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Climate Change Mini-Research Project

Impact on Humans

Besides having to endure the environmental effects that are brought on by climate change, the people of Miami are greatly affected financially by climate change.

  • With king tides becoming higher, the people of Miami must spend more money repairing the damages caused by these flooding events.
  • As temperatures in Miami continue to increase, the people of Miami will need to use more electricity to keep themselves comfortable using A/C
  • To addressing the increase in sea levels caused by climate change, the people of Miami will have to pay more taxes so the City of Miami will have enough funding to build flood preventatives, like Sea Walls and Levees, to protect the city from experiencing future damage.


Currently, the City of Miami has begun implementing measures to address the impacts of climate change:

  • Implementing a new structural policy that states all new developments in Miami must be built to withstand 15 ft storm surge.
    • Created with the hope of reducing flood damage from future floods
  • Improving pumping systems to pump out flood waters
  • Raising sea walls by 5 ft, thus reducing the amount of water that floods into the street of Miami from the ocean
  • Raising roads in some low lying areas above sea level to reduce flooding

The effects that climate change has on the world is similar to that in Miami. Climate change leads to global sea level rise and increases in temperatures. It also causes increased droughts in areas of low precipitation, widespread glacial melting, and massive floods as global temperatures increase. Climate change can also cause the extinction of various animals who are not accustomed to increase in temperatures.

Effects on the World

By: Deja Murray

Class: Geology 1030

The city that I chose for this project is Miami, Florida.

Climate change impacts Miami's environment in several ways. Climate change is due to an increase in greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor) in the Earth's atmosphere, which trap UV radiation from the sun in the Earth's atmosphere. As heat more and more heat is trapped, the temperatures of Earth begin to increase which eventually leads to the Earth's climate changing. Specifically due to climate change, Miami experiences:

  • An increase in temperatures.
    • Miami is already a hot and humid place. However, climate change only worsens these conditions, thus causing the city to experience more days of higher than normal temperatures per year.
      • Particularly, since 1970, the number of days per year that Miami has above 90 degrees F has increased 84 to 133 days.
  • Higher sea level rise.
    • The increase in temperatures that are experienced with climate change leads to glacial and ice sheet melting (especially in the North and South Poles of Earth). As these glaciers melt, the water that was once frozen is deposited into nearby oceans, thus leading to sea levels to rise globally. So, this rise of sea level is also trickles down to Miami
  • Increases King Tides, thus leading to more flooding events
    • King Tides, are higher than normal tides that occur naturally on Earth and are extremely common in Miami. However, with the increase in sea level rise that is brought on my climate change, these tides become higher and more dangerous each year and cause a large amount of flooding the higher they become.
      • This flooding leads to large scale damage to homes, businesses and vehicles in Miami

Effects on the Environment

The King Tides that Miami experience grow higher as climate change continues, as seen previously. It should also be noted that as these tides push further inland due to climate change, they bring with them higher salt contents, ocean debris, and increased flooding.

  • As these tides enter nearby bodies of water (lakes, rivers, streams) they cause the salt content of these bodies of water to rise and for the water quality to be lowered.
  • The animals who live in these regions are greatly affected they are not equipped to live in waters that are high in salinity, so their numbers begin to dwindle as they attempt to adjust to these changes.
    • Recently, the Miami Cave Crayfish was added to the Endangered Species list as a result of saltwater intrusion into its habitat
  • Animals that live near these regions are also effected as they rely on plants or other animals that live in these areas for food. So, as their prey reduce in number, these animals will in turn begin to die.

How are Animals Affected?

This is an image of the now endangered Miami Cave Crayfish

Yes! Manhattan in New York is actually facing a similar situation as Miami due to climate change. Though these places have extremely different climates, with Miami being hot and humid and Manhattan being more on the colder side, both of these areas lie close to sea level.

  • So, as sea levels rise, both of these areas are under threat of being submerged under water
    • To combat this, both areas have begun building higher sea walls, levees, and more efficient pumping systems to , thus protecting their respective areas.

Is there another place experiencing a similar form of climate change?

This is a photo of Manhattan in New York City

Scholarly Interesting Facts

Scholarly Reference 1: Shenker, Johnathan M. Sustainability 2009: The Next Horizon: Conference Proceedings ; 6th International Sustainability Forum ; Melbourne, Florida, 3-4 March 2009, edited by Imre Hronszky and Gordon L. Nelson, vol. 1157, American Inst. of Physics, Melville, NY, 2009, p. Page 39-Page 47. Web of Science.

  • To building upon the environmental impact that climate change has on the Southern region of Florida, Shenker state that "seagrasses" is an "essential habitat" that is the largely effected by the changing climate.
    • These types of habitats are often located in and around bodies of water in Florida. So, as sea levels begin to rise drastically in the South, the "extent" to which seagrasses can grow is limited greatly, thus reducing the habitats that it can provide animals.
    • Some animals that rely on seagrasses for protection include urchins, conches, and sea turtles,
Scholarly Reference 2: Parkinson, Randall W., et al. “Adaptation actions to reduce impairment of Indian River Lagoon water quality caused by climate change, Florida, USA.” Coastal Management, vol. 49, no. 2, 2021, pp. 215–232. Web of Science, https://doi.org/10.1080/08920753.2021.1875399.
  • Parkinson, Seidel, Henderson, and De Freese highlight how though climate change influence on sea level rise causes a reduction on water quality, that human activities, such as the use of wastewater treatment plants leads to "pollutant loads" and other toxins begin deposited into bodies of water that are located inland.
    • This is important to note as human actions are not only further climate change, but are also damaging the environments and ecosystems that are already at risk due to the effects of climate change.

Miami is a city located in Florida, a state that makes up the Southeast region of the United States. This region usually experiences warmer temperatures compared to the rest of the US, due to the warm, moist air that comes off of the Gulf of Mexico.Climate change has greatly effected this region by:

  • Causing temperatures to increase across the region.
    • Since 1970, annual average temperatures have increased by 2 degrees F
    • By 2100, scientists predict that tempratues in the Southeast region of the US will increase between 4 to 8 degrees F.
  • Causing more drought and heatwaves
    • Which negatively impact agriculture and quality of life for humans

Climate Change effect on Southeastern Region

This is an image of the Southeast Region of the United States in which Miami lies