Global Warming and Climate Change

What is the greenhouse gas effect?

Every day, the sun shines and the earth warms up from the rays of the sun. Half of this heat is reflected from the earth's surface back to the atmosphere. There are greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, that form a "blanket" around the atmosphere. This blanket traps some of the heat that was reflected from the earth's surface and Earth warms up from the trapped heat. This process is known as the greenhouse gas effect and this is what has kept Earth warm enough to support life.

 

What is global warming?

The earth naturally produces greenhouse gases and this contributes to the greenhouse gas effect. However, increases in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere thickens the blanket, which causes the blanket to trap even more heat than usual. This additional heat warms up the Earth and results in global warming.

What is climate change? 

Our planet has always experienced different climates over time. However, our climate is changing at an unnaturally fast speed compared to past changes. The rapid increase in temperature in recent years is causing the climate change crisis.

How do humans contribute to global warming and climate change?

We contribute to global warming and climate change in many ways. The biggest way we contribute to global warming is by burning fossil fuels. Many people own gas cars and need oil or diesel to run their cars. Oil, diesel, coal, natural gas, and petroleum are all examples of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are not renewable resources because they will eventually run out. That means that we need to continuously burn fossil fuels in order to get the resources we want. However, when we burn fossil fuels, we release a huge amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which contributes to global warming and climate change. Another way we contribute to global warming and climate change is through deforestation. More and more trees are being cut down to open land for infrastructure. This greatly reduces the amount of carbon dioxide that is taken in by trees during photosynthesis. All of these actions result in a superfluous amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which eventually leads to global warming and climate change.

How can we fight global warming and climate change?

One way to stop climate change is to help reduce greenhouse emissions. These gas emissions not only hurt our environment but also human health. There are many ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight global warming. Some examples include using alternative transportation, using solar power, planting trees, eating less meat, recycling, and composting. Using energy-efficient technology also helps fight global warming. On a large scale, we can do this by eliminating subsidies to the oil, gas, and coal industries while promoting energy efficiency. On a small level, we can plant trees, favor public transit over cars, or use electric cars that are powered by natural energy (solar energy, wind energy, and hydropower). Another way to stop climate change is to be more energy-efficient. Being energy-efficient helps you reduce pollution and save money too. Some ways that you can be energy efficient are using energy-efficient light bulbs, installing heat pumps in your house, and installing solar panels to generate and use solar energy.

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