Climate Change

Climate change is when the planet is heating up.

Climate change is 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 is having a significant effect on humanity, wildlife, and the weather.

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 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 there are heavy rains for a long period of time, 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.

Words You Need to Know

Climate: is the average weather over many years. We know that 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 fossil fuels like 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 change.

The Earth 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.

NASAsatellite

What Causes Climate Change?

Climate change can happen for all sorts of reasons such as

  • Farming
  • Deforestation
  • Burning fossil fuels

Farming

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 animals such as cows release gas, the gas goes into the atmosphere as methane.

Methane builds up and can cause climate change.

There are over 1 billion cows that release methane into the atmosphere.

Deforestation

Deforestation on the mountain for agriculture at Tak province in Thailand.

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

Fossil Fuel – Coal

Factories and other areas burn fossil fuels to produce energy.

When fossil fuels are burned, they are released into the atmosphere.

Many of these fossil 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 to get warmer.

This is called the Greenhouse Effect.

How Does Climate Change Affect Us?

When the Earth’s climate changes, it can cause all kinds of things to change.  

  • More rain
  • Sea level 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 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, animals there 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 animals 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 the Climate Change?

People can make small changes in order to stop the 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.

Ship Tracks MODIS

What Did You Learn?

  • What is climate change?  Climate change is when the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere changes, most of the time heating up.
  • Why is climate change dangerous?  Climate changes can cause there to be more rainfall, droughts, polar ice caps to melt and can cause the sea level to rise.
  • Can we stop climate change?  We can do little things to help stop climate change 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.