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Guides: Global Warming

Last Updated: Tuesday September 25 2007 13:20 GMT

What is global warming?

Planet Earth

Global warming is the rise in temperature of the Earth's atmosphere.

The earth is naturally warmed by rays from the sun which pass through the atmosphere and are reflected back out to space again.

The atmosphere's made up of layers of gases - some of which are called greenhouse gases.

They're mostly natural and make up a kind of thermal blanket over the Earth.

Rays

This lets some of the rays back out of the atmosphere, keeping the earth at the right temperature for animals, plants and humans to survive (60F/16C).

So some think global warming is good.

But most scientists think if extra greenhouse gases are made, the thermal blanket gets thicker and too much heat is kept in the earth's atmosphere - that's when global warming's bad.



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