Climate change is when our planet (Earth) is heating up.
It happens when the planet changes temperatures over a period of time.
Scientists reckon that since the industrial revolution in 1760, this is causing the air to warm up by roughly 1°C. Although this may not sound a lot, it has a significant effect on humanity, wildlife, and the weather on Earth.
These rising temperatures don’t necessarily mean that we get nicer weather. Because the climate is changing, it can make our weather unpredictable and extreme.
As the temperature rises, animals and people will find it hard to adapt to this ever-changing climate.
Climate Change Facts for Kids:
- 97% of climate scientists say that humans are contributing to the Earth’s climate change.
- Some countries have introduced a carbon tax to help them reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
- Planting trees can help with climate change.
- Farmers can stop using harmful chemicals to keep crops healthy and to protect the environment.
- Over 60% of carbon dioxide comes from vehicles.
- Nitrous oxide goes into the atmosphere when farming activities take place.
- Heatwaves are part of climate change.
- When we have heavy rains for a long period, this can mean that the climate is changing.
- Wildfires can cause the climate to change.
- Doing a carbon footprint can help you to know how much greenhouse gases your family releases into the environment.
- Ice caps melt, causing sea levels to rise and flood coastal areas.
- The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is suggested to be the primary driver
Words You Need to Know
Climate: is the average weather over many years. We know that the weather can change in a few hours. But, climate takes much longer to change it takes hundreds and thousands of years.
Global Warming: This is the average temperature over a long period on Earth.
Carbon Dioxide: When people burn oil, coal, and natural gas, this gets trapped in the atmosphere.
Carbon Footprint: The total carbon dioxide you release into the environment in a year.
Fossil Fuels: oil, coal, and natural gas are all fossil fuels. When these are burned, they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
What Do We Know About Climate Change?
A lot of the activities you do daily, like using your phone, watching TV, cooking, and cooling your home, rely on energy sources such as oil, natural gas, and coal.
These energy sources then release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.
This CO2 and other greenhouse gases then trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, which would otherwise escape causing the temperature to rise.
This is called Global warming which had a direct link to climate.
The Earth’s surface has warmed up 1 degree Celsius in the last 10 years. Even though this is not much, the temperatures can just continue to get higher and higher.
When this happens, it can cause the weather to change and can affect people, plants, and animals.
What Causes Climate Change?
It can happen for all sorts of reasons such as
- Burning fossil fuels
When people farm, it can be great for the environment, but it can also be bad for the environment.
Farm animals such as cows release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
When cows release gas, the gas goes into the atmosphere as methane.
Methane builds up and can cause change.
There are over 1 billion cows that release methane into the atmosphere.
Deforestation is when forests are removed and cut down.
People do this sometimes so that they can use the trees to make things such as houses, mines, dams, and clear areas to have farms.
When forests are present, they make oxygen and they soak up the carbon dioxide.
When the trees are cut down, there is nothing to soak up the carbon dioxide and it is released into the atmosphere.
Burning Fossil Fuels
Factories and other areas burn coal to produce energy.
When these are burned, they are released into the atmosphere.
Many of these fuels are oil and gas.
When the gas is released into the atmosphere, it causes there to be a thin layer that traps the heat and causes the Earth’s average temperature to get warmer.
This is called the Greenhouse Effect.
How Does it Affect Us?
It can cause all kinds of things to change.
- More rain
- Sea levels can rise
- Ice in the polar areas can begin to melt and
- Seasons can change
All of these changes can hurt people, plants, and animals.
- Polar animals such as polar bears and seals could lose their habitat because the ice sheets could melt.
- If this happens, the polar bears will not be able to have a place to rest or a place to hunt.
- In other areas such as the rainforest, they could lose their homes due to the heat and droughts.
- Animals that live close to the beach would not be able to lay their eggs if the sea level was raised and that means that the population of these could be harmed.
- People that live in countries that are not developed would suffer from droughts and not having enough water to drink. They could also lose everything from floods.
How Can We Prevent Climate Change?
People can make a difference with small changes in order to stop the Earth’s climate from changing.
Instead of using cars, riding a bike, or walking can help to stop many of the greenhouse gases from going into the atmosphere.
Turning off lights and using less electricity can also help.
What Did You Learn?
- What is climate change? It happens when the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere changes, most of the time heating up.
- Why is it dangerous? It can cause more rainfall, droughts, polar ice caps to melt and can cause the sea levels to rise.
- Can we stop climate change? We can do little things to help by using less energy and by walking or riding a bike instead of driving.
- What is the Greenhouse Effect? The Greenhouse Effect is when greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere and they cause a gas layer to trap the heat from the sun, which eventually warms up the Earth.
- Does climate change affect us? Climate change can affect us and all around us by causing flooding, causing animals to lose their homes and causing people to suffer from natural disasters such as flooding and droughts.
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