Global warming is the process that causes the Earth’s temperature to rise and makes the Earth warmer.
Humans play a large role in the increase in the Earth’s temperature.
What Is Global Warming?
Cindy was enjoying a warm day at the zoo with her father. While they were walking through the zoo, Cindy and her dad stopped at the polar bear exhibit. Cindy started to read the sign about polar bears and their habitat, or where a polar bear lives.
She noticed a word that she had not seen before: global warming. Cindy asked her dad what global warming means.Global warming is a process that causes the average temperature on Earth to warm up or increase. So, why is the Earth getting warmer? Well that is a great question, but first let’s look at how we stay warm.
How Does the Earth Stay Warm?
To understand global warming, we first need to look at the atmosphere and how the Earth stays warm. The Earth is covered with a large invisible blanket called the atmosphere. When the sun’s heat comes close to the atmosphere, some of the rays are reflected away from Earth, while others are absorbed by the atmosphere.
There are specific gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), that help keep the heat in the atmosphere. This process is known as the greenhouse effect. If you think about a greenhouse, the gases are similar to the glass around a greenhouse. It allows light to come into the building, while also helping to keep the building warm.
What Causes Global Warming?
So why is the Earth getting hotter? Well, some scientist fight over the reason, but most scientists researching this change think the majority of global warming comes from human activities. Human activities are things that humans do, such as driving in a car or using machines to make something.
There are many human activities that contribute to global warming by increasing the gases released into the atmosphere.For example, factories use fossil fuels to make objects such as phones, clothes, and cars. Fossil fuels are substances that are used for energy that come from something that was once living. When fossil fuels are burned they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Another activity that contributes to global warming is deforestation, or the removal of trees from the forest at a rapid rate, because there are less trees to absorb the carbon dioxide. As the carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere, it begins to create a thicker blanket around the Earth, which keeps in more heat.
How Does it Affect Plants and Animals?
When the Earth becomes hotter, some plants struggle to survive.
For example, a plant from the tundra that is used to the colder weather struggles with the increase in temperature. Other plants that are able to survive in the warmer weather begin to take over the habitat of the tundra plant. Certain animals that need this plant to live will also start to die off and some may even become extinct.
Extinction happens when a specific plant or animal is no longer on the Earth.The increase in heat is also causing the polar ice caps to melt. Animals, such as polar bears, use the frozen water to hunt. Since the temperature is warmer, the ice is less stable and there is less available to the polar bears to hunt animals, such as seals.
This is decreasing the polar bear population, and scientists are worried they will become extinct.
Global warming is a process that causes the Earth to become hotter. Most of the evidence causing the increase in temperature is from human activity. These activities such as driving cars, using fossil fuels, working in factories and agriculture, cause an increase in the gases that keep the Earth warm. When too many of these gases are in the atmosphere the temperature of the Earth begins to rise.