Monday, 16 February 2015

Ed and Bella at the Brighton Science Festival


We took part again this year at the brilliant Brighton Science Festival. The visitors of all ages always have such enthusiasm and curiosity.
We took our display with lots of pictures about my travels. The display was updated to include my work with Dive with Purpose helping them with coral reef restoration project and also surveying a ship wreck.

The display told the story of my travels. How my concern about how global threats such as climate change, sea level rise might affect my local beach (a beautiful nature reserve). 
How during my travels to real scientists around the world, to find out more about these global issues, I also encountered some amazing wildlife. I also saw first hand the damage that people are doing to the ocean but also how people are helping the ocean and how we can all play our part.

The display also showed Bella's recent trip to the Amazon Rainforest in Peru and its amazing wildlife as a guest of Amazon Rainforest Workshops

Did you know people live in the rainforests and they find almost everything they need in the forest to live? Bella also discovered that tribes living in the rainforest didn't have clean drinking water and she saw how CONAPAC (Civil Association of the Peruvian Amazon Environment) are helping to bring clean drinking water to these people. Bella also discovers that the rainforest is also affected by climate change.
Some of the global issues are quite complicated and so we ran some experiments to help show the science behind some of these problems. One experiment showed how man made carbon dioxide pollution from the air is causing oceans to become more acidic making it difficult for corals and shellfish to get the calcium carbonate they need from sea water to make their shells.

We also showed how the surface water of the ocean is expanding because it is getting warmer due to climate change. This means the ocean takes up more space and is causing sea level rise. More sea level rise has occurred so far because of thermal expansion than from melting polar ice.

We also ran an experiment to show how the ocean helps to create our climate and weather. As the warmer waters from the equator travel towards the Arctic they loose heat into the air (and moisture) which creates our comfortable climate in the UK. As it reaches the Arctic the water gets colder and some of the freshwater becomes ice.  The salt stays in the ocean making it heavier so it sinks to the seabed. This cold water travels along the seabed until it reached the equator and it returns to the surface and becomes warm.
This experiment shows how the cold seawater sinks straight down to the seabed and creates a layer of cold seawater. We used a coloured dye added to the salty water (right) so that it would be easy to see the salt water sink and layer it makes.
Visiting children put in drops of the dyed salt water using a pipette and watched it sink to the bottom layer.

My buddy Steve also presented a couple of talks about my travels and also about some of the things the ocean provides for everyone.
This includes how the ocean helps to create our climate and weather, that it provides 50% of the oxygen on the planet as well as freshwater, food, new medicines, places to have fun and much more.

It was a great day