This question is asked by many people, including students who are just learning about climate. It’s a good question. There are many factors that contribute to changing Earth’s temperature over time. However, there is an even more important question…
Is it possible for us to control the temperature of the planet?
The answer to this question is no. Our planet has warmed and cooled throughout time by itself, without any help from us. Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) is an important factor in Earth’s temperature because it traps heat like the panes of a greenhouse.
When more of this gas enters the atmosphere, more heat is trapped, resulting in higher temperatures.
What Causes the Earth to Warm and Cool?
Humans have been burning fossil fuels, releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, since the industrial revolution. In fact, levels of CO 2 in our atmosphere are at their highest for 400 thousand years.
This is a problem because it traps heat on Earth. As temperatures rise, natural disasters become more frequent.
With the current rate of carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere, scientists estimate that in the next 100 years, Earth’s temperature could increase by 2 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Scientists have been researching different ways to lower CO 2 levels, such as recycling fossil fuels and planting more trees.
However, we need everyone’s help if we want to make a real impact on global warming. By changing the way we use our resources like energy, transportation, and food production, we can drastically reduce our carbon footprint and prevent future warming.
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
The Grocery Store:
- Reusable bags and containers for shopping and storing food
- Use energy saving light bulbs
- Install a programmable thermostat
- A green roof to prevent storm water runoff into the city sewer system. This will help reduce flooding in our basements, which is an ongoing issue in the city of Montreal.
- Take public transportation like the métro or bus
- Use green cars like electric or fuel cell vehicles
- Walk or bike to nearby places instead of driving your own car everywhere you go
How You Can Help:
- Plant trees in your own backyard
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room
- Only use what you need and recycle whenever possible
- Keep drains and water fountains flowing to prevent animals from getting into sewers.
Remember: Everyone needs to do their part in order for us to succeed and reduce our impact on Earth’s temperature!