Here are some questions to think about:
- How can there be both more floods and more drought – sometimes in the same place?
- What’s happening in the oceans?
- Why is climate a hot-button topic?
- What kinds of solutions are people talking about?
For information and inspiration, check out the Learn More page
So hot in the atmosphere
Drip Drop (Drop)Climbing out of control
Climate is warming. The global average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere warmed 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit in the 20th Century. That rise in temperature is a global average, which means that all the temperatures from locations worldwide and through all seasons are averaged together. Scientists project more than double that amount of warming during the 21st Century.
I was like “Good gracious!
What’s up with the glaciers?”
When I went away
On my summer vacay
See my Aunt Arctica
Same time each year
But I kind of freaked out
When some snow disappeared
Ice rivers flowing
Miles are going
Dumping and sinking
Right into the sea
Calving off in huge chunks
The size of NYC
Ice-scrapers break off
And turn into bergs
Tons of freshwater run offOnly making it worse
In general, glaciers are disappearing due to warming temperatures. Almost all mountain glaciers around the world are shrinking. In the northern hemisphere, the ice sheet on Greenland is melting. In the southern hemisphere, the West Antarctic ice sheet is melting too. On the other side of Antarctica, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is increasing in size because of more snowfall.
There is variation throughout the year: glaciers and ice sheets grow in size during the winter when temperatures are cold and snow is common and then shrink in summer when temperatures are warmer.
Sea levels go up
Salt water slows up
High tides’ll show up
Coral don’t hold up
When the water’s brackish
It’s bad for the fish
The ocean’s feverish
I’m not cool with this
The seven seas are rising twice as fast
As ever been recorded in decades past
Forecast soaked shores all along the coastWho knows what’s in store when the waves encroach?
There are two reasons that sea level is rising and both are because climate is warming. First, there is more water in the ocean as glacial melt water makes its way to the seas. Second, warming ocean water takes up more space because the water molecules move further apart, causing the water to expand, which also makes sea level rise.
Rising sea level is a problem for coastal communities, especially when the sea level rises temporarily during storms (called storm surge) and during unusually high tide events (like king tides).
Warmer ocean water is harmful to corals and other marine life that require very specific environmental conditions.
During the 20th Century sea level rose 8 inches. The rate of sea level rise is speeding up and scientists predict sea level will rise between 1 and 7 feet during this century, depending on how much climate change occurs.
And on another subject, Arctic ice
Is Earth’s home-grown natural cooling device
It’s melting too, which ain’t good news
When all that chillin’ white’s got the blues
Sea ice is nice for reflectivity
Bouncing back the sun’s blazing energy
The albedo is perfect
A frozen flat surface
Bye bye solar rays
X ray, gamma ray Infrared, ultra violet
Traps and amplifies it
This positive feedback
Ain’t so positive
Melted ice turns dark
No longer reflective
It heats up hotter
Melting even more
There’s a polar bearKnocking on your door
The ice that covers much of the Arctic Ocean around the North Pole is called sea ice and is made of frozen seawater. Every winter the amount of ice increases as cold temperatures allow more seawater to freeze. Then, during summer, some of the sea ice melts. Over the past several decades, more ice has melted during the summer than has formed during the winter. This means that there is less ice in the Arctic Ocean than there used to be.
Because ice is white, it reflects most of the incoming solar energy out to space. The dark ocean surface that is exposed when the ice melts absorbs solar energy, which causes more warming in the Arctic, which melts more ice. This vicious cycle (called a “positive feedback”) is responsible for speeding up warming.
Polar bears and other Arctic life are affected by the loss of sea ice. The bears use sea ice platforms when they are hunting for fish and seals in the ocean.
Evaporate Precipitate Circulate Vapor
Can’t escape the atmos
Where does it go?
Heads back into the hydro
Stop, drop & roll
The higher the temp
The more the steam
Buckets dump from the clouds
It’s like a bad dream
Get it together
Climate on caffeine
When it rains it pours
And floods the floors
The deluge don't seep
Or absorb too deep
Cause the ground’s dried out
Plants can’t go without
I wanna scream and shout
The water cycle is speeding up due to climate change. With warmer temperatures, there is more evaporation of water into the air (turning from a liquid to a gas). More evaporation can cause dry areas to become drier. Long term drier-than-normal conditions are called drought, which is a problem for farmers, ecosystems, and anyone who relies on water.
More evaporation of water into the air can cause more clouds to form. Those clouds cause intense storms (precipitation), which can cause flooding.
Looking into the future, scientists project that some areas will have a higher chance of drought and other areas will be subject to extreme rainstorms.
True, the climate’s changed naturally throughout time
But it’s human fingerprints at the scene of this crime
We’re breaking records.
We’re getting hotter.
Gotta act now.
Gotta save our water.
While saving water is a good idea and works with the rhyme in this song, the most important take away from the video is the importance of humans reducing CO2 emissions.