climate change

Arctic ice is melting. Coral reefs are disappearing. Sea levels are rising. These events are part of an even bigger problem: a change in Earth's climate. Over the past 100 years, global temperatures are slowly rising and weather patterns are changing. Human activities are the major cause. When we burn fossil fuels to produce energy, we add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. This greenhouse gas is causing Earth's climate to warm.

Definition: long-term changes in global temperatures in global weather patterns
Effects: increase in storms, melting polar ice, sea
level rise, warming oceans, habitat destruction
Cause: more greenhouse gases in atmosphere
Human Impact: burning fossil fuels for energy and releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide
Cool Fact: There is still time to slow climate change if people around the world take action now.

Image credits: main image, courtesy NASA; Ed Mathez: courtesy of AMNH.