Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Global Warming for Kids

Today the world is reeling under the pressure of global warming. Every change in the weather and every natural catastrophe is blamed on the global warming. But what is global warming? Global warming is an average increase in the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere. How has the temperature risen and why has the temperature risen are the two questions often posed by many of us. Scientists have derived answers to these questions to help us understand this phenomenon called 'global warming' better. Let's see what it really means...

What is Global Warming?
Suppose you are living in a polar region, in an igloo. To keep yourself warm you make a fire. Soon enough the place becomes warmer and cozier. To make it even more warmer, you increase the flame of the fire. Then, the ice around you begins to melt and slowly, over a gradual period of time your house or the igloo is lost. Global warming happens in a similar way. It's just fire that heats up the Earth, but a lot other things too. In over a 100 years, the temperature of the Earth has risen by 1° F. Many climate scientists believe that, inhabitants of the Earth, as we the people are responsible for heating up the earth. Global warming is a global increase in the temperature of the Earth, which consequently affects the atmosphere.

Causes of Global Warming
Imagine if your house was to get trapped in fumes of fire, without any room for ventilation. Obviously, this would lead to suffocation. Now, imagine, that the whole Earth is your house and it is being trapped in 'greenhouse gases'. Naturally, the living conditions on the Earth would become deplorable. Continuous burning of fossil fuels, like oil and coal, gases like carbon dioxide and methane get trapped high in the atmosphere. These gases make a huge dome over the Earth, which reverts some outgoing radiation. Since the industrial revolution in the 18th century, the temperature rise has only worsened. The increase in the number of car engines has only added to the carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. Wanton deforestation, is another reason for global warming, as there's a huge source of oxygen that gets depleted.

Is Global Warming Getting Worse?
With all the fossils fuels we burn and the trees we cut down, global warming is only getting worse day by day. In an eye-opening fact about global warming for kids, about 80% of the energy is derived from fossil fuels. It's unfortunate that we have become completely dependent on machines and fuels to run our lives. The energy consumption has been on the rise as the population is rising. If the rate at which we consume energy today remains the same then, by 2030 we are likely to consume additional 71% energy. Thus, if we continue to use and abuse the energy deposits of the Earth, then the problem of global warming is only going to worsen.

Global Warming Effects
Is the climate change real? Yes, the climate change is real and it is an evident effect of global warming. The Earth keeps its own record of very slow but real climate change. The age old ice that has formed on the polar regions, get buried under the air bubbles inside it. Extracted ice cores tell about the age of the ice sheets and the amount of carbon dioxide they contain. The fact that the world is getting hotter, shows that the climate change is real. Another real example of climate change is, melting ice caps and rising sea levels.

These facts about global warming for kids are real and they are happening. Global warming and the greenhouse effect, created by humans, is making our planet hotter and hotter. We need to stop global warming, by making a collective effort. As late Micheal Jackson sang, 'heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race...', the time is now to act. Contributing little by little each day, like recycling, saving electricity and conserving fossil fuels by using alternative sources of energy, that can go a long way in saving our planet. It's not just a planet, but our home!