Oceans And Climate Change In American Samoa

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Oceans and ClimateChange in American SamoaSponsored by the Governor’s Coral Reef Advisory Group

About Oceans and Climate Change in American Samoa:This book is intended for grades 4-6. It was created to introduceAmerican Samoan students to how climate change will affect oceans in theterritory. A companion answer key is available. This book was created byClare Shelton and the Governor’s Coral Reef Advisory Group (CRAG). If youhave any questions or to request copies, please contact the Coral ReefAdvisory Group at 633-5155 or email info@crag.as2

Hey kids!We have heard a lot about climate change andglobal warming recently, and we don’t know whatthose are. We are going to go around the oceansand reefs in American Samoa to learn more—wouldyou like to come along?3

Climate Change in American SamoaYou may have heard people talk about Climate Changeor Global Warming. Do you know what these are?Climate change is whathappens when the climate ofthe entire Earth changes –this means it gets warmer orcolder. Rain, wind, and stormpatterns change. This can benatural, or can be caused bypeople. When it is natural ithappens over hundreds andhundreds of years. We areworried about it right nowsince human activities over the last 150 years are changing ourclimate.Global warming is when Earth’s air and the water get warmer.Global warming is one part of climate change.This doesnot soundgood!Uh-oh!4

Climate Change in American SamoaFill in the blank spaces with words from the word bank:Climate change affects the climate of the entire .Climate change means big changes in ,rain, and patterns that last for many many years.Climate change can come from or fromcauses. Global is when theaverage temperature of the Earth gets warmer. This can bepart of change. Climate change right now iscaused by . actionsWord e5

The Greenhouse EffectPeople talk about the greenhouseeffect when they talk about climatechange and global warming. What isit? Well, one way to think about it isto imagine a car on a hot day. Whenyou leave the car in the sun with thewindows closed, what happens to theair inside the car?Unscramble the letters below to find out what happens:Het ria seaht pu6

The Greenhouse EffectThere are gases in the air called greenhouse gases. They helpkeep the sun’s heat close to Earth, so that plants and animalsand people can live. They are part of the atmosphere. Theatmosphere is the layer of gases that surrounds our planet.Right now people are putting too many greenhouse gases intothe atmosphere. These gases come from many of our everydayactivities – like driving cars, using electricity, cutting downtrees, and making things in factories.AtmosphereHmm, sothat’s theatmosphere!I like having one! It makes thetemperature just right for meand my family.7

Normal AtmosphereEnergy from the sun travels to the Earth. Look at the8red arrow to see theeight units of energy travelingfrom the sun to Earth. This is Earth before climatechange.Yum! Sunshine!3Plants and animals and people usethree units of the sun’senergy.unitsHowmany8energyareremaining?

Normal AtmosphereAnotherthree units of energy bounce off the Earth and gointo space. Look at the red arrows to see where the energygoes. How many units of energy are left now?There are now units of energy.[Hint: 8 – 3 – 3 ]three energyunits go intospaceOoh, it’s niceand warm!The atmosphere keeps some ofthesun’skeepsin,whichThe Atmosphere holds inwarm.Thetwo units of energy.energyusatmosphere keepstwo units ofenergy, which warms the Earthso all the animals and plants and people can live here. Howmany units of energy are left now?9

Atmosphere with Extra Greenhouse Gases8Here is the Earth with more greenhouse gases in theatmosphere, like we have now. See how different theatmosphere is! There are still eight energy units thatcome from the sun.Yum! Sunshine!3There are still three units of energy that are used by plantsand animals and people.With a normal atmosphere, there werethree units of energythat went into space. Look at the red arrow going into spacenow – see how much smaller it is? There is nowone energy unitgoing into space. How many energy units are left now?10[Hint: 8-3-1 ]

Atmosphere with Extra Greenhouse GasesWith this different atmosphere, more energy units aretrapped close to Earth. Here there aretrapped close to Earth.four energy unitsone energy unitgoes into spaceAh! It’s too hotin here!!If two units of energy makeThe Atmosphere normallythe Earth warm enough forholds in energyus to live on, what do youthink will happen when thereunits.are twice as many energyunits? Write in the box below what you think will happen to theEarth:11

Carbon Dioxide – CO2Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is a greenhouse gas. Look at theatmosphere around the Earths on pages 7 and 9 – do you seethe difference between the atmosphere on page 7 and page9? The one on page 9 has more greenhouse gases. Whenthere is more CO2 in the atmosphere, the Earth gets warmersince less energy can escape through the atmosphere.But where does CO2 come from?CO2 comes from people – from things we do that useelectricity and energy. When you burn gasoline in a car or in afactory, more CO2 is put into the atmosphere. There is moreCO2 in the atmosphere now since people are driving more carsand using more electricity than before.1212


