for energy, as we do today, is not enough time for the earth systems to reabsorb the carbon back into the environment. Plant life and ocean water are the major “sinks” (storing facilities) of carbon dioxide, but they can only absorb so much.
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