As you may remember from last week’s article, we did an example of what carbon looks like or doesn’t – it is actually invisible yet occupies a vast amount of space. Heard of the greenhouse gas? It’s making our planet warmer – hooray! Not quite. This does have a lot of problems for the human race.
In the good old days when our atmosphere wasn’t full of carbon the sun would shine down on earth and its rays would pass through our atmosphere and hit the planet. As our planet is covered in a vast amount of water, this would reflect a lot of the heat back up. Previously, this reflected heat would travel through the atmosphere and back out into space. Now that the atmosphere has a vast amount of carbon in it, this stops some of this from happening.
The atmosphere has become a little like a sponge which soaks up some of the heat and is ultimately making the planet warmer. Currently, the polar ice caps are melting. If the planet is getting warmer then it’s probably fair to assume this is causing the melting. So where does all the water from the melting polar caps go? Clearly into the sea, but what this does is raise the sea level, and the sea is getting warmer which is making the sea expand.
Our weather systems are also delicate and being affected by heat. Warm air rises and disrupts the natural weather pattern the world experiences.
Carbon isn’t the only greenhouse gas, but over the next few weeks, it is the only one that we will really look at as it’s the main point of discussion in relation to global warming.
So, we hope this very simplistic explanation of global warming helps. There are far more detailed and professional explanations and calculations online as well to help.