CO2 and Our OceansAll this extra CO2 is changing our oceans in three major ways:1. The extra heat is making our oceans warmer. This ismaking it harder for many animals that can’t move, likecorals.I don’t like thesound of this!Me neither! Coralsare my friends.2. This extra heat is also causing the sea level to rise. Thiscan be bad since waves will wash away more land andcause more flooding.What is wrong withsea level rise?It is really bad forour human friends.14

CO2 and Our Oceans3. Extra CO2 in the air also means extra CO2 in the ocean.This is changing the ocean water and making it moreacidic. An acid has a pH lower than 7. Normal oceanwater has a pH of about 8, and animals are used to livingin water with a pH of 8. A lower pH can be quite harmful,and will make it very difficult for certain animals to livethere.Uh-oh! This is really scary.What will happen to all ofus who live in the ocean?These changes are also affecting our coral reefs. Our reefsare important for all of us – they protect our land from bigwaves during storms and tsunamis. The ocean is where we getlots of our food.This is bad news for all of us!!15

CO2 and Our OceansOur fish friends decided to find out what was happening – sothey went to talk to the other animals that live in the ocean.First they went to talk to some corals about the warmerwater.I heard the water isgetting warmer – howdoes it make you feel?Bleaching? What is that?It makes me sick – and ifit gets too warm I bleach!It is when I let go of thealgae that live with me – andthen I look all white. If thewater doesn’t cool downright away, I can die!The coral told the fish where to see some corals that werebleached. The fish swam over to those corals, and saw somethat were bleached and some that were not bleached.16

CO2 and Our OceansFirst, the fish saw the corals that were healthy These coralslook healthy!We feel healthy too! Look at our nice brown color.Then they went to see the bleached corals.These corals don’t look sogood. They are all white!We don’t feel thatgood either. It’s toohot for us!Poor corals! Why don’t you moveto somewhere with colder water—like farther south in New Zealandor north to California?We can’t! We grow and live in oneplace our whole lives and can’t move. If thewater gets too hot, there is nothing we can do,but lose our color. If this happens we can die!Anyway, water in New Zealand and California istoo cold for us.17

CO2 and Our OceansAfter the fish saw the corals and learned how the warmerwater will hurt animals, they wanted to know how sea level risewill hurt animals.What will sea level rise do?It will wash away more ofthe coastline and alsocause flooding.So it is bad for people,but what about animals?Well, some animals, like turtles, usebeaches to lay their eggs. Let’s go find aturtle.So the fish swam off to find a turtle.18

CO2 and Our OceansBefore long, the fish found Laumei, a wise turtle who hadlived for many many years.Hi Laumei! We want to talk to you aboutsea level rise - what do you know about it?Well, I know that people’s actions arecausing the sea level to rise. This isgoing to cover their land and also makemore of it wash away when there arestorms and big waves. The coralsprotect the land from storms and bigwaves. When more corals die becausethe water is too warm, more and moreland will wash away. The same land thatpeople build their houses and roads andschools on! How silly that people areSo what peopleare doing ishurting themmaking their own land disappear! I layeggs on beaches, so I don’t want thoseto wash away either!and us! That isso silly!19

CO2 and Our OceansAfter the fish learned about bleaching and sea level rise,they wanted to know what will happen when the oceans become more acidic. They knew that corals and animals withshells, like clams, would be hurt the most, so they went tofind some coral and clams to talk to.What does it mean when people saythat the oceans are getting moreacidic?Well, what happens is all that extraCO2 that is in the air is also in theoceans. When the extra CO2 mixeswith the seawater, it makes the watermore acidic. Seawater normally has apH of 8, and the extra CO2 decreasesthe pH. This means that the water actslike an acid, and can hurt certain animals that live in it.20

CO2 and Our OceansWhy does it matter ifthe pH is lower?Well, certain animals, like ourfriend the clam and myself, useminerals in the water to make ourskeletons. When the water ismore acidic it is much harder forus to make our skeletons.Oh no! Is there anything youcan do?No, since all we need to build our homes comesfrom the water the only way to make it betteris for people to stop putting so many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.21

CO2 and Our OceansThe fish were all very sad when they learned that there wasnothing to help the shells and the corals. They knew thatthere were corals and people all around American Samoa, butthey didn’t know how to let the people know what to do to helpthe corals. They decided to go ask the brain coral – who isvery wise. Help the fish find their way to the brain coral!22

CO2 and Our OceansPleaseBrainCoral – what canpeople do to helpthe corals?People can put less CO2 in the atmosphere.People can also make the reefs healthier. Ifthe corals are healthy and the water getsreally warm, the corals that are healthy maynot bleach as much as the corals that are nothealthy.How can we keep corals healthy?We can keep the water clean. Trash andlitter like plastic bags and candy wrappers and shoes can hurt the coral.Other litter – like gasoline and wastefrom piggeries can also hurt the corals.We can make sure we put all our trashin the right place and we can tell ourfamilies to make sure the water fromthe piggeries is clean before it goesinto streams.Wow – we can do that!What about puttingless CO2 in the atmosphere? How can we dothat?23


