What might happen if Earth heats up?
If Earth gets hotter, some of the following things might occur:
• New coastlines would have to be drawn on maps! Because water expands as it is heated, and because oceans absorb more heat than land, sea levels around the world would rise. Cities on coasts would flood.
• Temperate places that now receive frequent rain and snowfall (like Wisconsin) might become hotter and drier. Inland lakes and rivers would shrink. Forest fires could occur more often. Frequent periods of drought would make it hard to raise crops for food. There would be less water available for drinking, showers, irrigation, even swimming pools!
• Plants and animals unable to take the heat may go extinct, and be replaced by heat-tolerant species.
• Hurricanes, tornadoes and other storms caused by changes in heat and water evaporation might occur more frequently and be more intense.
You can help slow global warming by:
• Walking, riding your bicycle, or taking the bus instead of always going by car.
• Not wasting electricity (turn off the lights, the radio, the TV and the computer when you’re not using them).
• Reducing, reusing or recycling all kinds of items, from soda pop cans to clothes, to save energy and raw materials.
• Planting trees to help absorb excess CO2, and to provide shade and windbreaks to keep buildings at more even temperatures so they will require less energy for heating or cooling.