With all the very intense and serious weather lately, it has gotten a lot of us Splotters thinking about the state of our planet Earth. The Save the Planet Message Boards have been buzzing. From the flooding of the Missouri River, to tornadoes in the south, forest fires in the southwest, extreme heat waves and blizzards – nothing seems to be “normal” lately.
As you know, global warming is when the earth heats up. It happens when greenhouse gasses (like carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels) trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere. A warmer planet seems to be causing our climate to change. Warmth obviously causes ice to melt, but a warmer planet can also hold more moisture in the air. This moisture then comes back down to earth in the form of massive rainstorms and snowstorms. But in some places, the water evaporates into the air and then the wind takes it far away, leaving a dessert with no water!
Burning fossil fuels creates something called the greenhouse effect. This is like when heat is trapped in a car. On a very hot day, the car gets hotter sitting in a parking lot. This is because heat and light can get into the car through the windows, but it can’t get out. This is what the greenhouse effect does to the earth. The heat and light get through the atmosphere, but can’t get out. As a result, the earth heats up.
Global warming is not just a matter of feeling warmer in our own towns. Across the world, people are feeling the results of climate change, results like floods, tornadoes, heavy rain and snow, drought and heat waves. Try your hand at this quiz to find out more.
- True or False? Global warming is due to only natural factors.
- Which country currently emits the most greenhouse gasses?
C. The U.K.
D. The U.S.
- True or False? Global warming is sped up by the melting of the ice glaciers.
- As climate change continues, the intensity of what type of storm that hits coastlines is predicted to increase?
- Which is something YOU can do to help in the fight against global warming?
A. Walk short distances instead of asking your parents for a ride in the car.
B. Cut down a tree.
C. Always use lots of plastic water bottles.
—Ratha, Stacks Writer