Last week at Kinnaird Elementary, we discussed a BIG topic: Our Changing Climate. Many of the students had at least heard the term ‘Climate Change’ before, but weren’t sure exactly what it meant. We began by exploring some key climate change concepts like the difference between our day-to-day weather and our long-term climate patterns; the composition of gases in our atmosphere and; the natural greenhouse effect.
Once we understood how the natural greenhouse effect keeps our planet at a comfortable and liveable temperature, we started to discuss the implications of adding more and more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. We explored the many different greenhouse gas producers and quickly began to understand why Earth’s natural balance is being overwhelmed. Greenhouse gas (GHG) consumers like trees and shrubs can no longer absorb the amounts of GHGs that we are constantly releasing into the atmosphere. The more GHGs, the warmer things get! Gillian demonstrated this effect by getting layered with blanket after blanket, representing how more and more layers of GHGs can trap the sun’s heat and lead to quickly rising temperatures.
While we did discuss the many impacts of climate change that are being experienced around the globe, we were sure to end the class on a hopeful note. The students were eager to brainstorm ways in which we can all help slow down climate change. We came up with a great list of positive eco-actions that we can all do at home to reduce our GHG emissions, once again proving that our individual everyday actions can have a BIG impact!