Questions for ‘Concerns over Earth’s fever’

climate change map

Pinkish to reddish areas are regions in 2014 that experienced average temperatures that were above the norm (what occurred in 1981 to 2010). Blue areas were cooler than the norm.


To accompany feature ‘Concerns over Earth’s fever’


Before reading:

1.    Look up the definitions for “weather” and “climate.” How are these two different? Is there anything similar about them?

2.    Excess carbon dioxide ends up in the atmosphere from the burning of oil and gas to drive cars, to heat and cool buildings and to run factories. Consider your normal day, one in which you go to school. which of your tasks and activities might depend on burning fossil fuels? How many can you name?

During reading:

1.    Why have global average temperatures been rising since the 1800s?

2.    Why does a small rise in global average temperatures cause glaciers and ice sheets to melt?

3.    Why are sea levels rising?

4.    What is expected to happen to the wheat harvest as temperatures rise?

5.    What is expected to happen to wet and dry areas of the world as the climate warms?

6.    Name three weather events that scientists think were intensified by climate change.

7.    Name four vector-borne diseases and explain why they are dangerous.

8.    What is chikungunya?

9.    What are three ways that people can adapt to climate change?

After reading:

1.    There is a lot of debate over what should be done about rising greenhouse gases. Some people say that reducing greenhouse gas emissions must be done. Others say it is fine to do nothing. After reading this story, what do you think? Explain your answer.

2.    What are the big risks to your city or town from climate change? How might those risks be lessened or avoided?


1.    Over the past two decades, sea levels have risen, on average, about 3 millimeters (0.12 inch) per year. If they continue to rise at this rate, how much will sea level rise by 2100? If the rate of sea level rise doubles in 2050, how much will the average increase be between now and 2100?