[Your Question Goes Here]?

A big thanks goes to [names of kids] in [teacher's name]'s class at Pinney Elementary for today’s Wonder!

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Our Answer

Carbon dioxide isn't a bad thing if there isn't too much of it, it keeps the earth warm. But when there is a lot of it, our planet warms up. This is a natural process most of the time. There are a lot of changes in our climate (climate is weather over a long period of time) over millions of years, but THIS time, our climate is changing because of US! This doesn't happen much on our planet. But humans burn a lot of fuel. When your parents drive their car, it is releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And when you turn on your lights, you are using electricity. If that electricity is powered by coal or other fossil fuels, then that puts carbon dioxide into the atmosphere too. Have you ever seen a smoke stack at a factory with smoke going into the air? A lot of that smoke is carbon dioxide!

When just a few cars and factories do this, it doesn't make much of a difference. But there are almost 7 billion people living on earth, and a lot of them are driving cars and using factories, so we are putting a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and the plants can't make up for how much carbon dioxide we are putting out there!

On top of all of this, we're cutting down trees and plants all over the world, making it even harder for them to replace our carbon dioxide with oxygen! Even with the amount of carbon dioxide we are putting into the atmosphere, the world will probably only increase in temperature by about 1 degree, but that is actually huge! It could melt our icecaps, which could make oceans rise, and it could cause rivers and lakes to disappear in some places and form in other places. We don't completely know what could happen, but it could be bad.

That's why you are always helping if you plant a tree or another plant, and it is why you are helping by not keeping your lights on when you walk out of your room, and by turning off the TV when you are done with it. Do what you can to help!