Climate Adaptation


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Floodwaters rage through the city of Beichuan, in China’s Sichuan province, on Tuesday, July 9.  Floods caused by the worst rains in decades have left at least 52 people dead in the western part of the country.  (Photos: AFP-Getty via NBC News)

To the surprise of absolutely no one, new research paper shows blacks, Asians, and Latinos are all significantly more likely to live in high-risk heat-island conditions than white people

Published free by the National Institutes for Health (NIH)

Ultimately we sought to elucidate how social inequalities shape disparities in heat risk–related land cover (HRRLC) characteristics.

Toward this goal, we used racial residential segregation as a proxy for the degree to which a metropolitan area is characterized by historical and contemporary racial inequality and discrimination. Political and socioeconomic forces have led to systemic racial and ethnic segregation, with important implications for community health.

Therefore, segregation is crucial to understanding social drivers of environmental health disparities and, more directly, the potentially disproportionate health burdens of climate change on communities of color.

The Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) project is working in 14 Pacific Island countries to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience to the adverse effects of climate change. Go to 3:00 to skip the long intro on water shortages. The video does go over the PACC, shows maps, and various architectural design and adaptation projects. 

Stockholm Environment Institute’s beautiful interactive Annual Report 2012

SEI is a solid source of environmental governance theory and solutions, including theories behind and application of adaptation. I’ve applied to various adaptation research positions at SEI over the years, but am consistently out-brained. Their staff are among the best researchers on the planet. Their annual report is different - beautiful and easy to read interactive. Well worth your time. 

SEI is an independent international research institute. We have been engaged in environment and development issues at local, national, regional and global policy levels for more than a quarter of a century.

The institute was formally established in 1989 by the Swedish Government, and since then we have established a reputation for rigorous and objective scientific analysis in the field of environment and development.

Managing environmental systems: Growing populations, rapid urbanization and increased consumption put unprecedented pressure on land, water and air resources. Our research addresses how to manage these resources to enhance food security for our planet’s six billion people, to reduce the health impacts of air pollution and poor sanitation, and to protect ecosystem services through sound management of land and water resources.

Reducing climate risk: The goal of this theme is to contribute to a safer climate for all. We help design, develop and implement effective and fair strategies for adaptation and mitigation in developing and developed countries, taking into account the broader challenges and policy objectives of sustainable human development.

Transforming governance: Sustainable development is essentially about giving people the opportunity to build resilience by providing them with more options in their lives and livelihoods. We advance new insights into good governance for sustainable development in the face of social and ecological change.

Rethinking development: The global economy has brought prosperity to many in the world, but it has also depleted natural resources and vital ecosystem services. Our research shows the benefits of a low carbon future and describes how we can get there. We set out alternatives for sustainable futures, from the planetary scale down to local, on-the-ground solutions.


Fortunately, the driver is OK: In what might be the scariest-looking photo we’ll post all day, this car in Toledo, Ohio was sucked in by a sinkhole. (The car was moving at the time.) The sinkhole, created by a water main break, briefly trapped the driver, though she was said to be (understandably) shaken. Yikes. (photo via Associated Press)

Aging infrastructure. Ohio.

Japanese earthquake literally made waves in Norway

And, there’s a video… 

The bigger the earthquake, the louder it rings. And the magnitude 9.0 quake that struck just off the coast of Japan on March 11, 2011 was very big, indeed.

Scientific instruments like seismometers are sensitive enough to pick up seismic waves from distant earthquakes, even on their second or third trip around the planet. (Satellites have even detected the accompanying atmospheric waves.) It doesn’t always take super-precise measurements to know something is happening, however. A groundwater monitoring well in Virginia made the passage of seismic waves from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake quite clear in the form of a rapid two foot rise in water level.

While the tsunami that accompanied the earthquake in Japan was devastating, waves of a very different sort were spawned far away—in the fjords of Norway. A number of witnesses noticed the strange waves, occurring as they did on a calm morning when the fjord waters were otherwise smooth. As some managed to capture on video

World Bank Increases Resilience of Coastal Population in Bangladesh - Climate Change Policy & Practice

If I read the PR correctly, they’re funding dirt embankments. This will, they claim, protect people from sea level rise and typhoons. Label me skeptical…  

Video and map

Rising seas washing away President Christopher Loeak's home island
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security: How #SocialMedia are Transforming Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Really interesting testimony to the committee. Be sure to check out Michael Beckerman’s testimony, which sets the stage for how Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other internet giants assist with disasters and response.

My name is Michael Beckerman, and I am the President and CEO of the Internet Association, a trade organization comprised of 17 leading Internet companies across the globe, including AOL, Airbnb,, ebay, Expedia, Facebook, Google, IAC, LinkedIn, Monster, Path, Rackspace,, SurveyMonkey, TripAdvisor, Yahoo, and Zynga.

Our members have been on the forefront of efforts to leverage new technology and communication platforms to inform the public before, during and after a disaster, and to facilitate recovery and reconstruction efforts in the aftermath. … 

Communicating during a disaster is now an interactive conversation. Millions of minds converge to solve problems, seek out answers and disseminate vital information. Important news can be shared with millions, and by millions, quickly and efficiently.

The social web is challenging emergency managers, government agencies and aid organizations to adapt time-honored expertise with real-time information from the public (Please see Exhibit A). In short, the convergence of social networks and mobile has thrown the old response playbook out the window.” 


Mr. Michael Beckerman 
President and CEO, The Internet Association

  • Witness Statement [PDF]
  • Slides [PPTX]
  • Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]
  • Witness Biography [PDF]

Mr. Jorge L. Cardenas 
Vice President, Asset Management and Centralized Services, Public Service Electric and Gas Company

  • Witness Statement [PDF]
  • Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Mr. Jason Matthew Payne 
Philanthropy Lead, Palantir Technologies, Inc.

  • Witness Statement [PDF]
  • Slides [JPG]
  • Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Mr. Matthew Stepka 
Vice President for Technology for Social Impact,

  • Witness Statement [PDF]
  • Slides [PDF]
  • Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Support Documents

  • Witness List [PDF]Added 05/31/2013 at 03:06 PM

Came across this while searching for grocery stores in my new neighborhood. The volume of crime in our nation’s capital is embarrassing.  

Great bike lanes, Indianapolis! And look at those sexy, sexy bio-swales!


What’s for Cincinnati to Learn From the Indianapolis Cultural Trail?

When Indianapolis elected Republican Mayor Greg Ballard in 2007 the city had virtually no on-street bike lanes. Due in large part to Mayor Ballard’s leadership, the city now has more than 70 miles of on-street bike lanes, and is on its way to 200 by 2015.

Early monsoons in India claim over 130 lives. More rain expected over the next two months. 

Climate adaptation planning ‘could have prevented’ Uttarakhand deaths

India’s vulnerability to extreme weather was exposed this week when floods killed at least 130 people with thousands reported missing.

The monsoon arrived early in the northern state of Uttarakhand, bringing with it 375% more rain than in previous years.

The sheer weight of water that hit an area known as India’s ‘holy land’ is hard to overstate. It suffered 60 hours of continuous and heavy rains coupled with cloudbursts between Friday 14 June to Monday 17 June 2013.

This resulted in increasing water level and floods in the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers, which the NGO ActionAid say was what triggered the massive devastation of infrastructure and loss of lives.

But along with thousands of people and their livestock, poor planning and coordination at state and national level has been savagely exposed, raising serious questions over India’s climate adaptation strategy.