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Climate Connections: Questions from the Caribbean Ė San Juan, Puerto Rico
[Music] Jessica Robertson: Welcome to USGS Climate Connections.
Iím your host, Jessica Robertson. In this
episode, our questions came from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Letís see what questions they had for our scientists.
Lorana: Hi my name is Lorana, and Iím just wondering
why the rainy season has taken longer than usual.
Coral Roig-Silva: Hello Lorana, thanks for your question.
My name is Coral Roig-Silva with the USGS. The amount of
rain and length of precipitation varies from year to year. As
the climate gets warmer, extended droughts broken up by
intense storms may become the norm. Hurricanes may become
more intense with stronger peak winds and may increase the
rainfall in some areas. In Puerto Rico, the USGS Caribbean
Water Science Center monitors groundwater levels, stream
flow and precipitation. Go to their website to find out
more information: http://pr.water.usgs.gov
Felix: My name is Felix. We are in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and
I would like to know how global warming is affecting the island.
Matthew Larsen: Hi, I am Matthew Larsen, the Associate
Director for Climate and Land Use Change, U.S. Geological
Survey. I lived and worked for many years in Puerto Rico.
Felix, you have a good question: How will climate change
affect the island? One way is through sea level. We know
that sea level is rising little by little, 2 or 3 millimeters per
year, on average. That will affect highways, schools, public
infrastructure, the ferries to CataŮo, Culebra, Vieques, etc.
Another effect will be on hurricanes ó the frequency and
magnitude (strength) ó those will increase. Also, we
anticipate that we will see more droughts, like the one we
had in 1994-1995. That will have a strong effect on
agriculture and drinking water supply.
Maria: Hello, my name is Maria De Azķa, and I live here in Santurce,
Puerto Rico, and I do have a lot of questions. What about those
solar tsunamis ó is that for real? What can we do and whatís next?
Jeffrey Love: Maria, thank you for your question about the sun and
climate change. Your question about tsunamis, well, those are
what scientists call solar storms. The sun is always emitting radiation
and it also gives off a wind of electrically charged particles.
When that happens abruptly, thatís what we call a solar storm.
As for whether or not solar storms and magnetic storms are
themselves responsible for recent climate change, that has not
been definitively shown. The consensus among scientists is that
the sun is not responsible for most recent climate change and it
is we humans who are having the greatest impact.
Mina: Hello, my name is Mina. We are in San Juan, Puerto Rico,
and Iím wondering if we are going to see polar bears anytime soon
by the island because I know the ice caps are melting. Thank you.
Matthew Larsen: My name is Matt Larsen and I am the Associate
Director for Climate and Land Use Change with the U.S. Geological
Survey. We are unlikely ever to see polar bears swimming near
Puerto Rico, but we are likely to see changes in other types of local
fauna and flora. We may see different types of birds moving to that
region. We may see different types of birds moving out as the changes
in climate make it less hospitable for those animals. We may also see
different types of plants that can no longer survive in an island climate
that maybe gets more frequent droughts or more frequent storms.
These are just some of the things that we anticipate in the Caribbean
and we are already seeing in some parts of the world.
Jessica Robertson: Thatís it for this episode of USGS Climate Connections
in Puerto Rico. We hope you join us again next time.
Title: Climate Connections: Questions from Puerto Rico
America has questions about climate change, and the USGS has real answers. In this episode of Climate Connections, USGS scientists answer questions gathered from Puerto Rico. Questions include:
Location: , San Juan, Puerto Rico
Date Taken: 11/1/2011
Note: This video has been released into the public domain by the U.S. Geological Survey for use in its entirety. Some videos may contain pieces of copyrighted material. If you wish to use a portion of the video for any purpose, other than for resharing/reposting the video in its entirety, please contact the Video Producer/Videographer listed with this video. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this video.
Appears as part of the USGS CoreCast series
Director: Ray Douglas
Producer: Jessica Robertson
Additional Video Credits: Don Becker
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