An environment is made up of everything around us that helps us live. It includes plants, animals, birds, insects and micro-organisms. It can be living or non-living things. It includes physical, chemical and other natural forces.
Living things do not simply exist in their environment. They constantly interact with it.
Some environments will have different living things depending on the climate (e.g. hot/dry/cold/wet) in that environment. For example, a desert will have plants that can live in hot temperatures with limited water e.g. a cactus. The cactus will be a food or water source for other living things and they, in turn, will be a source of food (or energy) for other living things. This relationship between living things is called our ecosystem.
An environment that is very cold (like Antartica) will have animals that have adapted to live in very cold climates (e.g. penguins) and the food they eat will also have adapted to live in these cold and icy climates. The plankton that live in the icy oceans are eaten by fish and the fish are eaten by seals and penguins.
If the weather changes over a long period of time, for example if Antartica got warmer, then this would change the environment. This change in environment would make it difficult for the things that live there to survive. If the plankton could not live because it was too warm then the fish would not have enough food and this means the penguins would then not have enough fish to eat. The food chain or ecosystem would find it difficult to survive in the new environment caused by the warmer weather.
This is why looking after the environment is so important. We, as well as the animals that we farm, depend on food that is grown in other environments and if there are droughts or floods these crops won’t be able to grow.
Because Climate change is caused mostly by Carbon Dioxide (CO2) that we create when we make and use things, then saving the Carbon that creates Carbon Dioxide is one of the most important things we can all do.