by scientists has shown that our climate has always been changing.
Thousands of years ago most of Britain was covered in glaciers during
Ice Ages. Did you know that during Tudor times the River Thames was
frozen enough for fairs to be held on it? Today scientists are more
concerned about our planet getting warmer.
sun keeps our planet warm by sending rays (radiation) into our atmosphere.
The gases in the atmosphere trap some of these rays, while others
bounce back. These gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are layers
of ‘greenhouse gases’, which act like
a blanket keeping in warmth from the sun. This process is known as
the ‘Greenhouse Effect’ and is very important
for keeping Earth’s temperatures at the right levels for humans,
animals and plants to survive. Without these greenhouse gases, Earth
would be 30ºC cooler than it is today. The problem today is that
we have been making too many greenhouse gases, which are absorbed
by the atmosphere and create a thicker layer of gases around our planet.
As a result, heat is trapped below the atmosphere and ‘Global
Warming’ occurs influencing our climate.
gases are made from:
are all found naturally but humans can make them from pollution. Carbon
Dioxide is the main greenhouse gas which can be made by the cutting
down (deforestation) and burning of trees. Your car and other vehicles
also add carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, as does the burning of
coal, petrol and other ‘fossil
scientists have different ideas of what might happen because of global
warming. A group of scientists form the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC), and have predicted a temperature rise of between
1.4ºC and 5.8ºC by the end of the century. Southern England
may have summers like the Mediterranean, but may also suffer from
an increase in extreme
weather conditions and flooding.
our climate did get warmer then the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica
would begin to melt, although it is not thought that they will melt
enough in the next few hundred years to cause sea levels to rise.
However, glaciers in mountainous regions are already melting and will
increase sea levels. You may not be able to go skiing in Europe’s
mountain resorts because there is not enough snow! This is already
the case with ski resorts in Scotland. Rises in sea levels would result
in increased flooding of low-lying land and coastal areas. Temperate
latitudes in the northern hemisphere are likely to experience more
rain and therefore flooding, with an increase in thunderstorms, hurricanes
and tornadoes. Meanwhile Australia, New Zealand, Central America and
Southern Africa may suffer from lower winter precipitation.
Flooding may occur more often in the
north west europe due to global warming