Amazing Kids! Magazine

Hand in Hand

By Vivaan Kartik, 9 years old, Switzerland

 

There is a pressing concern which is knocking on our door – Global Warming. It will lead to catastrophic changes for our planet if we don’t work hand in hand. The Earth’s future is already in jeopardy. If we all join hands and cooperate global warming might slowly start to ebb away.

What is Global Warming?

Global Warming is the process of the world becoming hotter. This happens primarily due to he release of certain gases. The gases, predominantly carbon dioxide (also methane and nitrous oxides) are released into the atmosphere, trap heat from the sun and warm the Earth. This is also known as the “Greenhouse Effect”.

How is it caused?

There are 2 sources of carbon dioxide emissions – natural and human. Natural sources are decomposition, respiration etc.

Human sources are burning of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas and oil), deforestation and farming. Burning of fossil fuels contributes to 87% of these carbon dioxide emissions in this category and is used for electricity generation, transportation and industries.

Did you know that human sources of carbon dioxide emissions are much smaller than natural emissions but natural balance that existed for many thousands of years before the Industrial Revolution has gone awry because of human activity.

Disastrous Consequences

  • More wildfires and lesser trees – The global warming has lead to the number of wildfires swelling each year, significant extension of the length of the wildfire season and expansion of the size of the area burned each year. Wildfires have laid waste stretches of land in Alaska, California and Indonesia in 2015; Canada, California and Spain in 2016; Chile and Portugal in 2017; Greece and British Columbia in 2018 just to give a few examples.
  • Melting icebergs and glaciers – As temperatures rise, water levels rise as well. That will cause devastating impacts on the world’s coastlines and it will endanger the polar ecosystems. Arctic sea ice is melting at a shocking rate of 9% per decade! Its predicted that by 2040 the Arctic will be ice free during summer.
  • Destruction of coral reefs – The Great Barrier Reef, the worlds biggest coral reef experienced an marine heat wave in 2016 that caused massive coral bleaching. Almost 93% of the Great Barrier Reef was affected which will in turn affect the marine species that rely on them.
  • More severe droughts – With warmer temperatures, the intensity and duration of droughts has been rising. For example, a drought in South Africa began in 2015, severely effecting their water storage.
  • Disappearing lakes – Bolivia’s second largest lake, Poopo, has been wiped out of existence like other water bodies like the Aral Sea. Once a lake is lost it is very hard to recover.
  • Increasing size of deserts – The Sahara Desert which was already the about size of USA has grown by 10% since 1920!

Because of the alarming speed of global warming, for the first time in history, many world leaders have joined hands and 195 nations signed the Paris Agreement. The countries have pledged to work towards a long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to below 2°C during this century, ideally aiming to limit the increase to 1.5°C.

Automobile companies like Mercedes Benz, Ford and Toyota are now inventing new environment friendly cars. Now more advanced and practical cars like Tesla or LEAF are being launched and more consumers are buying them.

What can we do?

Just because we are kids doesn’t mean that we can’t contribute towards this goal. In fact kids can make a huge difference by doing little things in everyday life. Here are some simple ways:

  • Reduce the usage of petrol – Instead of going in a car, walk, ride your bike, carpool or use the public transport.
  • Conserve energy – Switch of any extra lights like when no one is in the room or when you’re sleeping. Get involved with activities like reading, playing board games or playing outdoors as they don’t require electricity.
  • Save water – Have shorter baths or shut of the taps brushing your teeth or when you are applying soap in the shower.
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle by reusing water bottles or recycling things that you can’t use anymore.
  • Stop yourself, your friends and your parents from buying bottled water because it takes 3 litres of water to make 1 bottled water litre.
  • Plant a tree if you have a garden.
  • Advocate the cause to family and friends.

We do not have any time for contemplation, we need to act now! We need to do this for us and our future!


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