Climate Change for Kids
Educational resource on how to take action against Climate Change!
What is Climate Change?
Climate Change, which is sometimes called Global Warming, is the Earth warming up every year and is often linked to human activity. Since the start of the industrial revolution in the late eighteenth century, scientists estimate that the Earth has warmed by approximately 1°C. While this may not sound like a significant rise, it’s a big deal for both people, and animals worldwide.
Rising temperatures don’t mean better weather; in fact, it’s the exact opposite. As temperatures rise, weather becomes less predictable and more extreme. This means stronger cyclones, more dangerous wildfires, and harsher arctic freezes, all of which impact people and wildlife in every region.
Increased rainfall and flooding in urban areas where wetlands and forests have been destroyed can cause landslides and dangerous situations for the residents there. Climate change refers to the earths warming process, but these are the results of that warming. Many of the highest recorded temperatures have been in the last twenty years, and scientists predict that this will worsen if people don’t start taking serious action.
We’re going to explore some important questions about climate change, what people can do, and how renewable energy is one of the best solutions for combatting climate change.
1. What causes climate change?
Burning Fossil Fuels
For the past 150 years, industrialised nations have burned vast fossil fuel reserves, such as oil and natural gas. When fossil fuels are burned, they release gases into the earth’s atmosphere that act like an invisible blanket that grabs heat from the sun and warms the planet. This is commonly referred to as the “Greenhouse Effect,” and you may have even heard of so-called greenhouse gases.
This cause often surprises people. Many don’t know what cows’ diet and the widespread consumption of beef across the globe contribute to climate change. Just like humans, when cows eat, their digestive system creates a methane gas that they release into the atmosphere by burping. This may sound silly, but when you consider there are some 1.5 BILLION cows on Earth, that methane really adds up.
Forests absorb tonnes of carbon dioxide, a different greenhouse gas, from the air and release it back into the atmosphere as oxygen. In fact, the Amazon rainforest is so vast that scientists say it acts as the earth’s air conditioner, which limits climate change. Unfortunately, many rainforests are being cleared to meet the demand for wood, palm oil, and industrial farms, oil mines, roads, and dams. This increases the rate at which global warming increases and is a leading cause of climate change.
2. How will climate change affect the planet?
Sure, there have been periods of tropical climates, ice ages, and warm temperatures throughout the earth’s billions of years of existence, so what makes a 1°C rise now significant? It’s simple; for the last 150 years, humans have released a larger amount of greenhouse gases than ever before, and records show that global temperatures are rising faster than ever. This affects our planet in many ways, including more rainfall, changing seasons, shrinking sea ice and glaciers, with rising sea levels threatening coastal areas.
3. Can climate change harm plants and animals?
Climate change affects wildlife all over the globe, but some species are in more danger than others. Polar animals, whose natural habitat is melting away, are at increased risk. Arctic sea ice is disappearing at an alarming 9% every ten years, and Polar Bears rely on sea ice to hunt and raise their young. A number of forest-dwelling animals, like orangutans, are currently being negatively impacted by deforestation, wildfires, and droughts.
4. How will people be affected by climate change?
Climate change doesn’t just affect wildlife either. People are also being negatively impacted. Farmers are experiencing higher temperatures, rising rainfall levels, and increasingly long periods of drought. Long periods of drought followed by increased rainfall can make it difficult to grow certain crops. Certain parts of the world are already in dangerous famine conditions caused by climate change.
5. Is the world going to end?
The short answer is, no. Planet earth is some 4.5 billion years old, and it’s resilient. Still, the plants, animals, and people who inhabit the Earth may be at increased risk of death due to climate change related weather events. Climate change can create conditions where more people become ill. As places become uninhabitable, migration to urban areas will cause accelerated deaths due to new illnesses.
Renewable energy is something that can be used repeatedly and naturally replaced. It rarely runs out, and one of the best examples of renewable energy is solar power. Gasoline, coal, natural gas, and diesel are sources of energy that are not renewable and are called fossil fuels. When these are burned, they release harmful gases that blanket the earth's atmosphere and cause the planet to warm.
Renewable energy sources like solar power do not produce pollution or contribute to climate change. Solar power has been steadily gaining popularity with large investments in countries like the United States, Australia, Great Britain.
Solar power harnesses the sun's power and converts it into energy. It doesn't require finite resources like oil, which not only creates harmful gases, but oil mining itself is a leading cause of climate change. By switching to renewable energy sources like solar power, people can help take action against climate change!
The support of Environment & Conservation volunteers is now more important than ever. If you're looking to do your bit for the environment, we've put together a list of reputable not-for-profit organisations here in Australia who host a range of community events and volunteering opportunities for you. As a volunteer, the activities can vary from planting native trees, helping wildlife, cleaning up polluted waterways & protecting our beautiful National Parks. If you're interested in learning more about the organisations and potentially putting your hand up to volunteer, simply click on their link and follow the steps!
- Australian Conversation Foundation
- Australian Marine Conservation Society
- Clean up Australia
- Climate for Change
- Greening Australia
- Keep Australia Beautiful
- Landcare Australia
- Seaside Scavenge
- Trees For Life
- Beaches to Bushland Volunteer Landcare Program
- Cairns and Far North Environment Centre
- Clean Up Australia Day
- City of Gold Coast - Environmental Volunteering
- Community Tree Planting Days
- Help Save koalas
- NaturallyGC Program
- Wildlife Preservation Society of QLD
New South Wales
- Nature Conservation Council
- NSW Government (Volunteer for Bushfire Recovery, Volunteer for NSW National Parks, Saving our Species, Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Centennial Parklands, Volunteering in Greater Sydney, Conservation Volunteers Australia)
Here at YourSolarQuotes, we love Solar! Our mission is to promote clean, renewable energy, and reduce Australia's dependence on fossil fuels. We understand that the young people of Australia are going to be directly impacted by the destruction caused by global warming. We have created a climate survey to better understand your concerns, and provide you the best resources available to combat climate change!
We want to know what you think!
Get your voice heard by completing this short 5 minute Climate Survey!