CLIMATE ADAPTATION

I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.


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Pretty cool engineering project in New Orleans. The journalist explains how adding sod to the top of levees will increase the capacity of the berms to retain water. (though, I though levees were generally covered in grass, so it’s a bit confusing.) Anyway, this is a good and simple example of an adaptation.

Kids debate: “sprinkling” or “raining”?

Using Executive Authority, President Obama created the world’s largest protected marine reserve in Pacific Ocean.

President Obama used his legal authority to create the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the central Pacific Ocean, demonstrating his increased willingness to advance a conservation agenda without the need for congressional approval.

By broadening the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument from almost 87,000 square miles to more than 490,000 square miles, Obama has protected more acres of federal land and sea by executive power than any other president in at least 50 years and makes the area off-limits to commercial fishing.

The proclamation — which Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced during an oceans meeting he convened in New York on Thursday — will mean added protections for deep-sea coral reefs and other marine ecosystems that administration officials say are among “the most vulnerable” to the negative effects of climate change. The document signed by Obama noted that the expanded area contains “significant objects of scientific interest that are part of this highly pristine deep sea and open ocean ecosystem with unique biodiversity.” WaPo

More: White House Fact Sheet

2014 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Sixth Lowest on Record: Arctic sea ice coverage continued its below-average trend this year as the ice declined to its annual minimum. Learn more: go.nasa.gov/1wGz5bB #EarthRightNow #ActOnClimate

This cloud formation over Lincoln, Nebraska will blow your mind.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Not sure if you have already been asked this, what did you study to get the career you have today?
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Hey anon,

Yes, been asked a ton, but I don’t mind.

I have masters degrees in environmental law and city planning. The focus of my research was/is how land-use laws were able (or, rather, unable) to accommodate climate science. So, naturally, I’m interested in how climate will affect infrastructure, economies, demographics, ecosystems, etc.

For example, I’m quite interested how can coastal communities deal with a rising sea. Especially cities like New York City or Lagos, which have thousands of buildings, roads, ports, and pipelines literally built inches from the ocean.

Cities are prepared for certain levels of disasters. There are sea walls and evacuation plans, flood pump stations and hurricane barriers. And buildings and infrastructure are generally built to high standards. But, cites are not prepared for higher oceans (why would they be?). Climate change changes the equations and calculations of managing disasters in cities. They’re forced to adapt, regardless of how many solar panels are slapped onto rooftops.

It’s a complicated issue. Greenhouse gasses trap in more heat in the atmosphere, causing a bunch of crazy environmental things to happen. So the obvious response is to stop pumping carbon into the air. That’s Al Gore’s primary message.

The problem with this is that storms and fires and diseases are increasing as a result from rising temperatures. Climate change is occurring regardless of mitigation. Thus, the impacts have to be dealt with. In fact, our troubles are only going to increase. I choose to be on the impacts side of this conundrum (eg, adaptation).

Some other topics:

Cheers,

Michael

Live stream and recordings of all the hot air the world could possibly absorb…

You’ve all seen Emma Watson’s killer speech on feminism and equality at the UN Women 2014 Conference, riiiiight?

Announced in June, Obama’s $1 Billion resilience and infrastructure grant program is now live. Eligible organizations can only apply (instructions at bottom). Minimum grant award is $1 million, maximum is $500 Million(!). I consult on grant applications, so if you’re a municipality or an eligible organization, contact me to chat.

Solid questions to contemplate by Moyers.

Fish all the fish!

Thousands of Chinese trawlers rushed out into the East China Sea today after a three-month-long summer fishing moratorium ended.

These incredible images of boats setting out from a harbour in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, show just why China harvests more fish than any other country.

Although China has one fifth of the world’s population, it consumes a third of the world’s fish - some 50million tonnes a year

Read more: Daily Mail

Strong words from a frackingist, oil drillingist administration…

Nice law shaped to restore parts of the Great Lakes in collaboration with local communities and NOAA.