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Narrative: Extreme Weather
Shortened Script: Extreme Weather
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Narrative: Extreme Weather
Shortened Script
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  1. 01

    {Cue Blue Marble (image)}

    Welcome to Science On a Sphere®. My name is {name} and I’m an educator here at {institution}. The image you are looking at is just one way to look at our planet but there are also many other ways.

  2. 02

    {Cue Human Transportation (image)}

    Take a look at this image. This is where we are on the globe {point to location}. These lines show transportation routes—how we move commodities, goods, and people all over the planet. Planes, roads, and ships join our local communities with the world.

    The image shows how we use our planet, the whole planet, for everything that we have today. We need to protect the environment from harm because we all depend on it, and it depends on us.

  3. 03

    {Cue Blue Marble (image)}

    Have a look at our planet—you can see that it’s covered by the ocean. What may not be as apparent is that the oceans also play an important role regulating our long–term weather patterns, or climate, similar to how our heart regulates the flow of blood throughout body.

  4. 04

    {Cue Ocean Circulation—labeled currents (image)}

    The movement of heat in the ocean, through currents, affects climate seen around the globe. Take a look at this image; red arrows show warm–water currents and where they move. Blue arrows show cool–water currents.

    In the Atlantic, warm water from the Gulf Stream extends all the way to England. This is why England typically has a mild climate in comparison to Canada, which is just as far north.

  5. 05

    {Cue Clouds Real–Time (animation)}

    Much in the way that the heart is a vital part of healthy body systems, the ocean is a vital part of climate systems. Just like hearts pump blood throughout bodies, the ocean pumps heat and moisture throughout the planet. This is how the ocean, the climate, and the weather are all connected.

  6. 06

    {Cue 2012 Hurricanes (animation)}

    One way we can see how weather is linked to the ocean is through hurricanes. In this image we can see hurricanes from the 2012 season. {Pause, allowing visitors to observe the globe} Can you see the hurricanes as they form over the ocean?

  7. 07

    {Cue 2005 Hurricanes + SST (animation)}

    Now let’s look at a slightly different image of hurricanes. This one illustrates that the way hurricanes form depends, in part, on how warm the surface of the ocean is. In this image, warmer water is indicated by reds and yellows; colder water appears blue. Where do you see the hurricanes developing? {Pause} Hurricanes form in warm water, where it appears red.

  8. 08

    {Cue Typhoon Haiyan + SST (animation)}

    Now consider this: What would happen if the ocean got warmer? {Pause}

    That’s exactly what’s happening across the globe now. As we burn fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas, carbon dioxide builds up and acts like a blanket, trapping heat inside. This trapped heat warms our ocean and atmosphere. Our warmer ocean pumps more moisture and heat into the air. This provides the fuel for more intense hurricanes.

  9. 09

    {Cue Nighttime Lights (image)}

    As the heat in our ocean and atmosphere increases, we can expect to see an increase in the number of strong hurricanes. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 are examples of the types of intense storms that are likely to occur in the future.

    The heart of our global system driving climate and weather has already been disrupted. Just like heart health can be improved by changes in behavior (like diet and exercise), the health of the planet’s heart can be improved by changes, too. Just like we monitor our hearts to keep them healthy and protect them from damage, it’s important to monitor the oceans so that they can continue to move heat and moisture through the climate system and prevent these storms from getting more intense.

    Communities are coming together both locally and globally developing innovative solutions. We can help by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, which will reduce the amount of heat–trapping gases in our atmosphere.

  10. 10

    {Cue Nighttime Lights + Solutions (image)}

    In some communities, energy companies are switching at least a third of the fossil fuels they use to cleaner energy sources such as solar arrays, wind turbines, and wave energy buoys. There are other choices we can make by supporting hybrid and clean fuel busses, mass-transit programs, green roof projects, and municipal solar panels. These are all ways of moving toward energy sources that don’t contribute to the heat-trapping blanket.

    We can all connect to others who care about climate change by following groups on Facebook and Twitter such as 350.org and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Or we can join a local rideshare group, bike–share programs, or other groups where we can keep learning, support one another, and be a part of the solution.

    Are there any groups in your area that you can join? Are there any online communities or websites you like to follow?

    Learning about your options, voicing your opinions, and promoting and voting for causes you believe in are all ways to make change happen. Discussing these ideas with your families, neighborhoods, and communities is a great start. What will you do today?

    Thanks for joining us today for our program. I will stick around for a few more minutes if you have any questions. Enjoy your visit!

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