Climate Change on Kids' Environmental Report Card from

Kids think global climate change is "extremely important," according to the Kids' Environmental Report Card poll.

It is "one of my top issues," said the majority of kids who took the poll. Another large group thought climate change was "a concern," but felt that other issues were more important to them.

The potential effects of climate change are varied and vast — so much so that many people have difficulty in understanding and planning for them. In its National Assessment of Climate Change, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) identified an array of possible impacts, such as drinking water shortages, damage to coral reefs, reductions in the planet's biodiversity and flooding due to rising sea levels.

"It is very likely that the U.S. will get substantially warmer," the USGCRP assessment points out. "Temperatures are projected to rise more rapidly in the next 100 years than in the last 10,000 years."

Increased temperatures could mean that some parts of the planet may get more rain and snow. In other parts, droughts and flash floods may become more frequent and more intense.

So what can kids do about something this big and far-reaching? For starters, they can share their views in letters to government agencies and environmental groups. To get started, try the Write a Letter activity on the Kids' Environmental Report Card.

Your thoughts and opinions will help others decide how to best face the future challenges of climate change.