In this episode of the Green Ninja Show, a man named Clark wants to go outside but it is too cold to just wear a t-shirt. He needs to put on a coat to insulate him from the cold air outside. The only problem is if he wears clothes that are too thin, he will be cold while if his apparel is too warm, it will be uncomfortably hot!
Just like Clark, the Earth needs to be insulated from the high and low temperatures of space but too little or too much insulation is also a bad thing.
Clark goes on to tell the story about his great-grandfather who sold his mules to help the coal miners. All of the coal found around the world back in Clark’s great-grandfather’s time has been burned for heat and energy. Coal is a carbon-based mineral so burning it releases carbon into the atmosphere. When carbon gets into the atmosphere, it has a way of sticking around.
Carbon molecules in Earth’s atmosphere add to the natural insulation shielding the planet from extraterrestrial temperatures. This is a huge problem because the atmosphere already had enough insulation, so by adding carbon to the atmosphere, the Earth becomes over-insulated and that keeps more heat trapped inside the atmosphere.
The Earth’s overall temperature began to rise due to coal burning and has continued to rise because of it. In present day, there are even more carbon emissions released from cars, power plants, and any other burning fossil fuels.
This continued overall rise in temperature is called Climate Change. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrote an article about climate change. They provide charts to explain what humans do today that cause carbon emissions. By looking at this graph, we can see which activities are contributing the most to climate change.
Climate change is may seem like a distant issue, but it is already starting to affect the Earth. By raising the temperature a few degrees, we are tipping away from the balance the Earth needs to sustain life. Just a few degrees can impact an entire country. If you live in the U.S. and want to see how climate change affects you and your community, check out this interactive map (also created by the EPA).
What can we do?
By putting an effort into reducing our carbon emissions, we can slow down climate change and save the planet. Just look at that pie chart again, figure out what you can do to reduce your carbon emissions and stick to it!
Where did this story come from?
This is not just a story! This video is based on a real man named Clark Weaver and the actions of his ancestors. Clark wrote this story to make the issue of climate change easier to relate to. He works for NASA and has worked on many climate-oriented projects such as temperaturetrends.org! He also inspired this episode with his own original video about the atmosphere.
Green Ninja Show
Director: David Chai
Producer: Revathi Kotni
Editor: Keith Silva
Camera Crew: Eric Anderson & Mark Sho
Host: Alejandro Garcia
Directors: Huong Cheng, Kimberly Mucha, & Ryan Eways
Cast: Edric Yamamoto, Kimberly Mucha, Ryan Eways, Youri Dekker
Originally Written by: Clark Weaver