Global warming is the process in which heat from the sun is trapped in the earth's atmosphere as a result of pollution. Scientists think that the Earth's surface temperature has risen 1 degree Fahrenheit over the last 100 years. One degree over many years may not seem like much, but global warming can be devastating to our planet.
"Carbon dioxide pollution spewing from our cars and power plants is buildingup in the atmosphere and causing global warming," said Alex Veitch, a conservation organizer for the Sierra Club's global warming and energy program. "Scientists predict that global warming will damage our coasts and crops, encourage the spread of infectious diseases and lead to the extinction of many plant and animal species."
The Environmental Protection Agency's Global Warming Site outlines the many effects of global warming, including climate change, expansion of deserts and rising sea levels. Young kids can visit the EPA's Explorers Club for a simple explanation of global warming.
The effect of global warming on humans is also dramatic. The risk of internal health problems increases with rapid climate change. The EPA explains that higher temperatures can injure people with heart problems because their cardiovascular systems will have to work harder. Global warming increases ozone in our atmosphere, which can cause lung damage, the EPA says.
Knowledge about climate change is a major way people can battle environmental pollution. For more information about global warming, check out these sites geared toward older students:
An Inconvenient Truth The site linked to Al Gore's recent movie has an explanation of the science behind global warming, in addition to suggesting ways you can help combat the problem.
Global Warming Sponsored by WorldNews.com, this Web site offers the latest news about global warming from around the world. Find out how other governments are handling the issue.
"The biggest single step to curbing global warming is to raise miles pergallon standards for cars, sport utility vehicles and light trucks," Veitch said. "Making SUVs and other light trucks get the same mileage as cars would save 240 million tons of carbon dioxide per year by the end of the next decade. Young people can also promote energy efficiency and clean wind and solar power in their schools and families."
Did you know that pollution releases 60 million tons of carbon dioxide daily? That's a figure provided by the Environmental Defense Fund. At this site you can send letters to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney asking them to actively participate in fighting global warming.