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For over 200 years humans have been burning fossil fuels like:
What happens when you burn fossil fuels?
Burning fossil fuels produces gases that that go into the atmosphere and are sometimes called Greenhouse gases. These gases include:
What is the Greenhouse Effect?
These gases trap energy from the sun, making the Earth’s temperature rise. They let out this trapped energy back into space later on.
Why is it called the Greenhouse Effect?
Greenhouses are made of glass and are used to grow plants. They trap heat from the sun and keep the inside of the greenhouse warm – this is very useful during winter.
What would happen if the Greenhouse Effect did not exist?
The Earth would be 33oC cooler than it is and plants and animals would not be able to live on Earth.
How do these Greenhouse gases increase in the atmosphere?
Naturally - Greenhouse gases are sometimes found naturally in the atmosphere and can increase because of:
Some of the Sun’s activities
Because of humans – Humans burn fossil fuels which have increased these gases in the atmosphere and are causing the earth to heat up too much
How are humans increasing the amount of Greenhouse gases?
We are making more carbon dioxide by:
Burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas which is needed to give energy to homes, offices, factories and transportation
We are making more methane because of agriculture by:
Growing of rice
The breakdown of waste
We are making more Nitrogen Oxides by:
Burning fossil fuels
Can too much heating be bad?
Yes. The Earth can become too hot and make it hard for plants, animals and us to cope with. This is called global warming.
How can Global Warming harm the Earth?
Even a small change in the Earth’s temperature can cause many changes in the Earth’s weather patterns such:
The way clouds are arranged
Rising Sea levels and ocean patterns
What can you do to help prevent global warming?
Walk, ride a bike or use a bus or train when possible
Try to get your parents to organise car pools
Reuse and Recycle
Use less energy!
If we all save energy, we can make sure that Earth does not get too hot for us to live in!