Thursday, August 14, 2008

Global warming

The sun is getting hotter. It is also incredibly old -- about 5000 million years old! One day it will blow up but that won't be for another 5000 million years or so. But the Earth's climate seems to be heating up much much faster than can be explained by the sun making more heat. Earth has warmed by about 1ยบF over the past 100 years.

Global warming refers to an average increase in the Earth's temperature, which in turn causes changes in climate. A warmer Earth may lead to changes in rainfall patterns, a rise in sea level, and a wide range of impacts on plants, wildlife, and humans.

Almost all machines use oil, gas or coal. All of them produce pollution. Much of this is a gas you can't see called carbon dioxide. It's this gas which seems to be the main cause of the trouble.

What happens when you go into a greenhouse on a sunny day? It's hot, isn't it? That's because the glass in the greenhouse traps the heat from the sun. Carbon dioxide does the same in the earth's atmosphere. It acts like glass in a greenhouse. The glass in the greenhouse keeps the plants inside warm, and the carbon dioxide keeps the planet warm.

Here are some ways you can help make the planet a better place!

Save Electricity: Whenever we use electricity, we help put greenhouse gases into the air. By turning off lights, the television, and the computer when you are through with them, you can help a lot.

Bus or Walk: You can save energy by sometimes taking the bus or walking instead of using your car.

Talk to Your Family and Friends: Talk with your family and friends about climate change. Let them know what you've learned.

Plant Trees: Planting trees is fun and a great way to reduce greenhouse gases. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from the air.

Recycle: Recycle cans, bottles, plastic bags, and newspapers. When you recycle, you send less trash to the landfill and you help save natural resources, like trees, oil, and elements such as aluminum.

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