Posts tagged boston.
The Boston Bomber Brothers are from Chechnya (Update. NYTimes has more on where they’re from here.). So, where is Chechnya? The above maps zoom in to Chechnya and its small capital of Grozny.
Located in southeastern Europe, Chechnya is technically part of Russia. It’s war torn and in rough shape. It’s rich in oil and minerals, has a population of about 1 million people, and is an important crossroads between the Middle East, Russia, and Europe.
- Extreme poverty, corruption, and high unemployment due to its long history of war, here. The country is in shambles.
- Capital city: Grozny. Population 270,000
- Grozny is spliced by the Terek River
- Languages: Russian and Chechen
- Major religions: Mostly Sunni Muslim, second is Christianity
- Conquered by Russia in 1858, it was originally held by a Imam Shamil who tried to establish an Islamic state.
- Chechnya has been fighting with Russia for independence for nearly 200 years
- It is part of the Northern Caucuses, which refers to the collection of Russian states along the major mountain called the Caucuses. More on the Caucus region, here.
There is very little climate change research in the region. But, the area is vulnerable to water shortages, drought, agricultural mismanagement, and heavy pollution. More on the climate angle, here.
Emergency responders applied field tourniquets to many of those injured by the explosions at Monday’s Boston Marathon.
The device, often improvised, had fallen out of favor with many in the medical establishment, but the American military experience in Iraq and Afghanistan changed that. http://ow.ly/kagSK
First responders are key to emergency events. Really good video on how field tourniquets are used in the military and public emergency situations.Also, you just gotta follow PRI The World.
Bostonians don’t love easy things, they love hard things — blizzards, the bleachers in Fenway Park, a good brawl over a contested parking space. Two different friends texted me the identical message yesterday: They messed with the wrong city. This wasn’t a macho sentiment. It wasn’t “Bring it on” or a similarly insipid bit of posturing. The point wasn’t how we were going to mass in the coffee shops of the South End to figure out how to retaliate. Law enforcement will take care of that, thank you. No, what a Bostonian means when he or she says “They messed with the wrong city” is “You don’t think this changes anything, do you?Moving piece in The NYTimes, “Messing With the Wrong City.” I was born and raised in Massachusetts. It’s a great state - a model of resilience. Rough (by design) on the outside, heart of pure gold on the inside. We fight with each other, but love each other as equals. Education, hard work, and family are paramount. American’s could look north to learn how to stick together thick and thin.
Stephen Flynn is one of America’s foremost experts on cities, disasters, and security. Here, Bloomberg News interviewed Flynn outside and near the Boston Marathon bombing. His answers about how the city will cope is incredibly surprising as he launches into an easy to understand overview of resilience thinking in city planning. A must watch for my readers interested in resilience and cities.
In the lobby, there were bleeding runners—not, it turned out, hurt by the explosions, but who had been in the medical tent next door, being treated for such comparatively mundane maladies as dehydration. They’d ripped out their IVs and made space on the cots for the injured…. Patriots Day in Boston is a treasured date. Half a million people come to watch the marathon. There are parties all along the route. The final stretch, on Boylston, is a cacophony of joy. It represents this city’s confluence of youth and tradition, its crazy obsession with fitness, its elation at the start of spring. For runners from around the world, the marathon is a life goal. They train not for months, but years, to meet the daunting qualifying times. Crossing that small strip of pavement is an accomplishment that’s as hard to explain as the attack that bloodied it is impossible to understand.Boston Marathon Bombings - I Was There - Esquire (via dendroica)
You can change someone’s life today, please donate blood to the Red Cross. Locate and donate in your area: Red Cross/Locations.
The idea is to meet people where they are — to make select government services available right there in the neighborhoods. via shareable:cities
City Hall via foodtruck. Reeeallly interesting project. Curious how they incorporate feedback from the public when the truck returns to the garage… There’s a twitter because of course there is - @cityhalltogo
Winter weather - http://bo.st/ZvwUqA
akingamongrunaways asked: I'm studying the storm-surge buffering capabilities of the Boston Harbor Islands as well as possible plans to install barriers and sea gates between the islands in the future. What is the feasibility of such plans? How big of a role do the Harbor Islands currently play in protecting Boston Harbor? Do you have any suggested resources? Thank you for any help you can give.
I’m going to assume you’ve done a lot of research on climate, so I’ll just point you to some sources.
For climate science and some good maps, I’d check Woods Hole/USGS, MIT, and UMass.
Boston Harbor Association put out a brand new adaptation report, but on first glance it looks vague.
You might be surprised by calling the folks at Mass/DCR, they’re actually real friendly on the phone.
You may want to look into orgs that do disaster, conservation, and beach erosion management work on the Cape (possibly Manomet, but definitely check with MassDOT).
