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Global warming is when too much heat gets trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing a disruption to our ecological systems.

It is similar to what is called the greenhouse effect.
In a greenhouse, sunlight is trapped inside to cultivate plant growth and reproduction. However too much heat or sunlight will cause temperature levels to rise and ruin the ecosystems. Plants and animals will die, and we will lose our sources of food.

What causes global warming?

Global warming is the end result of man’s insatiable appetite for using up resources. There are many reasons why global warming occurs today. One of the major reasons is the consumption of too much energy. When you do not unplug the computer before going to bed, this eats up more electricity than necessary. The same thing happens when too many cars run on gas or petrol, televisions are left on while no one’s around or water is let drip from a faucet. All of these activities require energy. To produce energy, we use up fossil fuels that are dug right from the ground. Fossil fuels are produced from decaying plants and animals. When oil from fossil fuels is burned, it creates a dreadful odor that pollutes the air we breathe. Moreover the end results of used up fuels can also pollute our water. As energy is used up the chemicals emitted cause the Earth to behave similarly to a greenhouse, thus the term greenhouse gases.

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What happens when there is global warming?

In global warming, excessive heat is trapped here on Earth, damaging crops and trees, and habitats of animals as well. A rise in the temperature in the ocean waters affect even the glaciers, and once these melt completely not only will the animals residing there lose their home, the melted ice caps can cover nearly more than half of the Earth’s terrain and population. Polar caps are now said to be thawing more than five times faster than before.

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How are we affected by global warming?

Humans have survived on Earth because it is the perfect environment, allowing sufficient sunlight to enter the atmosphere and benefit every living organism in the ecosystem. This provides us with continuously clean air; cool blue waters and appropriate weather conditions which we all need to stay alive. Because of globalization and capitalization, humans have tended toward overuse and over-consumption and are using up all the resources. What will happen if we continue to do this until there is nothing left for us to subsist on? The consistent burning up of fossil fuels will bring environmental disasters and calamity to us all.

Today most people do not care much about the environment, and continue to use up energy without any regard for their surroundings. We experience heat waves even during the supposedly cool months. Droughts have been reported, and are widespread. Climate change causes an onslaught of typhoons and hurricanes, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless, missing or dead.

What can I do to help?

The good news is that you can help spread the word about global warming and help support programs to conserve energy. Governments of various nations and private groups are also working together to create a suitable program to promote renewable energy. This will help stop the use of fossil fuels. Corporations are also measuring their carbon footprint. The carbon footprint is the amount of carbon (end result of used energy) they generate for every activity they do. Each time they use up an amount, they make up for it either by planting more trees to facilitate clean air and oxygen, or by cleaning up or sorting wastes into biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials.

For our part, we need to proactively tell everyone about what we can do to conserve energy. The best thing is to limit the amount of energy we use daily. Little things do matter, like turning off the water faucet to ensure no leaks or just using enough water when you take a bath. Start by unplugging electric appliances that are not being used like your computer, TV, radio, fan or air-conditioning. Instead of asking Mom or Dad to drive you to school, try carpooling or joining other kids on the school bus.

There is also the need to recycle and reuse materials so we don’t have to buy more. Every time we buy something new, this adds to the pile of garbage that needs to be taken care of. Remember that each object we buy was made using energy, so we need to save as much as we can. Plastics take more than 50 years before they degrade, so go green and choose packaging that will decompose well.

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All of these things are fairly easy to follow; the key is starting small. You can begin doing this today and eventually this will become a good habit of yours. Tell your friends about it too, and encourage your family members to help. Don’t forget that we’re all in this together, so we need to take care of our planet before it gets too late.

Global warming is just one of the more important topics in science that kids and adults alike need to focus on. Science not only teaches us how the world works, it also lets us realize what are some of the more valuable things in life. Go to www.sciencewithme.com for more information on science topics that greatly influence our daily lives, and download our global warming coloring page to learn more about global warming in particular.

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