If the weather in your area seems unusual or extreme at times, you can blame it on climate change. While our planet’s climate goes through natural changes over long periods of time, people are making things worse by burning fossil fuels. These changes are making the Earth warmer overall, which is causing quite a few problems. Climate change is an issue that affects everyone on the planet, so doing your part to help stop it is important.
How Are People Causing Climate Change?
People burn oil, gas and other fossil fuels for many reasons, such as producing electricity, driving cars around and heating homes. When we do this, the fossil fuels we use give off gases that trap heat in our atmosphere. This makes Earth’s temperatures warmer, which leads to climate change.
What Kinds of Changes Happen?
Higher temperatures overall doesn’t mean that every place on the planet becomes hotter. Instead, we experience a wide range of changes, including:
- Colder winters in some areas
- More droughts
- More tornadoes
- Stronger hurricanes and other storms
The rising temperatures are also causing glaciers to melt and sea ice to shrink, making it hard for animals who live in the Arctic region to find food and shelter. The oceans’ temperatures are becoming warmer, too, which affects many marine creatures. Sea levels are rising as well, leading to higher risks of flooding in areas that are close to shorelines.
How Can We Stop Climate Change?
There are many steps you can take to help stop climate change, including:
- Using less energy: Shut lights off, replace regular lights with CFL bulbs and turn electronics off when they’re not in use.
- Using less water: Keep your showers short, and don’t let the water run when you brush your teeth or do the dishes.
- Recycling: Recycle as much as possible to reduce the amount of waste that ends up going to landfills.
- Planting trees: Trees are our environmental allies. They absorb carbon dioxide, one of the gases given off by fossil fuels, which helps slow climate change.
- Eating locally grown food: Food that’s grown in or near your area doesn’t have to go far to get to your home, which lowers a number of gases given off by the trucks that transport it.
While these steps might seem small or easy, they add up to big changes when more and more people start doing them. Talk to your family and friends about how they can join you in stopping climate change and making the planet healthier for all of us.
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