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Read About the Basics of Climate Change

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Intro to Climate Change | Reading Material | Grades 6-8
WHAT IS THE INTRO TO CLIMATE CHANGE?

Climate is the average weather over many years. Earth’s average temperature has been increasing rapidly over the past century and a lot of evidence points to human activity as the primary cause. Moving from a dependence on fossil fuels to renewable energy resources can help decrease the amount of greenhouse gases humans put into the air, and in turn, slow down the rate at which Earth’s global temperature is increasing.

To better understand climate change…

WHAT IS THE INTRO TO CLIMATE CHANGE?. Climate is the average weather over many years. Earth’s average temperature has been increasing rapidly over the past century and a lot of evidence points to human activity as the primary cause. Moving from a dependence on fossil fuels to renewable energy resources can help decrease the amount of greenhouse gases humans put into the air, and in turn, slow down the rate at which Earth’s global temperature is increasing. To better understand climate change…

LET’S BREAK IT DOWN!

The difference between weather and climate.

The difference between weather and climate.

We often confuse weather and climate when we are discussing climate change. Weather is the day-to-day variations of the atmosphere’s condition locally. Which means we would describe the temperature, sky conditions (e.g., sunny, overcast), precipitation, and whether it’s windy or calm. Generally, weather can only be predicted with some degree of accuracy for seven to fourteen days.

On the other hand, climate is the long-term average weather over a large area. Different regions can have different climates. To describe the climate of a place, we might say what the temperatures are like during different seasons, how windy it usually is, or how much rain or snow typically falls. When scientists talk about climate, they're often looking at averages of precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind, and other measures of weather that occur over a long period in a particular place. In some instances, they might look at these averages over 30 years.

You may have heard people say, “Weather tells you what to wear each day. Climate tells you what type of clothes to have in your closet.”

The difference between weather and climate. We often confuse weather and climate when we are discussing climate change. Weather is the day-to-day variations of the atmosphere’s condition locally. Which means we would describe the temperature, sky conditions (e.g., sunny, overcast), precipitation, and whether it’s windy or calm. Generally, weather can only be predicted with some degree of accuracy for seven to fourteen days. On the other hand, climate is the long-term average weather over a large area. Different regions can have different climates. To describe the climate of a place, we might say what the temperatures are like during different seasons, how windy it usually is, or how much rain or snow typically falls. When scientists talk about climate, they're often looking at averages of precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind, and other measures of weather that occur over a long period in a particular place. In some instances, they might look at these averages over 30 years. You may have heard people say, “Weather tells you what to wear each day. Climate tells you what type of clothes to have in your closet.”

Climate can change over time.

Climate can change over time.

Scientists have been recording temperatures from around the world using thermometers since about 1850 and continue to do so today using sophisticated tools like satellites that measure the surface temperature all over the planet. But there are other indicators that the climate has changed over time.

Tree rings give clues about yearly weather conditions with each ring representing a year of the tree’s life. Some tree rings can be 1000 years old! Ice cores from glaciers can give us clues about the climate in the past for thousands of years. By taking data from these and other sources, scientists can reconstruct the average global temperature for thousands of years in the past. What is interesting is that the average global temperature doesn’t seem to change much from year to year – until you look at the past 100 years – which show a dramatic increase in temperature.

Climate can change over time. Scientists have been recording temperatures from around the world using thermometers since about 1850 and continue to do so today using sophisticated