Hello, everyone and welcome to the next installment of Seas by Degrees. My name is Mary Beth Arcodia. I’m a fifth year PHD student at the Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Science with University of Miami.
I study atmospheric science and today I’m, going to be talking to you about climate change and sea level rise and why it’s particularly important in South Florida. The warming of the earth is causing the sea level to rise for two main reasons: one is thermal expansion and the second is ice.
Melting thermal expansion means that when something gets warmer, it expands, and so we moved some of this liquid nitrogen into this cup. To get another view of our thermal expansion here is our balloon here’s, our liquid nitrogen.
We put our balloon into the liquid nitrogen, which is very cold, so it’s, causing the balloon to shrink. But what’s? Actually happening is that the air inside of the balloon is contracting or shrinking, because it’s very cold.
Now, if I take the balloon out, it starts to expand, because the air inside of the balloon is expanding. The second main reason that climate change or global warming is causing the sea level to rise is because of land ice melting.
So here we have a cup of water, and I’m going to mark on this cup, where the water line is so. You can see here we have the line of water. Now, if I take ice and put it into this cup, we can see. The water level has now risen because i take ice from outside of the cup put it into the cup and the water level rises.
Now let’s, try to understand how this works in the real world. So here we have our mountains with ice on top and we have water here at the bottom. So we can think of this as our ocean, and this is our glaciers on land now, as these glaciers start to warm, they start to melt.
This causes this ice to turn into water and the water to run off into our oceans. As we add more water or we add more ice into the ocean, it causes the level to rise. Sea level rise is a big concern for us, especially here in south florida.
We are very low, lying state and so sea level rise can cause our fresh water to get intruded on by salt water, and it also causes major flooding. Sometimes we see flooding events even when it’s, not raining.
Another main reason that sea level rises. An issue is because of the hurricanes that we get here in south florida. A higher sea level causes worse storm surge. Now, if you’re trying to teach these at home, we can make some hurricanes in a bottle.
So in case you need a refresher on a hurricane. It’s, a nice vortex that looks just like this or you can take two water bottles and create a vortex in a bottle. Now, if these major vortices hurricanes are coming towards us here in south florida, a main concern is storm surge here we have a makeshift beach setup.
Here are people on shore and here’s our ocean. Now, if a hurricane were to come across, it brings massive winds and it blows this water onto land. So it’s. Taking our ocean water and pushing it onto the shore, and we can see our people here are getting wet.
Storm surge is a major major threat from hurricanes, and a higher sea level can cause worse. Storm surge sea level rise can be a problem for us right here in south florida, as the sea levels are rising.
We’re, losing our beaches, and this becomes especially clear during king tide season, when our tides are the highest and our high tides can come all the way up to the shoreline and we lose our entire beach.
While climate change and sea level rise are global issues, there are things that you can do at home. To help stop the rate of sea level rise and a big one is just by reducing the amount of plastic you use.
Plastic waste often ends up in the ocean which can harm our coral reefs and our mangroves, both of which are helping to keep the sea level where it should be. So there’s. A lot of things that you can do use a reusable water bottle, bring your own utensils to work instead of using plastic utensils, use a reusable straw, remember to reduce reuse, recycle, take public transportation instead of driving your car turn off the lights.
When you leave a room there’s, all little things that you can do to make a big difference. I want to thank quartz clark and the ceasefire degrees committee, bye.