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Global Warming Central: Help Save our Planet!

We often hear about global warming and climate change in the news today, but what exactly is it? It is important to learn about global warming because although it is harming our planet, there are many ways in which each one of us can help to reduce it. This guide will help you discover all about global warming, what causes it and what you can do at home or at school to help change it!

What is Global Warming?

Global warming is very much what it sounds like – a trend of warmer temperatures around the Earth. It is not only the air that becomes warmer but also the water. Although it might seem like fun for everyone to live in warm weather, it is actually quite dangerous! This type of change in temperature affects the animals and plants on Earth as well as the natural ecosystems. They cannot easily survive the heat and gradually start to die. Many humans are also affected, and the risk of diseases such as skin cancer is increased as a result. Global warming is caused by many things, such as burning fossil fuels to create electricity or the pollution that is emitted from cars and other vehicles that need gas to work.

Greenhouse Gases

Certain gases that we call greenhouse gases build up in the earth’s atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are comprised of methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and evaporated water particles. When there are a lot of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, they cause light and heat to be trapped. Some amount of greenhouse gases are actually good, since we need that heat and light to live and survive everyday. However, too much of them cause the natural climate to change and this creates a dangerous environment for all living things. Trees naturally help to balance the carbon dioxide levels on earth, because they breathe in this gas and then convert it to oxygen that is released into the air. However, when companies or developers cut down large amounts of trees, this means that the carbon dioxide cannot be converted. It remains in the air and contributes to global warming.

Ozone Layer

The ozone layer is an invisible gas layer at a very high level in the sky. The ozone layer is a very good thing because it creates a type of shield that protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. However, in the past few decades, many companies made products that contained a gas called chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs. When everyone around the world started using products with CFCs, this gas was released into the air until it reached the ozone layer. When the CFCs mixed with the ozone, they started to cause it break down. This problem became so bad that eventually the CFCs made a large hole in the ozone layer that exposed the Antarctic and most of North America.

What Can You Do to Help?

Many governments have already been trying to help by making companies stop using CFCs and use more environmentally standards. With a problem as large as global warming, it may seem impossible for one little person to make a difference, but don’t be fooled! If we all make an effort towards positive changes, all of our efforts add up around the world. One very easy way to make a difference is to use less electricity. If we all use less electricity, it means that we burn less fossil fuels. Turn off the lights and any machines, such as computers or televisions, when they are not being used. Ask your parents to replace the standard lightbulbs with the spiral CFL versions. Instead of asking your parents to drive in the car every time, use the bus or even better, a bike. To combat all the trees that are cut down around the world, why not plant a tree? Get together with friends, parents or a teacher and plant many trees in an open area!

Resources

Lesson Plans

1.    A Lesson Plan on Global Warming

2.    Various Lesson Plans on Global Warming and Climate Change

3.    Global Warming in a Modern Context

4.    A Lesson on Global Warming and its Effects

5.    Lesson Plans on Several Aspects of Global Warming

Games

1.    Play the Global Warming Game with Guster

2.    How Well Can You Protect the Planet from Carbon Dioxide?

3.    Help Battle Climate Change!

4.    The Greenhouse Gases are Attacking!

5.    Play and Read About Colin CO2

Quizzes & Worksheets

1.    A Quick Pop Quiz on Global Warming

2.    Test Your Knowledge of Climate Change

3.    How Much do You Know About Energy and Global Warming?

4.    Download a Global Warming Worksheet (DOC)

5.    A Worksheet on How to Save the North Pole! (PDF)

General Resources

1.    Global Warming for Kids

2.    Learn All About the Ozone Layer

3.    The Hole in the Ozone Layer

4.    Suggestions for Kids to Reduce Global Warming

5.    More on Climate Change and How You Can Help

6.    Additional Resources on Climate Change

7.    Read About Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect

8.    Calculate How Much Carbon Dioxide You Create

9.    Make Your School a Greener Place

10. Global Warming Puzzles, Word Searches, Crosswords and More!

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