NASA scientists have observed Earth’s surface is warming, and many of the warmest years on record have happened in the past 20 years. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- So how do you translate science-speak into kid-speak without overwhelming them—or even scaring them? Climate change describes a change in the average conditions — such as temperature and rainfall — in a region over a long period of time. But what if that clock changes? A: Here's a simple definition of global warming. Over the past 50 years, the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history. The cafeteria wouldn’t have any food, the lights wouldn’t be on, the temperature would be wrong, and your kid would be very sleepy. Children can think of that in terms of the town where they live. All rights reserved. Living things contribute to climate change as well. Temperature Rising. Short changes like this aren’t climate change. Climate change is also creating more extreme weather events. The steam is trapped and warms the bathroom. In some situations, though, parents deny that climate change exists. Let us help you tackle it in the classroom with activities designed to make it both relevant and understandable for students across grade levels. Understanding climate change starts with understanding the atmosphere. Find out how climate change will worsen wildfire conditions. Here are some ideas to break down climate change basics so you can empower your children to be part of the solution. It also tackles basic myths about climate change (like the idea that it's not "settled science" and that it's a natural phenomenon), and offers book recommendations for kids and moms. Please note: Text within images is not translated, some features may not work properly after translation, and the translation may not accurately convey the intended meaning. This website uses cookies to help deliver and improve our services and provide you with a much richer experience during your visit. Temperatures dropped around the world for months afterward. This could be turning off lights, unplugging chargers when not using them, or riding bikes more. Global warming, the phenomenon of rising average air temperatures near Earth’s surface over the past 100 to 200 years. Climate Change Lessons: JPL Education. Climate change has strongly influenced the history of life on Earth. Climate is like nature’s clock. The average surface temperature on Earth is slowly increasing. Try asking your child what would happen if you sent them to school at midnight. On this quiz and worksheet, you will answer test questions on what global warming is, what causes it, and what the Earth has that helps keep its temperature steady. Global warming has also led to coral bleaching of nearly two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Natural processes, such as photosynthesis and respiration, have helped cause periods of warming and cooling in Earth’s past. These kinds of events—slow or fast—cause climate change. climate change Long-term, significant change in the climate of Earth. The summary also says that plastic pollution is 10 times as bad as it was in 1980. When people talk about climate change, they mean changes that last for a long time. The problem, of course, is that over the last 150 years, the levels of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere has increased. Climate change, ecological degradation and advertising practices that push harmful products toward youth are just some factors that have created an uncertain future for children, the report says. Problem is, it’s a topic that can be hard for adults to comprehend. By September 2018, her weekly strike became a global climate change movement called “Fridays for the Future," with tens of thousands of students skipping school on this day to protest the inaction of the leaders of their respective countries. Then explain that the power comes from burning coal, natural gas, and oil, which releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. How to tackle a complicated—and sometimes scary—subject with your children. But it’s important to empower kids to protect the planet so they feel like they’re making a difference. Global warming will increase the risk of drought in some places, and might make them unsuitable for growing food. It also contains greenhouse gases, which include the air we breathe (oxygen) and others that help keep the Earth at the perfect temperature. The American pika, for example, is a small mammal that lives in cool mountainous areas in western North America—in fact, it can die when exposed to temperatures warmer than 78˚F.So as the mountain climate heats up, the pika climbs the slopes in search of cooler habitat. Climate change, the periodic modification of Earth’s climate caused by atmospheric changes and the atmosphere’s interactions with geologic, chemical, biological, and geographic factors. Climate change is the result of changes in Earth’s atmosphere (the layer of gas that surrounds Earth). These sources produce much less pollution as well. It can happen naturally or in response to human activities, including the burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests. Ask your child to list all the things that need power to work: cars, lights, refrigerators, etc. Britannica does not review the converted text. This trend is known as global warming. Explain to your child that the atmosphere surrounds the Earth like a bubble and protects us from the harshest rays of the sun and the cold of space. Climate change means the way the world’s weather has changed over a long period of time. Whether you believe in global warming or not, the fact is that the 11 hottest … An example of a slow change is the movement of the continents, which takes millions of years. (And yes, it's really happening.) However, recent human activities have had a negative impact on the climate. These features include ocean currents, the position of continents, the location of mountain ranges, and plant life growing on the land. Global warming is the increasing surface temperature on Earth, and it could have very serious effects on life on Earth. Humans have created the crisis and we have the skills and solutions to turn it around. And it warns that if global warming continues, climate change could harm species even more than habitat loss. Some changes are short compared to how old the world is. When CO2 and other greenhouse gases trap heat that would otherwise escape Earth’s atmosphere, the planet’s temperature rises. To emphasize the importance of working together to solve problems, task your kid with developing and managing a family composting plan. feedback (as in climate) Processes that propel or exaggerate a change in some direction. A polar bear stands on the shore of the Hudson Bay in Canada. Start by challenging your child to find 10 ways to use less power every day. The terms global warming and climate change are often used in ways that indicate they mean the same thing. That’s called globa… Rainy and windy in March? Activities Take a ten question quiz about this page. This loss of sea life also affects the hundreds of millions of humans who rely on marine creatures for food. The American pika lives in cool mountainous areas in western North America and can die when exposed to temperatures warmer than 78˚F. Your kid can then think about what people used to do before these things were invented to understand why the level of greenhouse gases has increased so much. Climate change is a hot topic (sorry—no pun intended) that children want to understand. An example of a fast change is the eruption of a volcano. This collection of climate change lessons and activities for grades K-12 is aligned with Next Generation Science and Common Core Math Standards and incorporates