Climate change will seriously disrupt our lives. While, on average, the globe will get warmer and receive more precipitation, individual regions will experience different climatic changes, with different consequences for the local environment. Among the most severe are:
• more heat-waves and droughts, resulting in more and more conflicts over water resources;
• more extreme weather events, producing floods and property destruction;
• a greater potential for heat-related illnesses and deaths, as well as the wider spread of infectious diseases carried by insects and rodents into areas previously free from them.
Clearly, global warming is a grave problem. It will take everyone – governments, industry, communities, and individuals – working together to make a real difference. These are solutions that will help reduce global warming, and you can be a part of them.
• ‘Americans are driving more in less-efficient vehicles. Sales of sports utility vehicles and pick-up trucks have been amazingly strong considering the recession, and low pump prices are keeping people on the roads’ – Mike Lucky, analyst for John S Herold Inc, December 2001
• ‘One person flying in an airplane for one hour is responsible for the same greenhouse gas emissions as a typical Bangladeshi in a whole year.’ – Beatrice Schell, European Federation for Transport and Environment, November 2001
• ‘The Greenland ice sheet is likely to be eliminated [within 50 years] unless much more substantial reductions in emissions are made than those envisaged’ – Jonathan Gregory, climatologist at the University of Reading, April 2004, commenting on the fact that, upon melting, the world’s second largest icecap could raise sea levels by seven metres, flooding most coastal regions. Plot this on an OS Map of your nearest coastal area.'
Understand what climate change is and how it can be prevented.
Assess the children’s prior knowledge by asking the following questions:
• What is climate change?
• Why is it sometimes called ‘The Greenhouse Effect’/‘Global warming’?
• How can we prevent it?'
The air around the exposed thermometer is constantly changing, being replaced with cooler air throughout the experiment. The air surrounding the other thermometer, however, is trapped and becomes warmer and warmer. This is similar to what happens on the earth’s surface. The sunlight passes through the atmosphere and warms the earth’s surface. The heat radiating from the surface is trapped by greenhouse gases.'
Note added 8 November 2012. A commenter at the Tallbloke site gives a link to the document on an educational site run by the Royal Meteorological Society (http://www.metlink.org/pdf/science_weather/climatechange.pdf). The document is suspiciously anonymous - no dates, no names of authors on it for example. I'm hoping it got planted there unofficially and that it will be removed in due course. Josh has some informative cartoons from a conference held jointly by the RMS yesterday (http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/11/8/rmets-communicating-climate-science-cartoon-notes-by-josh.html).
Note added 20 November 2012. Even alarmists are embarassed by some of the 'science experiments' used in schools to explain the so-called greenhouse effect: http://climatechangeeducation.org/hands-on/difficulties/heating_greenhouse_gases/