Climate Connections: Questions from Puerto Rico

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Detailed 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?


Episode Number: 170

Date Taken:

Length: 00:05:28

Location Taken: PR


Climate Connections: Questions from the Caribbean – San Juan, Puerto Rico

[Music] Jessica Robertson: Welcome to USGS Climate Connections.

I’m your host, Jessica Robertson.

In this episode, our questions came from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Let’s see what questions they had for our scientists.

Lorana: Hi my name is Lorana, and I’m 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:

Maria: Hello, my name is Maria De Azúa, and I live here in Santurce,

Puerto Rico, and I do have a lot of questions. What about those

solar tsunamis — is that for real? What can we do and what’s 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, that’s 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 I’m 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: That’s it for this episode of USGS Climate Connections

in Puerto Rico. We hope you join us again next time.