And I’m sure the Army Corps of Engineers has their hands in the harbor (the Corps websites are a nightmare, so be persistent. There are hidden gems!).
The City of Boston’s climate report is embarrassingly weak. But, you should scour the authors and sources of the report for leads.
VHB, an engineering firm, does a lot of work on infrastructure using climate data, and I believe they have several contracts with the City of Boston, Logan Airport (in fact, Logan and VHB hosted me on a tour of the airport’s infrastructure and facilities). VHB has a strong climate division, and they’re very friendly folks and if you ask nicely, they’ll send you some climate CDs and climate reports by mail.
And finally, check with MassPort Authority. You’ll run into roadblocks when calling them directly, so you should target specific people in the organization and be persistent. Nothing gets built in the harbor without MassPort’s blessing.
That’s all I got off the top of my head. Good luck and let me know how it goes!
Short, yet very insightful, talk with researcher Hans Peter Peters on communicating science to and from the public. He discusses the misconceptions scientists have of the public’s ability to understand science.
Hans also discusses the strategies scientists take to communicate their findings.
What can scientists learn from the public? Science Podcast host Sarah Crespi speaks with social scientist Hans Peter Peters of the Ethics in Neurosciences Research Center in Julich, Germany. Peters gave a talk here today at the annual meeting of AAAS (which publishes ScienceNOW) about how scientists in different countries and age groups think about public engagement.
Most interesting (to me) was that there is an emerging awareness among scientists that the public is more open to discussing research from social science (aka the “soft sciences”) vs discussing the hard sciences. Conversely, media and journalists generally cover psychology, education, and economics much differently than they cover climatology, biology, chemistry etc.
It’s Climate Science Communications Week at Climate Adaptation! For the entire week of Feb. 18 - 23, I’ll cover how climate change is discussed by the media, scientists, researchers, academics, and politicians. If you have sources or ideas on communicating climate change, send to: http://climateadaptation.tumblr.com/submit
This is what climate adaptation looks like. Partnerships between cities (for the zoning and permits), residents (to protect their property), universities (for the climate science), and private sector (engineering and construction expertize).
Many properties in Boston may have to waterproof their buildings – raising critical electrical systems to higher levels or building barriers against storm surges — as sea levels rise from climate change.
The city is stepping up a campaign to prepare buildings for rising seas that could significantly flood neighborhoods during storms.
The public-private plan comes at the same time a Boston Harbor Association report spotlights high-risk areas, such as Long Wharf and University of Massachusetts Boston, and outlines how property owners can best protect themselves from water.
Hurricane Sandy and last week’s massive snowstorm have added new urgency to the issue, city officials say. This “will help make our waterfront and the rest of Boston better prepared to handle future storms and get the city back in business as quickly as possible,” Mayor Thomas Menino said.
In the next six months, the Boston Conservation Commission will develop new flood-plain maps to take in to account future storm surges atop higher sea levels. A wetlands ordinance will also help guide property owners to prepare for higher sea levels, said Brian Swett, chief of Environment and Energy for the city.
Sea level at the Boston tide gauge has risen about a foot (.25 meters) since records began in 1921. Most of that rise is due to the expansion of ocean waters due to global warming, plus increased melting from glaciers and icecaps.
According to an excellent analysis by Andrew Freedman of Climate Central, continued sea level rise in Boston will increase the odds of a 1-in-100 year coastal storm surge flood by a factor of 2.5 by the year 2030. Even given the low end of sea level rise scenarios, and without assuming any changes in storms, 1-in-10-year coastal flooding events in the Northeast could triple by 2100, occurring roughly once every 3 years, simply in response to higher sea levels (Tebaldi et al. 2012).
Nemo arrives just days after a report the nonprofit Boston Harbor Alliance warned of the region’s growing vulnerability to such storm surge events. The report found that coastal flooding of 5 feet above the current average high tide—a 1-in-100 year flood—would inundate 6.6 percent of the city of Boston.
At 7.5 feet above the current average high tide, more than 30 percent of Boston could be flooded, the study found. Boston has gotten lucky two storms in row now—both Hurricane Sandy (storm surge of 4.57’) and Winter Storm Nemo (storm surge of 4.21’) brought their peak surge near low tide, so the water level during these storms did not make the top-ten list, even though these were two of the four highest storm surges ever measured in Boston.
Mr. Burt comments, “it is a bit unsettling that two of the most significant storms in the past 300 years to strike the northeastern quadrant of the U.S. have occurred within just four months from one another.”
Rising sea levels are already making coastal living at low elevations an increasingly precarious proposition in the Northeast. If Sandy and Nemo are harbingers of a new era of stronger storms for the Northeast U.S., the double-whammy combination of bigger storm surges riding in on higher sea levels will make abandoning higher-risk portions of the coast a necessity.