Climate Change Facts for Kids

Interesting Facts about Climate Change

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Rise in sea levels (cm)

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TheWorldCounts, 08 July, 2015

Interesting Facts about Climate Change

Over millions of years, and up to the present time, our climate continues to go through shifts. Some are more dramatic than others:

  • 800 to 600 million years ago, the Earth was so cold that it was covered with ice.
  • Every 40,000 years, the Earth changes positions and this cause climate change.
  • The Earth is still in an Ice Age which started 2.5 million years ago!
  • We are in an Interglacial Period called the Holocene.
  • When the Earth is not in an Ice Age, there are no ice in the poles, but there are, although they’ve retreated in that area.
  • The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines cooled the entire planet by ½ degree.
  • Between 1900 and 2009, the average surface temperature of the Earth rose by 0.7 degrees Celsius. (1.3 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • The surface temperature during the period of January to December 2014 is the highest on record - 0.69 degrees Celsius or 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit – higher than the 20th century average.
  • 90% of scientists agree that this current change in our climate is caused by humans.
  • The hottest temperatures over the last 100 years happened after the year 2000 (with the exception of 1998).

Climate change is different from seasonal weather changes, like winter or summer or the Rainy Season. Shifts in the climate, results to a long-term change in the weather in a region, lasting for decades or even millennia. Weather changes in a certain place is normal and localized – but the climate of that area should be the same. There shouldn’t be snow in the tropical countries, and in Alaska, it will be weird if you suddenly find tropical weather.

The Goldilocks Zone

The amount of energy that we get from the sun is just perfect for life. If we were nearer like Venus, we’d burn. If we were farther, like Mars, we’d freeze. We are in the “Goldilocks” zone. Not too near, not too far. It’s just right.

The layer of greenhouse gases that surrounds our planet keeps the planet from getting too warm or too cold. As long as the amount of gases in the atmosphere are in balance, we are protected from the heat of the sun and from the coldness of space.

What Causes Climate Change?

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is said to be the main driver of climate change.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Age, we have invented and manufactured a lot of things that made us more comfortable. We’ve become technologically advanced. Airplanes, Cars, Ships and other vehicles, they can be found everywhere. A lot of factories sprung up to keep manufacturing the artificial things that we’ve come to rely on. All of this requires vast amounts of energy, and our main source of energy are fossil fuels, mainly coal.

Burning fossil fuels releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, causing an imbalance in the amount of greenhouse gases – resulting to the greenhouse effect. More heat is trapped in the planet and our temperature on the surface rises. It’s what they call Global Warming.

Read More: Global Warming Definition for Kids

Why should we care about Climate Change?

When the climate changes, life as we know it will be entirely different. Here are some of the possible effects of Global Warming.

  • Ice Sheets will melt due to the increased temperature of the surface of the Earth. Our freshwater supply is trapped in those ice sheets.
  • As the ice in the polar caps and glaciers melt, it will cause a rise in the sea levels. Since most of our major cities are in the coastal areas, the flooding will affect millions of people.
  • Weather will also become more extreme as the planet heats up. There will be stronger storms, drought and colder winters.
  • Changes in the weather will affect our health since our bodies have adapted to the weather we know.
  • Ecosystems will be affected and the lives of many species will be jeopardized. Penguins and Polar Bears will die if the ice melts since they cannot live anywhere else. Plants and animals in tropical regions will perish if their region suddenly becomes too cold.

What can you do?

We can try to reduce our Carbon Footprint in our own small ways.

  • If you can walk to a destination or commute, don’t use the car.
  • Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. Try not to send too much waste to our landfills.
  • Buy only products that can be recycled.
  • Buy from companies and manufacturers who value the environment.

Read More: What Does Carbon Footprint Mean?

We have a lot of stories about the environment. Visit The World Counts Stories and learn interesting facts about our very own spaceship, Earth.

References

  1. Interesting Facts: Climate Change Facts
  2. NASA: Global Climate Change
  3. WWF Global: What Causes Climate Change?
  4. Enviropol: Climate Change Facts
  5. National Wildlife Preservation: Fast Facts about Climate Change

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