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Science Year 6: Climate Change

Climate Change

Climate Change

Mission: Save Earth - A virtual Earth Day PE workout activity and Brain Break

Global Education

National Geographic


National Geographic

Comprehensive site which includes current issue of magazine and access to past issues

Climate Change: This collection contains a selection of content from NG Education about climate change. Use search to find more

The Carbon Bathtub: excellent diagram with explanation

6 ways Climate Change will affect you

What is Global Warming?: The planet is heating up and fast

Global warming: causes, effects, science and solutions

Books In our Library

Books In our Library

What is Climate Change.

What is climate change?


Climate change, also known as global warming, refers to the changes to weather patterns over time –or the climate– which is what is happening with the earth’s increase in temperature.

The planet’s temperature or climate depends on the  balance between the heat that enters the earth from the sun during the day and the heat that leaves the earth when it cools off during the night.

The effect by which the earth maintains a temperature that is not too hot or too cold is known as greenhouse effect.This effect is produced by the natural vapors and gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone that make up the earth’s atmosphere.

The intensity of the sun’s rays, the ability of the earth to reflect back the heat or to cool off, or the increase in any of the gases in the atmosphere will change the planet’s temperature.

A change in climate has occurred before in the earth’s history, but it wasn’t until the last 200 years (or since the industrial era) that we have been burning large amounts of fossil fuels (oil, coal, natural gas) on a level that drastically increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  When this happens, the heat that enters the earth does not leave the earth in equal proportions and the earth remains heated. This additional heat that is not reflected back to space is increasing the overall average temperature of the earth, though it still goes up and down on a daily basis.


How do you contribute to climate change?


We call our contribution to greenhouse emissions “carbon footprint.” Some examples of our personal contribution to the carbon footprint include driving, using electricity and disposing of waste. It is important to know that we all contribute to climate change and it is also importnat to know that we can all do something to reverse the impact of climate change.

What is COP26?

n November 2021, more than 200 world leaders will meet for an event, known as COP26, to discuss climate change. Read on to learn more about this super important event…

What is COP26?

First things first – what does ‘COP26’ even mean?! Well, ‘COP’ stands for ‘conference of parties’ – a meeting that involves lots of different people working towards the same goal.

COP26 is the 26th meeting of members of the ‘United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

It’s a bit of a mouthful, but all you really need to know is that COP26 is a huge, important meeting all about taking action against climate change.

It began in 1994, when many world leaders became part of the UNFCCC and agreed that their countries would help to combat global warming. Since then, a COP has been held every year so that decision-makers can get together and discuss what to do next.

COP26 Glasgow: A guide for kids - National Geographic Kids.  National Geographic Kids. 

Where is the meeting?

Where is the meeting?

COP26 Glasgow as seen from the sky, looking down over a river and the Scottish Events Campus

COP26 will take place at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) in GlasgowScotland, and will be the biggest meeting of world leaders that the UK has ever hosted!

Each year, COP takes place in a different countryCOP25 was held in MadridSpain, in 2019, during which Greta Thunberg gave a now-famous speech. During this meeting, important targets for cutting carbon dioxide emissions were agreed.

COP26 was supposed to take place in November 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was delayed by a year. The conference is now happening on the 1st-12th of November 2021.

Who will be at COP26?

Representatives from nearly every country in the world! This includes world leaders like the U.K.’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and President Joe Biden of the U.S.A., along with a whole host of other important people.

Members of the press will attend, to report about the conference on TV, radio and in newspapers. Plus, representatives from over 2,000 NGOs* are usually present, too.

*NGOs are ‘non-governmental organisations‘, such as Action Against HungerGreenpeace, and WWF – all have an interest in the outcome of COP26.

What will they talk about?

cop26 glasgow | wind turbines and solar panels

At COP meetings, governments from across the globe agree on targets for the future, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gases and protecting the planet. These decisions affect people all over the globe; they help us all work together to become greener and more sustainable.

Five years ago at COP21 in Paris, every member of the UNFCCC signed the Paris Agreement – an international commitment to tackle climate change. At COP26, members will review whether this agreement is working, and highlight any progress.

In the Paris Agreement, nations agreed that they would:

1. Reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and invest in renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power.

2. Prevent global temperatures from warming by more than 2°C, and try to keep the increase as low as 1.5°C.

3. Help less-developed countries become more environmentally friendly, by supporting them financially.

4. Review progress on the Agreement every five years.

Why is COP26 important?

COP26 is the most important COP since 2015, when the Paris Agreement was created. It is an opportunity for the world to see what has been achieved since these targets were set – and pay attention to what hasn’t.

Hopefully, there will be new decisions on how to cut carbon emissions, and the world will make more progress on combatting climate change.

The after-effects of the coronavirus pandemic will also have an impact on COP26. Many governments are now paying more attention to the environment. As a result, they are hoping to rebuild their economies in a greener and more sustainable way.

Can I get involved?

COP26 glasgow | a young girl holds a megaphone. she is surrounded by adults holding colourful signs campaigning to protect the Earth.

You might not be able to attend COP26, but you can still make your voice heard! There are tonnes of ways to get involved with the UK’s ‘Year of Climate Action‘.

Simply talking about climate change with family and friends can inspire others to learn more about it and why they should care. Or if you want to take your passion one step further, why not write to your MP? You could tell them what YOU think is important, and let them know how passionate you are about saving our planet!

COP26 Glasgow: A guide for kids - National Geographic Kids.  National Geographic Kids. 

What is Climate Change?

Books in our library.

Climate Change in a Nutshell


Image from Points of View Reference Center (2016): Global Warming: An Overview

Click on image to view article.