Research Climate Change and Calculate Your Footprint

Learn about one of the most serious issues facing the human species: climate change 

Global climate change describes a change in the average conditions — such as temperature and rainfall — over a long period of time. Scientists have observed Earth’s surface is warming, and many of the warmest years on record have happened in the past 20 years. Changes in global temperatures are impacting people and the planet, causing rising sea levels and flooding, more frequent and powerful extreme weather events like hurricanes and snowstorms, droughts and heat waves, and other dangerous conditions.

There are many factors that contribute to Earth’s climate, however, scientists agree that humans are making Earth heat up faster. Certain gases in Earth’s atmosphere block heat from escaping, keeping the planet warm just like a glass in a greenhouse keeps plants warm. Human activities - such as burning fuel to create electricity, collecting trash in large landfills, and big factories and farms - release "greenhouse gases" into the atmosphere and make Earth warmer. Climate change will dramatically change the way humans live on this planet and have major effects on our communities, health, food, and more.

1. Learn the basics

Watch this short video for a two-minute overview of climate change, explained by a kid.

2. Explore and play

Check out the NASA Climate Kids website to learn even more about climate change. Read at least two articles on your favorite environmental topic. Then, try one of the environmental computer games located on the site.

As you explore the various articles, videos, and games, think about how our changing climate might impact your family. 

3. Calculate your ecological footprint

Find out how your actions and decisions made in your community may impact the planet with this online calculator. How can you reduce your footprint? What policy or government changes would help lower everyone's ecological footprint?

4. Find out how kids are taking action
Young people across the globe are taking action to fight climate change. Learn more about how kids can make a difference by exploring Climate Generation, Voices of Youth, and other youth climate organizations. Older kids may want to watch Greta Thunberg's Ted talk.

Take a photo of the research process or any notes you take and share on social media. Make sure to tag @peancorg and #PEAYoungLeaders to be entered into the weekly Young Eco Leaders Raffle. 

Click here to return to the list of all Young Eco Leaders activities

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