NASA missions and science along with current events and research. We know you love watching videos on your phone. To learn more about cookies and your cookie choices. By Ruth A. Musgrave. Natural features impact the atmosphere. Keep track of Earth's vital signs, see the planet in a state of flux and slow the pace of global warming with NASA's free mobile apps. Hundreds of plant and animal species have already experienced changes because of climate change. About This Quiz & Worksheet. Tell them to think about the steam created when someone showers with the bathroom door closed. Improved homework resources designed to support a variety of curriculum subjects and standards. Fears that climate change will make the Earth uninhabitable are leading some Americans to decide against having kids, according to a report Friday. https://www.patreon.com/homeschoolpop Global warming and it's effects are explained for kids in this video. Climate is the pattern of weather conditions over many years. People rely on it to know when to grow food or prepare for icy roads. An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in 2018 suggested that keeping to the 1.5C target would require "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in … Weather is a specific event—like a rainstorm or hot day—that happens over a few hours, days or weeks. Andrew Purvis is one of the authors of the report. In those cases, Dr. Fraser said, conversations are tricky. For example, the weather might be hotter or colder one year. We hope you and your family enjoy the NEW Britannica Kids. Loosely defined, climate is the average weather at a distinct place that incorporates temperature, precipitation, and … Explain to your child that just like how drastically changing the time you show up to school would mess everything up, a drastic change in climate messes Earth up. Climate change is the result of changes in Earth’s atmosphere (the layer of gas that surrounds Earth). Because after all, that’s really the best way we’re going to solve this problem. Maybe your kid is now thinking: But if the atmosphere naturally releases the gases into space, what’s the problem? However, global warming is used to describe only one phase of climate change. But modern activities – such as plugging in devices, driving cars, and cooling homes – rely on energy sources such as natural gas, oil, and coal. Photograph by Cindy Creighton, Shutterstock, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/family/talking-to-your-kids-about-climate-change.html. Talking to kids about climate change. For instance, ask your kid to tell you what the weather conditions are always like during a certain month: Snowy and cold in February? Drought. Animals depend on the climate to know when to migrate to find mates or food. After translating an article, all tools except font up/font down will be disabled. A new, third level of content, designed specially to meet the advanced needs of the sophisticated scholar. Finally, show children how influencing others—for instance, helping your kid ask a store manager to keep doors closed during summer to decrease the amount of CO2 from the AC from escaping—is a giant step toward getting everyone to protect the Earth. How to tackle a complicated—and sometimes scary—subject with your children. In 1815 Mount Tambora, a volcano in Indonesia, erupted. A warming climate also could mean more wildfires, flooding from melting glaciers, and stronger storms. 1. 2021 National Geographic Partners, LLC. (The compost increases plant growth, and the plants will help absorb harmful carbon dioxide gas from the atmosphere.). Hot and dry in August? We’ve been busy, working hard to bring you new features and an updated design. Learn about the links between climate change and drought. Climate change is a crisis that threatens our life-support systems. Those energy sources release a gas called carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. This is known as the “Greenhouse Effect”. And experts see the trend is accelerating: All but one of the 16 hottest years in NASAs 134-year record have occurred since 2000. Warmer temperatures can also increase water demand and evaporation, stressing water supplies. Find even more climate change-related activities here. As the climate changes, it could get hot at the wrong time of year, or we might get too much rain in some places and not enough in others. Discover environmental science articles and learn what threatens the future of the planet—and how you can do your part to protect it. … He and other researchers say it … These activities include using fossil fuels, such as coal, to create electricity and oil to power cars and other kinds of transportation. Climate change is a complex and multi-faceted issue, with global and local implications. Take a minute to check out all the enhancements! To re-enable the tools or to convert back to English, click "view original" on the Google Translate toolbar. Science News for Students dedicated an entire year to the topic in our Climate Change Chronicles.. myillo/iStockphoto, adapted by E. Otwell Burning fossil fuels Over the past 150 years, industrialised countries have been burning large amounts of fossil fuels such as oil and gas.The gases released into the atmosphere during this process act like an invisible ‘blanket’, trapping heat from the sun and warming the Earth. Climate Time Machine Travel through Earth's recent climate history and see how increasing carbon dioxide, global temperature and … These dire predictions can be scary for children, but that doesn’t mean parents should downplay the problem. Climate is the average weather conditions in a place over 30 years or more. One way to reduce carbon dioxide is to use clean renewable energy sources such as solar energy and wind energy. “This is a consequence of the warming temperatures of climate change,” said Marco Tedesco, a climate scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. The teen's singular act of protest soon went viral, inspiring kids and adults worldwide to take action. To share with more than one person, separate addresses with a comma. Too many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are like the steam in the bathroom: The gases are trapped and warm the planet. Choose a language from the menu above to view a computer-translated version of this page. Climate change has strongly influenced the history of life on Earth. A child can then describe the overall climate of the town based on the weather conditions that happen during that month every year. Finally, the atmosphere naturally releases extra gases into space. And when the Earth warms, its climate changes. It released so much ash into the atmosphere that it blocked sunlight from reaching Earth’s surface. We can better care for nature, each other and ourselves. Climate change Wildlife Energy Pollution More Best of 2019 Climate change The climate crisis explained in 10 charts From the rise and rise of carbon … Michael Mann, a distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State, says adults often make two mistakes when it comes to discussing climate change with kids: They assume it's too difficult a concept for them to grasp and believe that they're not in a position to do anything about it. Mann said in an email that he initially made those same mistakes when co-authoring his children's book The Tantrum That Saved the World, a story designed to inspire young readers to do something about climate change… Climate change is underway, and affecting the entire planet. The climate changes when the atmosphere is affected either by Earth’s natural features or by living things. That’S really the best way we’re going to solve this problem that when fossil fuels burned. 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