Posts tagged adaptation.
Beach nourishment projects will restore shorelines but require expensive upkeep and affect ecosystems; federal taxpayers will foot the bill.
NY and NJ beaches are nearly fully restored after Hurricane Sandy devastated the coast late last year. Here is a nice interactive map of restored beaches from the NYTimes.
Given new evidence on carbon pollution, President Obama should get moving on global warming.
Now reading (devouring).
Politics and an oversimplified understanding of demographic dynamics have long kept population issues out of serious discussions in the framework of climate negotiations. Within adaptation actions, however, this is beginning to change, and this volume is intended to provide a framework for taking that change forward, towards better, more evidence-based adaptation.
It provides key concepts linking demography and adaptation, data foundations and techniques for analyzing climate vulnerability, as well as case studies where these concepts and analyses illuminate who is vulnerable and how to help build their resilience.
It’s a choice confronting more than 180 native communities in Alaska, which are flooding and losing land because of the ice melt that is part of the changing climate.In a special three part series on the imminent crisis, the Guardian has visited Newtok and spoken to the villagers, politicians and climate scientists about their plight. You can read about it here.
The Guardian covers “climate refugees” in America.
Anonymous asked: Do you have any tips for how to stay informed about climate change without getting into a depressive spiral? When I read the news and see how our politicians still aren't willing to take meaningful action, it's difficult not to be angry and just generally distraught. How does a person fighting for change remain hopeful? (sorry if this has been asked before)
No worries - I get asked this all the time. My two best responses are here (on how I don’t explode when dealing with climate deniers) and here (on how I see my self in the context of environmentalism). Note that both are answers to reader mail, but the answer you seek (hopefully) is sandwiched in the middle of my replies.
But, the toll on environmentalist’s emotional health is very real. In, Do Environmentalists Need Shrinks?, the writer interviews a psychologist whose research focuses on environmentalism and depression.
Hope that helps!
The Guardian has a multi-part, video heavy media set on climate refugees in America. I’d argue that the title “first” is a misnomer and would point to the coastal communities in Texas, New Orleans, and the Carolinas who’ve been retreating from the coasts for several years. But, the point is made - that sea-level rise and coastal erosion is much more aggressive than at anytime in history. Thus, tens of thousands of people are at immediate risk, especially the poor.
The above is one minute.
The people of Newtok, on the west coast of Alaska and about 400 miles south of the Bering Strait that separates the state from Russia, are living a slow-motion disaster that will end, very possibly within the next five years, with the entire village being washed away.
The Ninglick River coils around Newtok on three sides before emptying into the Bering Sea. It has steadily been eating away at the land, carrying off 100ft or more some years, in a process moving at unusual speed because of climate change. Eventually all of the villagers will have to leave, becoming America’s first climate change refugees.
AccuWeather interviewed me for this article: "Tilting at Windmills: Arguments for and Against Climate Change" ›
This time, I worked with up and coming AccuWeather journalist Samantha-Rae Tuthill. She asked tough questions and dug deep for this piece. She was really great and I had a lot of fun. She also picked out some good zingers (I bet long-time readers will recognize my pessimism). Check it out if you can!
Whether they call it global warming, climate change or even global cooling, more and more Americans are taking a stand on one side or the other of this hotly debated issue.
According to a survey published last year by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, 66 percent of Americans believe that global warming is happening, with 42 percent concerned that it will harm people in the United States between now and the next 10 years. Forty-five percent of Americans believe the country will be harmed by global warming in the next 50 years, with only 16 percent saying that global warming will never harm the U.S.
The arguments on either side of the issue can be broken into three main categories. Those who do not believe in climate change, or at least in man-made climate change, are considered “climate skeptics.” Groups concerned about climate change are primarily split between two camps; those who want to prevent further change and those who want to adapt to changes that do occur.
WASHINGTON — Climate change could lead to the widespread loss of common plants and animals around the world, according to a new study released Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
he study’s authors looked at 50,000 common species. They found that more than half the plants and about a third of the animals could lose about 50% of their range by 2080 if the world continues its current course of rising greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate change affects the availability of nutrition and water for animals and plants. The narrowing of the geographic range of different common species means that plants and animals readily found in a given area could diminish markedly in those areas over the next seven decades.
