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Young Voices for the Planet DVD in our online store includes 8 films where students speak out and take action on climate change.
This graph shows how the amount of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere, has changed over time and how it is expected to change in the future.
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IPCC 2001 Third Assessment Report

Our Atmosphere Is Changing!

The amounts of most gases in the atmosphere stay pretty much the same over time. However, the amount of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere has gotten larger over the last 150 years. This is mostly because of human activities such as chopping down forest trees, burning oil and gas, and making concrete roads, buildings, and parking lots. These activities affect Earth’s cycles such as the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle and the water cycle, and affect the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases trap heat through the greenhouse effect. There were greenhouse gases in the atmosphere long before humans affected them. Having some greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere is good for life on Earth because they keep temperatures mild. However, as the amount of greenhouse gases rises, so does Earth’s temperature. This is causing changes to environments and living things around the world.

Last modified August 13, 2004 by Lisa Gardiner.

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Cool It! is the new card game from the Union of Concerned Scientists that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change—and how policy and technology decisions made today will matter. Cool It! is available in our online store.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF