Fossil fuel,Instrumental temperature record,Greenhouse effect,Richard A. Muller,Knowledge sharing,Global warming,Quora,C

How To Explain Climate Change To Your Curious Kids

January 6, 2017
in Kids

How do I explain climate change to my teenager? originally appeared on Quora: the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Answer by Richard Muller, Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley, author of Now, The Physics of Time, on Quora: The best way to explain climate change to your teenager is to let him know that there is strong evidence that the average surface temperature of the Earth has warmed by about 1.5C, ever since the thermometer was invented. That’s not much, but it is enough to have caused the sea level to rise by about 8 inches (mostly because warmer water expands). We know this warming is due to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, mostly from burning fossil fuels. That’s called the “Greenhouse effect”. Carbon dioxide increases the effectiveness of the atmosphere at trapping heat, so when carbon dioxide increases, it gets warmer. Also tell him that he will hear a lot of exaggerations from people who are genuinely worried about future temperature rise. We do expect that the temperature will rise another 1.5°C in the next 50 years, from continued carbon dioxide releases predominantly from China, India, and the developing world. They need more energy to improve the standard of living of their people, so we need to help them produce...

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