Yesterday, the Union of Concerned Scientists launched their Climate Hot Map in an effort to communicate how scientists are proving that global warming is already affecting people and places around the world. Using the free Google Maps API, visitors to the site can now visit 60 hotspots that are changing due to climate change. The Climate Hot Map is part of a larger Weight of the Evidence campaign launched by UCS.

Climate change affects everyone, and it’s already impacting many people in varying degrees around the globe. However, there is hope for mitigating these climate impacts. Through the Climate Hot Map, you can take action by directly contacting companies and governments and support regional solutions to global warming.

For example, ocean acidification is a big problem for coral reefs, which concerns me because in a couple weeks I’ll be diving in the Caribbean. Acidification makes the process of shell-creation much harder for shellfish and calcification harder for corals. I hope these reefs will still be there for future generations. But ocean acidification is such a global problem -- how can I take action? In the pop-up balloon of the Climate Hot Map, I can fill out a form to send an email to Ban Ki-Moon to show my support for the UNFCCC’s “Green Climate Fund.”

These solutions help give people hope that mitigating the impacts of climate change is possible.

In addition to providing this valuable educational resource and advocacy tool, the Climate Hot Map has announced a Scavenger Hunt. Answer eight questions about where specific impacts of climate change and global warming are already taking place and you could win prizes like an Earthwatch expedition.

This project was funded by and Google Earth Outreach’s GeoChallenge Grants. This year, we’re supporting a new crop of projects through Developer Grants and can’t wait to see the latest ways nonprofits are using Google Earth and Maps to tell their stories.