When fossil fuels are burned to produce energy, gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone are released into the atmosphere. Without these gases, heat would escape back into space. These gases act like a thin film, or greenhouse, that keeps heat from the sun inside our atmosphere. As human activity has added more greenhouse gases to our atmosphere, the earth’s climate has become gradually warmer, resulting in “global warming.” Global warming can cause glaciers to melt, increasing sea levels. It can cause extreme weather, droughts, and floods. It can alter plant and animal habitats, forcing animals to move or die out. Hotter and colder temperatures, and then the need for more energy use, will also affect humans.
So no matter what resources your energy comes from, using energy efficiently at home, at school, and on the road is a very good way to reduce greenhouse gases and help our planet stay healthy.