Imagine it’s summer and you’re in your chair trying to enjoy your cold lemonade. Shukrr-shukrr. In a few seconds there’s nothing but ice in your cup. You’re sweaty and feel sticky. You close your blinds and close your door and turn on your lights. That might make you feel better temporarily, but by doing that you’re wasting electricity and that creates industrial waste that produces smog that traps the heat. That means longer, hotter days.
In 2003-2005, Greenland lost 100 billion metric units of ice. In a few years, there will be no more of the arctic ice cap. But how does that affect us? Some species will lose their homes. You might think that won’t affect us. But it does. Losing the ice cap also means losing land because of the melting ice. The oceans will overflow. That might even cause conflicts for more land between territories. These are some of the global warming effects.
Deforestation is just one of the causes of global warming. Deforestation is when trees are cut down for paper, furniture and other things. In Brazil, 7,6667,649 acres of trees were cut down per year between 2000 and 2005. Trees replace CO2 with oxygen, so there won’t be much oxygen left and CO2 thins the ozone that protects us from the UV rays that cause global warming.
Vehicles are another link to global warming. Cars burn a lot of gas. Gas turns into CO2. CO2 forms a blanket around earth and traps heat. That is the Greenhouse effect. Most of the energy cars produce is wasted! 62.4 percent of the gas/energy is actually escaping as heat out of the car. 17.2 percent is being used just to heat the engine when the car is not moving. But the actual amount of energy used to move the car’s weight is 12 percent of the gas burnt. Smaller cars are more efficient.
Coal mining, industrial processes, fertilization and many other things create air pollution. When a cow passes gas, it produces methane. 26.7 percent of our air pollution is methane, 43.2 percent is C02, 11.9 percent is black carbon, 3.8 percent is nitrous oxide, 6.7 percent is carbon monoxide and other organic compounds. Power plants are the largest pollutants but we can control it with the amount of electricity used. When the sun is out, you don’t need to turn on any lights.
Here are some other ways to minimize air pollution. Building buildings more tall than wide allows us to use less space so we can plant more trees. More trees means cleaner air for us to breath. Don’t idle your cars because idling gets you nowhere and is releasing CO2. Buildings also cause CO2. There should be some way that’s better than releasing CO2 from buildings. Maybe CO2 could be sent through a tube to a green house and turned into oxygen.
Resources: “Our Choice” by Al Gore, The World Almanac for Kids 2014 and “Keeping Our Earth Green” by Nancy F. Castaldo
Planet Earth advocate, age 10