“This study … tells us that the average plant and animal will experience significant range loss under climate change,” said the study’s lead author, Rachel Warren, of the Tyndall Centre at University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.
Warren said that until now, much climate change research had focused on the plight of rare species rather than common animals and plants. The study’s conclusions are “entirely consistent with what others are finding around the world,” said Peter B. Reich, professor of forest ecology at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, who read the report.
The new study predicted that plants, reptiles and particularly amphibians would face the greatest risks from climate change. It also concluded that sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, the Amazon region and Australia would likely lose the most species of plants and animals. It projected “a major loss of plant species” in North Africa, Central Asia and South America.
The study is here. You’ll need a script or student access.
New climate report has grim predictions
A new report says that much of the world’s plant and animal life could be decimated by the effects of climate change over the next century. Worldwide levels of carbon dioxide are the highest they’ve been in almost two million years.
Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, Amazonia and Australia would lose the most species of plants and animals. And a major loss of plant species is projected in North Africa, Central Asia and South-eastern Europe.
For the first time in human history, carbon dioxide levels reached an average daily level of 400 parts per million, as reported this week. The last time the atmosphere contained this much carbon dioxide was 3 million years ago.
This new data comes from the Mauna Loa observatory and a set of data continuously collected since 1958: The Keeling curve. This represents almost a 50% increase since the beginning of the industrial age. Although there is some seasonal variability (that little jagged edge) due to seasonal vegetation sucking up a bit of the CO2 every year, the trend is clear … and it’s not good.
So what does that mean? The effects are not something to look forward to. The last time the CO2 level was this high, way back when, here’s what the world was like:
Back then, it was a different world. Global average temperatures during the period were between 5.4 and 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 4 degrees Celsius) higher than today, and sea level was as much as 131 feet (40 meters) higher in some places.
While the average (which is calculated from levels over the past several days) has since dropped back to 399 (as of today), the saddest part is that both of those numbers are unacceptable. 400 is just a little more catchy. With 401 and beyond right around the corner, what now? We must cut emissions as fast as humanly possible.
Because we are mighty humans, and it is possible.
We need to take care, because we all share this air. Read about the science of our CO2 contribution here. Watch this episode of It’s Okay To Be Smart to gain some hope maybe.
What do you think is the #1 thing we can do to change? What are YOU willing to do?
This milestone got some buzz this week. These articles don’t show the harsh reality that billions of people are going to buy cars, laptops, cell phones, homes with lightswitches, heat, and A/C, and all the luxury goods we westerners enjoy.
Countless tens of millions of miles of roads, power lines, fiber optic cable, drinking water and sewer pipes, gas pipelines, and other infrastructure are slated to be built for decades on end.
There is no way emissions will stop growing. Every projection shows this (see the preeminent IEA’s ‘Fact Sheets’ for some sobering stats).
The question is not, What are you willing to do? No, it’s Who is going to deny billions and billions of people in China, south Asia, Africa, India, South America, and eastern Europeans from accessing these goods and services in the coming years? Who’s going to stop growth?
By acting now, in the spirit of common but differentiated responsibility, we accept our duty to one another and to the stewardship of a planet blessed with the gift of life.
Pontifical Academy of Sciences’ climate change report
We are committed to ensuring that all inhabitants of this planet receive their daily bread, fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink, as we are aware that, if we want justice and peace, we must protect the habitat that sustains us.
The Vatican’s Academy of Sciences published a report titled, “Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene.” It has a special focus on climate change impacts on human’s main source of fresh drinking water supplies - mountain glaciers.
I found it interesting that the report begins with a defense of climate science and a response to common misconceptions. I think this is the first time I’ve seen this, and I’ve read thousands of climate reports over the years.
It also has three sharp, concise recommendations on how to help deal with the impacts - adaptation is one of them.
Scientists estimate that the average acidity of surface ocean waters worldwide is now about 30% higher than before the Industrial Revolution.
The researchers say there is likely to be major change to the Arctic marine ecosystem as a result. Some key prey species like sea butterflies may be harmed. Other species may thrive. Adult fish look likely to be fairly resilient but the development of fish eggs might be harmed.