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Climate Change

Dec 11, 2016Canadian, English, Environment, Science&Tech

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Have you thought about how climate change will effect your city?


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José Cruz: The other day we were talking about uh the potential rise in sea level (Mm-hmm) And I tuned into one of my favourite podcasts. You might enjoy it. It’s called “Inquiring Minds”. It’s all about science and politics and society. And they were interviewing um a climate change specialist and he was saying, it’s really hard to say, but most climatologists are looking at 2100, the year 2100 is kind of likenote how often and in what meaning José uses “like” in this paragraph. (0:25) a big milestone point and because that’s like a good 85 years from now, and it’s- a lot of change is going to happen. And he was saying that uh by the year 2100 depending on the climatologist you talk to and depending on so much of this and so much of that, best case worst case scenario um they’re looking at like uh between two and a-half to three and a-half metres of sea level rise among all of the coasts on average around the world. Two and a-half to three and a-half metres. You think about that that’s like um, the water could be pretty close to where we are at the university right now. And you wouldn’t think that we’re anywhere near the beach, really. But that’s how you know, because the land gradually rises- or rises only graduallyJosé realizes mid sentence he wants to insert the word “only” so he corrects and uses the word “or” to mark the beginning of his correction (1:09). The water could be up to around here uh by 2100. It’llJosé sometimes mumbles small parts of his speaking when he has a fluent English partner. (1:16) radically change this whole city.

Chris O’Sullivan: Yeah I mean, places like this will have to build sea defences everywhere. (Hmm) And even then, well is it going topronounced “GONNA” (1:27) be enough to hold back the water, especially if the water’s always rising. I mean you really have to undo the affects of what’s causing this rise in the first place, or at least halt it. Or you know do something to control the emissions of carbon dioxide. Uh try to reduce uh greenhouse gases.

José: London on the Thames is fairly close to sea level?

Chris: I think London is sea level. I would say. I mean they have the Thames Barrier which is built to stop, I don’t know how high a surge of water, but it’s probably about five-ten metreChris omits the word “or” between the numbers. (2:02) surge of water. If it came up the Thames, the Thames Barrier in theory would stop that water from from from flooding…

José: It’s like a big wall.

Chris: …into London itself, so. It’s it’s like uh, the Thames Barrier is a construction. It’s an interesting little construction, where you’ve got these kind of uh weird-shaped kind of elliptical, kind of pod-like things spread out across the river, and between them there is a, I guess a metal barrier that can rise up (Ahh) into the air and stop potentially a huge surge of water coming through.


José: But won’t it just overflow on the banks?

Chris: I think that’s kind of taken into consideration how they designed it (OK) but yes, wouldn’t it back up. (You would think) I mean if it flood the other downstream…

José: Yeah basically just keep going just- You can put it here but the water is kind like water that way? You know it just keeps going.

Chris: Yeah water keeps going somewhere so presumably it would flood not London, but it would flood the outskirts of London from where the coast is.

José: …whatever else is. But London is basically sea level. So it’s not like London is relatively mountainous or hilly. London would just get- if if the water went up by let’s say a metre and a-half the streets would all be flooded.

Chris: Yeah I would say- well may be a metre and a-half wouldn’t be, but I would say perhaps three metres certainly yes. I could- I don’t know exactly the, how how high in metres London actually is above sea level. I’m guessing it’s not very high. It’s- I’m guessing actually, it’s one or two metres.

José: Because in my image of London the Thames runs through London. (Yes) Now if there’s a river running through London that means basically- and it’s running through most of the city, that means the city is basically on the same plane as the river. And the river at that point when it’s getting close to the, to the salt water is going topronounced “GONNA (3:50) be almost at sea level and if that’s where London is, then London is basically at sea level. (Mm) And a metre and a-half, two metres I mean that’s a man standing. Uh basically that’ll cover all the cars. That’ll cover you know most uh most entrances to most doorways. And even if it’s not going to be uh you know, uh what’s what’s the word I’m going to say. Even if it’s going topronounced “GONNA (4:09) go all the way because eventually land does move up towards mountains, that’ll pretty much destroy the viability of all of London one of the most important cities in the world.


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José Domingo Cruz image

José Domingo Cruz


Vancouver, British Columbia

Chris O'Sullivan image

Chris O'Sullivan


South England


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