vodka and glacier experiment

An experiment with vodka on the rocks to understand climate change

Bruce Sutherland, professor at the University of Alberta, demonstrates with different drinks an experiment with vodka on the rocks to understand climate change.

This analogy seems complex, but very simple and revealing to better understand the impact of climate change on Arctic ice. The researchers found that, when drunk, empty water waves become smaller over time.

Video: Edmonton CTV News. A water tank with floating spheres that mimic chunks of ice in the ocean to test the water’s buffering effect of particles in a liquid.

Bruce Sutherland explains with another example of drink like coffee: “You’re walking with your cup of coffee and the waves are splashing until they finally spill into your pants. While with another order of different drinks: “A smart person has a latte, and you can walk all you want and it doesn’t splash.” The answer is in the foam.

Basically, Sutherland discussed the analogy by seeing repeatedly that every time he went to a bar the foam prevented him from spilling his beer. The effect of the foam was surprising to Sutherland, as it produces an effect that humidifies, or reduces, the splashing of the beer.

Sutherland will replicate during the summer the conditions and the real scale of the ocean for a better understanding and verification of the experiment, although the studies carried out so far are very optimistic.


Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.

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