Weather, Climate And Today’s Environment
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) describes global warming as the long-term heating of Earth’s climate system due to human activities. In 2021 globally, there were: seven times more scorching heatwaves, 2.6 times more droughts, 2.8 times as many river floods, almost 3 times as many crop failures, and 2 times the number of wildfires than in 1960,” according to the Imperial College of London (Dunning).
The main cause of global warming is fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere. It is commonly measured as the average increase in Earth’s global surface temperature which has moved at a record pace since the 1980s (NASA). The 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2005 (Rebecca Lindsey).
What It Means for Today’s Children
- Unpredictable and extreme weather conditions make it harder to grow crops and rear livestock to provide food.
- Longer droughts and heavier rains in seasonally arid and tropical regions may ultimately results in less food production to meet family’s needs which will lead to famine (Met Office)
- Infrastructural Damage Due to Storms and Tornadoes
- For many regions, large tropical cyclones or tornadoes also have the potential to devastate a region, causing loss of life and widespread destruction to educational, technological and transportation infrastructure.
- Recently powerful tornadoes barreled through five US states, leveling houses and factories and bringing down power lines. In Kentucky, the worst-hit state, one tornado alone followed an extraordinarily long and destructive path of more than 200 miles (Eward Helmore).
How Can We All Help?
- Use reusable water bottle and cups, drinking straws, shopping bags
- Switch to electricity generated by energy sources with low—or no—routine emissions of carbon dioxide such as solar and wind. (World Wildlife Fun)
- Track and reduce you carbon emissions by using an online “carbon calculator.” like the one maintained by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (World Wildlife Fun)
- Commute by carpooling or using mass transit
Five Ways Children Can Help
1. Include real-world examples to explain concepts
2. Believe in their ability to comprehend what is being discussed
3. Be optimistic, and focus on positive steps for change
4. View discussions as a collaborative learning experience
5. Instill confidence that they can make a difference like Greta Thunberg.
Dunning, Hayley. Children will face huge increases in extreme climate events in their lifetimes. 27 September 2021. website. 15 December 2021.
Eward Helmore, Nikhita Chulani, Harvey Symon, Arnel Hecimovic. How bad were the US tornadoes and what caused them? 14 December 2021. website. 15 December 2021.
Met Office. Impacts on food security. 2021. website. 15 December 2021.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Overview: Weather, Global Warming and Climate Change. 13 December 2021. website. 15 December 2021.
Rebecca Lindsey, Luahn Dahlman. Climate Change: Global Temperature. 15 March 2021. website. 15 December 2021.
World Wildlife Fun. What You Can Do to Fight Climate Change. 2021. website. 15 December 2021.
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