Climate Change: Sea Level Rise, a Synthesis of Human Impacts
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In this program for Science On a Sphere, rising sea levels provide a platform to discuss many aspects of climate change since it is a summative measure of the human impacts on climate. The three major climate change factors leading to sea level rise are: heating and expansion of the oceans' waters; glacier melt and the transfer of melt water to the oceans; and melting of the Greenland and (in future) Antarctic ice sheets. There is a human contribution to each of these three sea level rise factors.
Sea level rise (SLR) will displace millions of people from their homes over the coming decades. Yet, the impacts of SLR have already been felt. The human contribution to damage caused by the 2012 Super-storm Sandy in the New York City area is part of this program. Solution pathways to reduce human impacts on climate change are an important last topic in this SLR program. The goals for this program are:
- Appreciation of the concept that humans are the dominant contributor to climate change.
- Inspire Science On a Sphere (SOS) attendees to substantially mitigate their impacts on Earth's climate.
- Foster greater climate science knowledge among science museum staff and SOS presenters of climate science and change information.
This program on sea level rise (SLR) can be presented in several different ways. First, the SOS Playlist can be presented using the SOS Bullets provided below for public SOS audience presentations to elicit better understanding of SLR basics and human contributions to it. For a more complete presentation, presenters can use the provided SOS Script and PowerPoint slides along with the SOS Playlist. The script will help prepare science educators, museum SOS education staff, docents, and others for SLR presentations that can be readily updated with the most recent climate science information by modifying the PowerPoint slides. The slides can also be modified to provide a more comprehensive SLR program for use with the SOS that includes material on climate change solution pathways. For SLR programs that have limited time (that still retain material about climate change solution pathways) some of the PowerPoint slides can be removed while leaving the SOS Playlist intact, and/or drawing upon a limited number of points in the Script and Bullets resource files. An example of this is the "SLR SOS Presentation: Reduced PowerPoint Slides" resource file listed below. Other purposes can be met by "picking and choosing" from among all the resources listed below. Such modifications can generally be more easily completed by first modifying the Script, followed by changes to the Playlist and PowerPoint slides. Flexibility in program productions is better provided by having both Playlist and PowerPoint slides available, especially when updating of SLR program climate science basics is being considered.