Human population has been growing in geometrical proportion in the last two centuries. Growing population and increasing consumption of goods and services per head after the industrial revolution requires in increasing manner environmental resources (life support systems like air, water, and soil and other natural resources) for its survival and sustenance. The pressure on these has also influenced the weather conditions and climate locally and globally. The growth in agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, urbanization, transportation, deforestation, and industrialization caused changes in land use and biogeochemical cycles. Exploration and utilization of energy sources for the increasing demands of the growing society have pumped large quantities of green house gases into the atmosphere causing global warming.
At the first level, children need to understand what greenhouse gases are and how they allow the radiated heat of the sun to come through at high temperature, but do not let the return radiation from earth at lower temperature to pass through easily. And how this warm blanket around us keeps us comfortable at the current earth’s temperature, instead of freezing to death at minus 15 degC average. There also needs to be understanding of the Carbon cycle, the manner in which Carbon Dioxide, the major GHG, cycles between the earth and the atmosphere.
At the second level they need to understand that the trend has become clear in recent years that climate – the long term weather pattern – is changing and changing so rapidly that life forms on earth, including humans face a huge challenge in adapting to this change. (The last time the earth heated up by 2 degC, coming up to the current level from the ice age, it took 18,000 years. It is now set to go up by another 2degC within a matter of 200 years.)
The third aspect to realise is that this rapid increase is caused entirely by human activity – the activity of digging up millions of years of sunlight energy...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document