Flexi Says: Global warming refers to a recent increase in Earth’s average surface temperature. During the past century, the temperature has risen by almost 1°C (about 1.3°F). That may not seem like much. But consider that just 10°C is the difference between an ice-free and an ice-covered Earth. Gases such as carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels increase the natural greenhouse effect. This is raising the temperature of Earth’s surface, and is called global warming.