This is the 2nd of 3 logs in which I record my progress through out my physics project of the first semester of my freshman year. Simply put, in this blog post I will be talking about the research I have done so far and changes I have made to my project and timeline. To start, in terms of research, I have almost completed and put together all the information to head towards my goal. Following the guidelines of my research question, “To what extent, would factors such as extreme weather and sea level rise restrict travel to Hawaii?”, I have throughly completed my research on sea level rise and extreme weather however, I still have some bits information to finish up about the rather odd behavior of Hawaii’s sea level rise. As you can see below, I have summarized my research into smaller sections to show what I have managed to find.
“Hawaii” taken by Ricardo’s Photography on Flickr
Sea level rise
Sea level rise is a rising problem initiated by global warming. The way I see it, sea level rise is one of the most devastating side effects of global warming and it happens because of 3 reasons, thermal expansion, the melting of glaciers and polar ice caps and also the amount of ice loss from Greenland and West Antartica.
“Glaciers Melting and Sea Level Rise” taken by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Flickr
To begin with, logically speaking as we know, as a substance’s molecules are heated, they start to vibrate, however, when they do that, they start to take up more space, therefore expanding, that is the concept of thermal expansion. As the water from the ocean heats up from the affects from global warming, it expands. According to the National Geographic Magazine, about half of the past century’s rise in sea level is attributable to warmer oceans simply occupying more space.
Secondly, the devastating after-effects of large ice formations, such as polar ice caps and glaciers, are contributing to the rise of sea level. Such ice formations as shown, naturally melt a bit during each summer, however, with the earth warming, increased heat is causing them to melt at a much faster rate, therefore dumping more water into the ocean as it melts.
Finally, the ice loss from Greenland and West Antartica is also a contributing factor. Much like the melting of polar ice caps and glaciers, it has the same cause and effect. However, this time, the continent and country with the highest amount of ice, is melting. Increased heat form global warming is causing the massive ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica to melt at an accelerated pace. According to the National Geography Magazine, “Scientists also believe meltwater from above and seawater from below is seeping beneath Greenland’s and West Antarctica’s ice sheets, effectively lubricating ice streams and causing them to move more quickly into the sea.”. This means that not only are melting of ice sheets is contributing to the rising level of sea waters but also the waters are starting to affect countries around the global at a much higher rate. To relate this back to my main topic question, I can use this research to show how it can drastically affect the iconic tourist attraction of Hawaii as it’s attractions are mainly it’s beautiful beaches.
“Greenland” taken by Stig Nygaard on Flickr
For the second part of my research, extreme weather caused by the extreme temperatures of global warming can range from series droughts to heavy rains and storms. However, for this project, I have focused on heavy rains and storms instead as it my goal was to show how traveling capabilities would be limited. To begin with, based on the findings of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization based in the United States, they have claimed that “As the Earth warms, the amount of rain or snow falling in the heaviest one percent of storms has risen nearly 20 percent on average in the United States—almost three times the rate of increase in total precipitation between 1958 and 2007. In other words, the heaviest storms have very recently become even heavier.”. From this point of view, we can certainly see that this statement can be proven to be true from the most recent hurricanes, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey. These hurricanes are said to only occur only 7 in the span of 4 years in the states, however, 2 hurricanes back to back has already hit in the span of 2 months. To relate back to my main research question, I have chosen this path of research as extreme weather such as storms can really restrict the capabilities of planes and boats.
This is the picture of Hurricane Frances taken by Stacey on Flickr just moments before it arrived on shore.
Hawaii’s rather High Tides
As for the third part of my research, I will only be overing the data analytics of Hawaii’s hight tides. Based on my findings, according to the NOAA tide stations around Hawaii, they have observed that water levels have been 3–6 inches above predicted tidal heights since early 2016. However, during late of April, levels shockingly leveled at more than 9 inches above the predicted tides. It had resulted in the highest daily mean water level ever observed over the 112-year record. This had meant Hawaii, an iconic tourist attraction was going through some major problems, it’s widely known attraction of the beach, can very well be possibly harder to access.
“Hawaii Sunset” by Cord Cardinal on Flickr
However, for this part of the research, I have not completed for the section in which explains causes of this occurrence, I have only managed to gather some statistics and analytics. I will need to further my research to be able to grasp the understanding of this particular section.
Challenges and Changes to Project and Time Table
To reflect back, some of the challenges I have faced was coming back to the subject of project ideas. My initial idea was to create a Prezi Presentation video in which guides the audiences through my research and understanding of the situation. However, after surveying the physics classrooms for a-bit, the majority was the same as me. It then struck me that mine will only be the same as the others and I won’t possibly send the message as effectively as on the presentation day, each person will to watch videos over and over again.
I really wanted to get the issue out about Hawaii being an iconic attraction and how in a matter of years, it can very well be gone. I came to a struggle for what I should produce instead which really hit me, I decided to end with an infographic. To me at first its seemed very generic and basic but I felt the need to rather do that instead of making my audience sit through minutes of myself rambling. As of right now, I have made changes to my time table of how I would plan out my project.
The text highlighted in red below is the schedules I have changed. As for my progress, everything is going as I imagined it, however, just a minor delay to completing my research on the Hawaii section. I have re-planed for my research to be done by Thursday on the 7th of Thursday and to start on Friday as for my infographic. I have also scheduled my weekend to wrap up my project and complete it, following it with my final blog post on Sunday, the 10th of December. Overall, for the project, I feel confident and well-prepared to present my final product on the 11th of December.