Climate Science for Young Readers
Tom, age eleven and his sister, Julie, age nine are spending the summer with their grandfather on the shores of Cape Cod. When he himself was a child, Grandpa bonded deeply with his native land and waters, and is fascinated by the concept of Earth as a living organism. He proposes that the three of them spend the summer finding out—through direct outdoor experience and the vast resources of the Web—what makes our planet “just right” as a home for living things. That is, when they’re not boogie boarding the waves, going sailing, or digging clams for dinner!
After a quick voyage into space to get the really long view of Earth, the trio makes a plan. Tom decides to become an expert on our atmosphere, calling himself Gas Guy. Julie, who loves everything watery, dubs herself Water Woman and sets out to learn as much as she can about the oceans. Grandpa takes the land, Earth’s crust, as his specialty. They learn firsthand how natural processes work by observing whales feeding, seawater carving deltas on a falling tide, the myriad kinds of rocks on a beach, and wind filling a boat’s sails; they gain deeper understanding in their explorations online.
Weaving video, still photos, infographics, and maps into this narrative, Just Right gives nine-to-twelve-year-olds a basic understanding of how Earth’s vital organs—atmosphere, oceans, and land—interact to support life and stabilize the climate, as seen from the perspective of children their own age. Around the globe, awareness is rising that all life is at risk from human-caused climate disruption—and the world citizens who will finally mobilize to address it are today’s children. This e-book, with its engaging story line, is a powerful tool designed to help educate and equip them for the challenge, and a superb complement to middle-level earth science curricula.
INTRODUCTION Earth Breathes
PROLOGUE The View from Space
ATMOSPHERE Warm But Not Too Warm How Plants Breathe and Keep Us Alive On the Carbon Trail: What Happens When Plants Die?
OCEANS Cool Oceans, Cool Planet Salt to Fresh and Back Again Who Eats What in the Big Watery World
LAND The Earth’s Crust and What Lies Below Moving, Shifting, and Shaking How Water Shapes the Land
WEBS OF LIFE Bubble Nets and Food Chains Food Webs Powered by the Sun How Do We Get to Just Right?