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Climate Connections: Questions From North And South Carolina

6 minutes

(Describer) Titles: Start with Science.

(Describer) USGS – Science for a changing world

(Describer) USGS Climate Connections. In a garden…

Welcome to USGS Climate Connections, where your questions about climate change are answered by USGS scientists. I'm your host, Jessica Robertson.

(Describer) Titles: From locations all across America. Your climate questions matter. Climate Connections.

(Describer) Has answers. In the garden, Robertson:

In this episode, we are greeted with true Southern hospitality as we traveled through North and South Carolina. Let's see what questions they had about climate change.

(Describer) Titles: Climate Connections starts now. Question One. On a sidewalk…

My name is Amber. We're currently in Charleston. How does climate change affect the coast? Where can I learn more? How can it affect my future?

(Describer) Sitting by bookshelves…

Great question, Amber. I'm John Haines, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Our coastal communities, natural resources, and beaches are some of the most vulnerable places to climate change, particularly sea level rise. Already storms, erosion, flooding are impacting these coastal areas. With sea level rise, they'll reach further inland, happen more frequently, and probably with more intensity. You live in the low country. It's particularly vulnerable to sea level rise impacts. Fortunately, there are lots of information resources from the USGS, NOAA, state agencies, and academic institutions. On the Web, search for South Carolina and sea level rise. You'll find lots to learn. I hope that answers your question.

(Describer) Question Two. Standing by a river under a bridge…

I have a question. What are scientists currently doing to help communities prepare for the effects of global warming in our area of rivers and streams?

(Describer) Sitting in an office by a computer…

I'm glad you asked that. I'm Bob Hirsch, hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. We know that climate change does influence water resources. It changes the amount of evaporation that occurs. It changes the kind of precipitation that occurs-- less snow, more rain. It changes the timing of snow melt. All these things can contribute to changes in our water supply for our farms, factories, and cities. It can also change the size of floods, which are so important for the safety of our citizens. The USGS contributes to helping to understand this problem by collecting data at over 7,000 rivers across the nation. The connections are complicated, and we're working to try to understand them.

(Describer) Question Three. Standing in a garden…

I'm Pearl Fryar from Bishopville, South Carolina, and this is my garden.

(Describer) It has a fountain and bushes cut into different shapes.

You always try and plant trees.

(Describer) A tree in a mushroom shape stands among the bushes.

How can I do something that I know is having an effect on climate change? I don't know much about it. I'd love to know what can I do?

(Describer) Physical Scientist Zhiliang Zhu:

Pearl, you ask a great question. Yes, planting more trees and restoring native vegetation will help with climate change. That is because plants absorb CO2 out of the atmosphere. It converts CO2 into carbon and stores the carbon in plants and in soils.

(Describer) Title: Question Four. On a sidewalk…

My question for the scientists would be, what do we know now that we didn't know back then during President Jimmy Carter's reign?

(Describer) In an office…

I'm Jonathon Smith, the Program Coordinator of the Geographic Analysis and Monitoring Program here at USGS. Since the 1970s, we've gathered much more information on the characteristics of the earth. Since the early 1970s, we've launched six Landsat satellite systems that take pictures of the earth and allows us to analyze the changes in vegetation and in glaciers over time. Also since the 1970s, we've tremendously increased our computational power, allowing us to analyze very large data sets in order to identify changes that have occurred. In short, we've had both increases in data we can analyze and the ability to analyze this information through our computers. That's it for this episode. Join us again next time for Climate Connections.

(Describer) Titles: From locations all across America. Your climate questions matter. USGS Climate Connections. Robertson speaks in a classroom.

(Describer) Titles: Climate Connections has answers.

(Describer) Robertson listens to Frye in his garden, and talks with other people in a park.

(Describer) Different people look into the camera.

Will climate change... Will climate change... Will climate change...

(Describer) Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at

Funding to purchase and make this educational production accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education:

PH: 1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB:

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Host Jessica Robertson travels across North and South Carolina to gather questions about climate change. Scientists from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) provide the answers and information on how to learn more about climate change.

Media Details

Runtime: 6 minutes

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