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Climate Connections: Questions from Puerto Rico

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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.

[Music]

Details

Title: Climate Connections: Questions from Puerto Rico

Description:

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:
- Why has the rainy season been so long in Puerto Rico?
- How is global warming impacting the island of Puerto Rico?
- What are solar storms and are they related to climate change?
- Will we see polar bears on the island of Puerto Rico?

Location: , San Juan, Puerto Rico

Date Taken: 11/1/2011

Length: 5:28


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.

Source:

Appears as part of the USGS CoreCast series

Director: Ray Douglas

Producer: Jessica Robertson

Additional Video Credits: Don Becker

File Details:

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In: Podcasts collection

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Tags: ClimateChange ClimateConnections GlobalWarming PolarBears PuertoRico SeaLevelRise SolarStorms carribean hurricane rain storms sun

 

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