1. Sponsored by

    Spirit Solar
    Installers of renewable technologies

  2. About
    Cool the World

    24th June 2010

  3. Lesson plans
    and ideas

    Primary schools

  4. Lesson plans
    and ideas

    Secondary schools

  5. What can I do?
    Ideas for pledges


  6. What can I do?
    Ideas for pledges


  7. Background information on climate change

    Parents / teachers

Which human activities cause climate change and why?

Living things absorb Co2 The living things die They become compressed under the ground ...and turn into oil The oil is used and Co2 returns to the atmosphere.
1. Living things absorb carbon dioxide (also called CO2) from the atmosphere. 2. The living things die and and begin to decay. 3. Sometimes the remains of the living things sink into the ground and become compressed. 4. After millions of years the plant and animal remains become coal or oil. These fossil fuels are mined or pumped out of the ground. 5. When the fuels are used the carbon dioxide (CO2) returns to the atmosphere . But it takes much longer to make fossil fuel than to use it!

In 2004 emissions totalled 49 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide or equivalent (Gt CO2-eq). That's 49 thousand million tonnes being pumped into the atmosphere every 365 days.

Human induced climate change is caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels and by deforestation, both of which increase the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2); other greenhouse gases include methane (CH4 ) and nitrous oxide (N2O). For an explanation of the greenhouse effect, click here.

Breakdown of UK emissions

Breakdown of UK emissions

A breakdown of UK emissions

human activities

Deforestation - why does this produce greenhouse gas emissions?

Cutting down forests accounts for 20% of global emissions.


Aviation - why does aviation do so much damage?


Which countries are driving greenhouse gas emissions?

Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment, Climate Change 2004: IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report.