The Arctic sea is melting, glaciers are disappearing, flowers are blooming way before their expected time, and natural disasters like floods, storms, and heat waves are becoming more extreme. In some places, even the bears have stopped hibernating. What could be possibly wrong? The answer is global warming.
Your child must have heard the term global warming before, but does he even know what it means? Is global warming all about the earth getting a little warmer? Or does it mean something more serious? Don’t worry. Read on the post about global warming facts for kids and understand what exactly it is and also what climate change are.
What Is Global Warming?
Global warming is a term used to describe the increase in the global temperature due to the greenhouse effect. Between 1901 and 2012, the earth’s temperature has risen by 0.89 degrees Celsius. This may not sound much, but it has surely affected the planet. Whether you believe it, or not, the 11 hottest years recorded in the last 100 years happened after 1995.
Causes Of Global Warming:
Wondering about what causes Global Warming? There are various reasons for this steep rise in the Earth’s temperature. Some of the major causes are:
1. Natural Warming Cycle:
The earth goes through natural cycles of warming up and cooling down. Right now, the earth is in the middle of a natural warm-up cycle. Unfortunately, human action has turned this natural and harmless phenomenon into a dangerous situation.
2. Greenhouse Effect:
Greenhouse effect is the leading cause of global warming. The rate at which the Earth is heating up is increasing drastically. And the greenhouse effect is the biggest factor behind this rise. The earth’s atmosphere traps solar radiation due to gasses like water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane in the atmosphere, allowing the sunlight to pass through it to the earth but preventing the reflected heat from escaping. This leads to an increase in the planet’s temperature.
3. Reliance On Artificial Sources:
Artificial sources like petroleum are one of the leading emitters of greenhouse gasses. With growing population, the use of greenhouse gas emitters has also gone up drastically. Just look at the number of vehicles on roads today to get an idea! These gasses trap more heat in the earth’s surface and make it warmer. This is causing the global warming.
Deforestation or cutting down of tropical forests is one of the most significant causes of global warming and climate change. The slash and burn technique used for clearing the forest releases high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Secondly, cutting down of trees reduces the amount of photosynthesis, a process that removes carbon dioxide from the air and stores it in the plant as carbon.
Effects Of Global Warming:
But why is global warming such a big deal? A little change in temperature should not create such an issues, right? Wrong! Global warming can lead to catastrophic effects on all of us.
1.Extreme Changes In Weather:
Sudden changes in the climate are also causing the weather to become extreme. Droughts, heavy rain or violent storms are some of the common results of severe weather. Extreme changes in temperature also cause breathing difficulties, body rashes, headache and other illnesses.
2. Threats To Animals And Their Habitat:
Climate change can also distort the natural habitats and lives of animals and plants. For instance, the survival of penguins and polar bears in cold regions are in danger because their habitat is melting away, and they cannot survive anywhere else. Even the plants and animals in the hotter areas are on the verge of extinction because of the changes in temperature and climate.
3. Ocean Acidification:
Excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is making the oceans more acidic. Ocean acidification is making it difficult for coral and other microorganisms to survive.
4. Shrinking Of Ice Sheets And Declining Of Arctic Sea Ice:
The Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are decreasing in mass at a very fast rate. Research from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment has shown that Greenland has lost 250 cubic kilometers of ice between the year 2002 and 2006, and Antarctic lost 152 cubic kilometers of ice between 2002 and 2005. The thickness and extent of the Arctic sea have also been declining.
4. Rising Water Level:
So, where does all the water that comes from the melting ice go? Yes, they go into the oceans! The large volumes of melted water flow down into the lakes, rivers, and seas. The rising water levels are causing flooding and massive destruction in low-lying towns and cities along the water bodies. Scientists warn that if global warming continues unabated, several low-lying areas like the Bay Of Bengal, the country of Maldives, etc. could drown.
Can Global Warming Be Prevented?
To reduce the impact on climate change, we have to reduce global warming. This calls for producing less carbon dioxide emission and using energy more efficiently. Here are some preventive measures that you and your kid can take that to prevent and reduce global warming.
- Take public transport when going to school, market and place of worship. You can even walk to market, school and farm if they are nearby.
- Replace the incandescent lamps with energy saving, LED or fluorescent lights. Put on the sweater instead of switching on the heater and open the windows instead of using the air conditioner.
- Teach your kid to turn off electrical equipment when not in use. It will end up saving some money too.
- Encourage your child to plant trees around your house and in schools. Trees will combat pollution by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. It won’t just freshen up the air, but will also regulate the climate.
- Recycling and reusing can also help reduce the greenhouse gasses. It will also save the natural resources like oil, aluminum and of course, trees.
Here are some startling climate change facts for kids and also about global warming that you can share with your little ones.
- Greenhouse effect is a positive thing as without greenhouse gasses the earth’s temperature would be too cold to support life. This is amazing fun facts about global warming for kids.
- In recent times, approximately 600000 people lost their lives because of weather-related natural disaster, with 95% deaths taking place in developing countries.
- The year 2014 was the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2010 and 2005. This is an interesting facts about global warming for kids to know.
- The Glacier National Park is now left with just 25 glaciers, down from the 150 in the year 1910.
- Automobile industries, commercial farming, and refineries are bodies with highest carbon emissions. Even energy consumption and production contribute significantly to the emissions. So improving energy efficiency can go a long way in reducing global emissions.
- In recent times, coal industries are finding ways to capture carbon dioxide emissions and storing them under the seabed.
- Over 10 million people residing in the coastal regions may lose their homes by a one-yard rise in sea levels.
Global warming is a threat greater than anything we have faced in recent times. Unless we tackle the problem real soon, it could make the climate and weather patterns a lot more erratic, making life on earth harder, especially for people living in developing countries.
The Earth is sturdy and strong. It will survive. We humans may not!
So how are you and your kid planning to prevent global warming? Share some climate facts for kids with us by commenting below!
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