do scientists know about climate change?
to see how climate change is predicted to affect arctic
climate has changed naturally, but over a very long period
of time. The recent changes to our climate are happening much
faster than historical changes.
In the past 100 years, the rate of global temperature change
has been far more rapid than at any other time in the last
about trapped gas!
gases (e.g., water vapor and carbon dioxide) warm
Earth’s atmosphere by trapping the heat of the sun close
to the earth like a blanket. This is called the greenhouse
effect. Think how hot it gets in a car parked outside
on sunny day. We couldn’t survive without this warmth!
gases are formed naturally and through human activity. The
amount of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere has been increasing
dramatically since humans started burning fossil
fuels (gas, coal, and oil).
Earth is heating up, especially in the north. During the past
few decades, annual average temperatures in the Arctic have
increased at almost twice the rate as in the rest of the world.
The top 10 warmest years since 1860, when records were first
kept, have all occurred since 1990.
The average global temperature increased 1 degree F during
the last century. It’s predicted to rise at least another
3.2 to 7.2 degrees this century.
warming global climate is likely to trigger more extreme weather,
such as storms, floods, and droughts, in different regions.
A few degrees could matter! In the last ice age, the world
was only about 12 degrees F cooler than it is today. This
difference in temperature caused huge areas of the world to
be covered by ice. Some animal species disappeared completely.
can make a difference!
The most important steps involve using
less energy from gas, coal, oil, and electricity and cutting
back on things that require energy to produce. For instance,
off lights and use compact fluorescent bulbs.
less, bike or walk more.
down the heat.
and use recycled materials.
foods grown closer to home. These don't have to be shipped
to friends, families, and teachers about climate change. Persuade
them to shift some of their habits.
habitats for wildlife. Include native trees and shrubs.