Alyssa is an environmental scientist. This article breaks down climate change in simple terms so that you can teach it to kids.
What Is Global Warming?
Global warming refers to the rising average temperatures of the Earth. This is not limited just to land, but it includes—more importantly—air and sea. This has been occurring since 1850, when the temperatures began to climb decade after decade. Within the past century, the temperature has increased by 0.8 C (1.4 ºF). While this may not seem like much, it is a significant amount which could change the world as we know it.
Global warming is caused by the rising amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Factories, mining, burning and automobiles are all factors which contribute to the growing carbon dioxide emissions. The gases become trapped in the atmosphere, covering the earth like a blanket. This traps the heat of the sun and causes the globe to rise in temperature. This is known as the greenhouse effect. Other greenhouse gases include methane and nitrous oxide. These greenhouse gases are necessary to the maintenance of our environment. Too much, however, can cause catastrophic effects. The increase in human population and production contributes to the ever-growing presence of greenhouse gases.
- Record-Setting Heat Across the U.S. in 2012 - Graphic - NYTimes.com
A map showing which parts of the country were warmest.
Is Global Warming a Hoax?
Many of us have seen the worst winters of our lives in these past few years. Temperatures for some have remained below freezing for long periods of time, while the south has experienced multiple freeze overs in the United States. How is global warming an issue when we're so cold? Look back at the name: Global Warming. While various parts of the country may experience fluctuations in temperature, the entirety of the earth is experiencing a rise in average temperatures.
What Is Climate Change?
So, how is global warming related to climate change? The two go hand-in-hand. Global warming leads to climate change. As carbon emissions increase and Earth's temperature rises, we experience changes in our climate never before seen. According to NOAA, there are 10 indicators which demonstrate the presence of climate change:
- Temperatures over oceans
- Sea surface temperature
- Tropospheric temperature
- Land temperature
- Sea level
- Ocean heat
- Sea ice
- Snow cover
On this planet, climate change will continue so long as global warming is an issue. At the same time, weather patterns will continue to shift.
- Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction — Global Issues
This page introduces what climate change is, the potential impacts and resistance to the otherwise accepted understanding that it is man-made climate change.
Clues of Climate Change
Changes in Weather Patterns
Changes in weather patterns are a direct result of climate change. As the Earth's temperature rises, the sea level rises alongside that. The air, earth surface and the atmosphere result in shifts of weather patterns on a global scale. This is the basis of climate change. So the next time someone claims that global warming is a hoax, it is not just the weather in one area, it is the changing climates and weather patterns world-wide which should be cited.
Evidence of climate change can be seen in the increases of severe weather over the past several decades. The amount of large-scale hurricanes has increased over the past 40 years. 1999-2002 and 2006 saw some of the worst droughts in Western United States in the history of US weather. Some areas are also experiencing record-breaking rainfall totals. In 2006, the Northeast had it's wettest summer on record. The rising sea levels and increased precipitation could ultimately erase coastal communities - wiping New York off the map.
While we experience extreme weather never thought likely, new areas of the globe will see a permanent change in their climate. This could not only have an effect on the ecosystems and people living in these communities, but also the goods in which they produce. Crops will have to change with the shifting weather patterns along with tourism and species habitat.
Consequences of Climate Change
As previously mentioned, climate change will result in shifting weather patterns and increased cases of extreme weather. Other effects reach all aspects of the world as we know it: health, ecosystems, and biodiversity just to name a few.
Carbon emissions and green house gases not only makes allergies worse but also has an adverse effect on the lungs. Air pollution can create a while slew of health issues, and deadly ones at that. It is not only the air that will create problems. Periods of intense heat and drought will also create health hazards along with "super-storms" that, if unprepared, could create loss and destruction.
Ecosystems will also experience their fair share of problems as a result of climate change. The ocean is the major example in this instance. An increase in carbon emissions and rising sea levels will destroy habitats through ocean acidification. Not to mention the melting of the ice caps which will inevitably result in the loss of the polar bears, unless, of course, we do something to stop it (and quick!) Ultimately, the result of all of this is the loss of biodiversity. This means that species will be lost as habitats are destroyed and negative human intervention persists.
What Can You Do to Stop Climate Change?
- We must conserve as much as possible. The three R's—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—are key!
- Avoid the use of plastics by using reusable materials whenever possible - water bottles, grocery bags, lunch boxes, etc.
- Every little act contributes to something much greater. Take the small steps in your own household first to conserve on whatever you can.
- Most importantly: Educate others while educating yourself. Knowledge is power, everyone will benefit from the knowledge of global warming and climate change.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
Rod Martin Jr from Cebu, Philippines on March 22, 2014:
I have to agree with you Alyssa. And the Corporate Party in America has become quite adept at infiltrating and even creating small, fake "grassroots" movements to influence public opinion -- like the old Rockefeller shill in the crowd who said glowing things about grandpappy R's "snake oil."
Excellence in producing good products and services is never a bad thing, but corrupt, psychopathic people tend to rise to the top of such things (governments, corporations, religions, etc) and corrupt those once good institutions (if they ever were).
