This is a great question! Yes, we can still stop global warming! However, we’re not going to be able to stop it immediately and it’s going to take a lot of really hard work over a really long time. To understand how to stop global warming, we need to understand what is causing it in the first place.
First, the surface of the earth is warm enough for us to live because of the heat given off by the sun. Some of this heat from the sun is lost back to space, but a lot of it stays around because greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, like carbon dioxide and water, are able to trap it. Since the earth first formed, the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has gone up and down and, as a result, the temperature of the earth has also gone up and down.
Now, in the 1800s humans started burning fossil fuels like coal and gasoline to help us do a lot of the things that we do today and make our lives much better. For example, burning fossil fuels allows us to drive cars to deliver things like medicine and food to people, it allows us to stay warm in the winter, and it also allows us to make electricity for towns and cities. However, burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide, which increases the amount that exists in the atmosphere and causes more of the sun’s heat to be trapped, warming the surface of the earth. Science has shown that this is the primary cause of the global warming we are experiencing right now.
So how do we stop this warming from continuing? The simplest answer is that we stop putting gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But that’s not as easy as it sounds. Since humans depend so much on fossil fuels to stay alive, we need to develop different things and technologies to replace fossil fuels. We’ve already done a lot of work to develop different ways to do things that decrease the amount of fossil fuels we burn, like using solar panels or windmills to generate electricity and making electric cars that can then run on that electricity instead of gasoline, but we haven’t reached a point where we can stop using fossil fuels entirely. We’re on the right track, but we need everyone to work together to decrease how much fossil fuel we burn and to develop more technologies that can replace fossil fuels without releasing greenhouse gases. Until we do that, global warming will likely continue. But we do have the ability to stop it.
Something you can do right now to help is to reduce the amount of fossil fuels you use in your own life. And if you're interested, you can learn more about what alternative technologies are being used to replace fossil fuels and how they work. Then you can help develop your own new ways to replace fossil fuels to stop global warming!
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