Daily Planet

This Oxford Scientist Perfectly Explains Rising Sea Levels With… Gin&Tonic

Photo: Ramon L. Farinos/Shutterstock

“When ice cubes in a drink melt the liquid will stay at the same level , so when icebergs in the sea melt sea-levels won’t change either.” Right? Wrong? Let’s find out.

YouTuber and climate scientist Climate Adam puts the theory to test in a unique and fun experiment – using gin and tonics!

How he Did it

Adam’s experiment shows that the level of the gin and tonic doesn’t change when the ice cubes melt, which does then prove that sea-levels won’t be effected if icebergs in the oceans melt. Well, sort of.

The real problem with this analogy is that doesn’t take into account the other types of ice, like ice caps or mountain glaciers, which sit on the land. When these melt and flow into the oceans, sea-levels of course will rise, Adam points out.

That’s not the only issue either: the ocean’s temperature is heating up, and as water heats it expands which also causes an increase in sea-levels.

Adam explains that in the past 100 years, sea-levels have risen around 20 centimetres and could rise a metre by 2100. Although this may not sound too bad, it could cause huge problems particularly for those living in places like London, Miami, Denmark or Bangladesh – which would be totally flooded.

So What Can we do?

Although climate change is real and an increasing threat there are still opportunities to turn that around. You can start by explaining sea level rise to your friends next time you’re enjoying a gin and tonic!

And if you’ve got an idea that you think could help combat rising sea-levels, why not team up with your friends and turn it into a business?

If you’re in Europe you can join the Climate-KIC Accelerator to fast-track your start-up, and help tackle climate change and its effects on the world.