CO2 and Our OceansWhich of the activities below do you think make the coralhealthier? Put an X under the happy face if the activity makesthe corals healthy and an X under the sad face if it does notmake corals healthy.ActivityRiding your bicyclePlaying cricketSwimmingThrowing your trash on the groundThrowing your trash in the oceanThrowing your trash in a trash binWatching TVPlaying video gamesGoing to schoolWalking to churchDriving to churchLeaving the lights on when you leave aroom25

CO2 and Our OceansHere are the answers to the activities you just filled in. Let’stalk about the answers with our fish friends:ActivityRiding your bicycleXPlaying cricketXSwimmingXThrowing your trash on the groundXThrowing your trash in the oceanXThrowing your trash in a trash binXWatching TVXPlaying video gamesXGoing to schoolXWalking to churchXDriving to churchXLeaving the lights on when you leave aroomX26

CO2 and Our OceansWhen you do things like ride your bike orrun around to get somewhere, instead ofdriving, you use less CO2.If you can walk a short distance, instead ofdriving, you put less CO2 into the atmosphere.Throwing your trash on the ground or in the oceanmeans it can hurt the corals. Even if you are notnear the ocean, when you throw your trash on theground, the rain will wash it away to a stream, andthen it will flow down the stream to the oceanwhere the corals live!Watching TV and playing video games uses electricity, which puts more CO2 into the atmosphere.Going to school is good for corals – when youlearn lots of new things and know how to takecare of your environment, it is good for youand the corals!Same as leaving the lights on – if you don’tneed something that uses electricity, don’tleave it on - turn it off!27

CO2 and Our OceansThe fish were happy there are things people can do to helpcorals and slow down climate change. The fish want you topromise to help corals and all the animals that need them, likeour fish friends! In the box below, write down what you aregoing to do to help corals and slow down climate change. Thiscan be anything from turning off lights to asking for fewerrides to watching less TV. You can also tell your family, yourchurch and your friends about climate change and how to slowit down!Fa’afetai lava!28

CO2 and Our OceansYou learned lots of new words today! Test out what youlearned by drawing arrows to connect your new words withtheir definitions below:Climate changeWhen Earth’s air and the water getwarmer.This is one part of climatechange.Global warmingThis is layers of gases that surround theEarth and keep heat close to our planet.Greenhouse gasesThis is what happens when the climate ofthe entire Earth changes – this means itgets warmer or colder, and rain and windand storm patterns change. This can benatural, or can be caused by people.AtmosphereThese are gases that trap heat close tothe Earth and make the Earth warmerwhen there are more of them.Carbon dioxide/CO2This is what is going to happen when theocean level rises. This can cause moreflooding and increase beaches and coastlines washing away.Sea level riseThis is a type of greenhouse gas thatcomes from many places. One of those ispeople’s actions – like using electricity anddriving.Acidic ocean waterThis is what happens when the water corals live in gets too warm. They can liveafter this, but sometimes many of themdie afterwards.coral bleachingThis is what is going to happen to oceanwater and is also going to hurt animals likeclams and corals that use minerals in oceanwater to make their own skeletons.29

Games & FuntimesLaumei has wisdom to share with you. To findout what his message is, unscramble each ofthe clue words below. Copy the letters in thenumbered boxes to the boxes with the samenumber at the bottom of the page.30

Games & FuntimesHere are some of our other underwater friends, except theyhave mixed themselves up! Help them find their other halves bydrawing a line between matching halves.Where’smy rightclaw?Where’smy tail?31

Games & FuntimesTurn the page to the left to color in the fish swimming allaround the reefs.32

Additional InformationDid you like learning about climate change? If you want to knowmore, there are many places you can look. Your teacher mayhave books, and the internet also has a lot of good informationand games. A few websites to look at are: http://www.climate.gov/#climateWatch /change.htm http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/kids/You can also email info@crag.as if you have more questions.Color in thereef!33

Scramble answers from page 30:Words:Climate changeGlobal warmingGreenhouse gasesAtmospherePhrase:Fa'atotoe Le Muli ole Ola34Carbon dioxideSea level riseAcidicCoral bleachingTurtleBrain coralPeopleEarthClamFish

Fa'atotoe Le Muli ole OlaYes Laumei—”to keep for them the remainder ofthe basket". People should remember that whenyou make decisions about your environment. Theland and the water are your gift to those whofollow you. Tell your parents and your friendsand your church what you learned today!35

36 2014 Governor’s Coral Reef Advisory Groupwww.crag.as

Global warming is when Earth’s air and the water get warmer. Global warming is one part of climate change. This does not sound good! Climate Change in American Samoa You may have heard people talk about Climate Change or Global Warming. Do you know what these are? Uh-oh! 5 Fill in the blank spaces with words from the word bank: Climate change affects the climate of the entire _. Climate .

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