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June 20, 2011 

New Interactive Map Tracks Impacts of Climate Change Around the Planet

"Hot Spots" Will Be Added to Reflect Latest Scientific Research on Global Warming

WASHINGTON (June 21, 2011)  The impacts of climate change—from bleached coral reefs to shrinking lakes to more potent poison ivy—are now being tracked on an interactive map launched today by the Union  of Concerned Scientists (UCS) website.
 
UCS’s Climate Hot Map illustrates the potential and already occurring consequences of global climate change identified in peer-reviewed studies.  New “hot spots” will be added to the map monthly to reflect the latest scientific research.

“One of the main goals of the map is to really bring the science of climate change to life by connecting it to people’s daily lives around the world,” said UCS climate scientist Brenda Ekwurzel. “That’s the part of climate research that’s sometimes hard to get from scientific publications.

“People care about their own back yards,” she added. “Once you find out about your own region, you start to get interested in other regions that are facing global warming consequences. We think a map will make it easier for people to get the big picture of what’s going on around the world.”  

The map shows global warming effects in five different subject areas:  people (public health, food supplies and the economy), lakes and rivers, the oceans, ecosystems and temperatures.  It also offers suggestions for how site visitors can help reduce global warming emissions by, among other things, making their homes more energy efficient, using green transportation and supporting policies that promote renewable energy sources and phase out electricity from fossil fuels.

As part of its Climate Hot Map launch, UCS is also sponsoring an online scavenger hunt based on information about climate hot spots.  Participants will receive an entry into the drawing each time they identify a hot spot. The grand prize is an EarthWatch Institute trip for two to Brazil to help scientists measure the impact of climate change on the Rio Cachoeira Nature Reserve. 

 

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.

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