Like the Nazarene once said, you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears. Those who are evil will say sweet things for selfish benefit. They have a myriad of ways to cover their evil tracks. One popular way is to blame Big Oil for the denial of Global Warming. Another is to create unsavory labels (like "conspiracy theorist") or to marginalize people with false associations (for example, comparing those who question the popular notion of AGW with any form of evil).
The more we become aware of the possible tricks of manipulation, the less capable the tricksters become.
I used to believe in the popular stories behind AGW, 9/11, GMOs and more. The real evil is Ego -- the heart of everything selfish.
Alyssa S (author) from USA on March 19, 2014:
I began watching the second video then got distracted by several other debate videos. I'll have to set more time aside to finish the rest. It's definitely an interesting topic. You always have to check out the background of all of these people. The ones who have money invested will clearly make statements aimed to get more money - life is really all driven by politics and big corporation.
Rod Martin Jr from Cebu, Philippines on March 19, 2014:
Thanks, Alyssa. There's a big difference between "conspiracy theories" and "conspiracy facts." The fact is there are conspiracies going on all the time. When you have selfish people who find opportunities to abuse power, they will do so. That's human nature. Bush lied about WMDs and the Bush family made millions. Cheney made millions, too. He was still on Halliburton's payroll.
Did you watch the videos?
I used to believe the Al Gore climate slide show, but when I dug deeper, I saw that CO2 does not drive temperature. It's the other way around; higher temperatures raise CO2 levels with an 800-year lag.
When 20th century CO2 production really took off at the start of WW2 with the heavy industrial build-up of global conflict, temperatures started dropping globally. The global cooling slide lasted about 35 years all while CO2 levels were skyrocketing.
One other factor, besides selfishness-based conspiracies is driving this AGW hoax and that is selfishness-based economics. Someone is throwing a lot of money at this topic. The Rockefellers (Biggest Oil) are one group. Where there is a glut of money, lots of people are hanging on hoping to sop up some of the foul nectar. Some will even lie to protect the movement, like the fraud discovered at the UN's CRU in East Anglia (Climate Gate). Particularly watch the 2nd video. It speaks more to the motivation level of this upside down movement.
Alyssa S (author) from USA on March 17, 2014:
My mistake, NEPA not the EPA, a time during which Bush focused on speeding up production instead of slowing it down.
Alyssa S (author) from USA on March 17, 2014:
I am aware of the government corruption. I mean bush elected a former man of the oil corporation to the EPA in his presidency. This guy falsified reports taking the blame off big business to distract from the real issues. Thanks for the links! It doesn't upset me, I've been exposed to the corruption and taught to understand some of it. It's still hard to believe of course, and I don't willingly accept all of it, nor am I big on the conspiracy theories. The fact of the matter is, though we live on a world with a natural weather cycle of warming and cooling over thousands of years, our industry has increased carbon emissions. There's so much going here and it would be interesting to write a whole hub on the political forces at play in all of it. While we can't "stop" it, I like to think we can at least slow it down... Maybe I'm just too hopeful, who knows.
Rod Martin Jr from Cebu, Philippines on March 16, 2014:
Interesting, but misguided. I used to believe Al Gore and his fancy slide show. Pictures of polar bears stranded on shrinking ice may pull the heartstrings, but they are misleading. Polar bears thrive in warmer weather.
The Rockefellers (biggest oil) and their globalist friends are pulling a global scam and so many people are falling for it. I did. Here's a quick look at the Rockefeller scamsters and their history of scamming.
Here are climate scientists who debunk the "anthropogenic global warming" (AGW) hoax. And this is based on global data!
Here's a professor talking about NASA scientists, astronauts and former managers writing an open letter decrying NASA's unsupportable stance on AGW.
Sure, you can't argue about "global" anything by looking only at local phenomena. But neither can you argue about "global" anything by using false, falsified, fudged and doctored data, either. Climate Gate showed how corrupt our UN sources are.
Pay particular attention to the 2nd video, above, and the fact that we had over 3 decades of global cooling when global industrialization really started taking off (WW2 and onward). Scam artists were crying "Global Cooling" and "Ice Age!"
I love our planet, but the forces of evil have co-opted the "green" groups for their own dire purposes. In fact, they have a knack for taking over popular movements or even starting them.
I never used to think much about conspiracies, but when the media started slinging "conspiracy theorist" labels at people with only facts and smart questions, I started to wake up to the fact that someone is trying to cover up some conspiracies in the highest places. That's the only motivation that makes sense.
Now, think about this:
When do you get more evaporation?
When do we get more rain?
When do we get more plants growing?
When do we get more abundance of life?
Certainly NOT when the world is cooling. In fact, cooling is the worst thing for life.
The AGW scare is a scam perpetrated by those at the highest levels to make $Trillion$ and to take a little bit more control over governments and people. In fact, any scare needs to be taken carefully and with caution. Even 9/11 was a false flag, inside job. Remember the lie of WMDs?
If this wakes you up, don't get angry. The psychopathic elite are masters of manipulating ego -- both anger and fear. We need to learn to be aware and to forgive, otherwise we become controlled by evil.
PS: You cannot stop climate change. It's a natural, global phenomenon that has been ongoing for nearly 4.5 billion years!