Climate change refers to a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
The causes of climate change can be divided into two categories - those that are due to natural causes and those that are created by man. There are a number of natural factors responsible for climate change. Some of the more prominent ones are continental drift, volcanoes, ocean currents, the earth's tilt, and comets and meteorites. There are also lots of human causes of climate change. Industrialization is one of them. Natural resources are being used extensively for construction, industries, transport, and consumption. Consumerism (our increasing want for material things) has increased by leaps and bounds, creating mountains of waste. Also, our population has increased to an incredible extent.
All this has contributed to a rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas supply most of the energy needed to run vehicles generate electricity for industries, households, etc. The energy sector is responsible for about ¾ of the carbon dioxide emissions, 1/5 of the methane emissions and a large quantity of nitrous oxide. It also produces nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide (CO) which are not greenhouse gases but do have an influence on the chemical cycles in the atmosphere that produce or destroy greenhouse gases.
Renewable energy is one solution to stop the climate change.
The students should
- Identify the types of renewable energy used or planned to be used in
- Describe the technologies used to produce energy by using water, wind, biomass, sun etc.
- Investigate and discuss how the aspects of sustainability have been taking into account when deciding the use of different types of renewable energy.
Students involved: the 9th graders and the 8th graders.
Duration pf the project: February - April 2008