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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Asker Anonymous Asks:
I don't think anyone would expect you to work on both adaptation and mitigation, I don't think that's what the last question was about. It just seems like sometimes you dismiss mitigation as something stupid and useless, which is probably why you're getting a few of these questions. That's probably what some people would like to see addressed; I would.
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Hey Anon,

I’ve been asked variants of this question hundreds of times over the four years I’ve run this tumblr. At this point, I’m moving on from these discussions and I kindly refer readers to the archives.

I also kindly invite mitigation folks to deeply reflect on Kevin Anderson’s work on the realities of emissions, as well as the rhetorical emissions scenarios that politicians and many scientists have bought into. Anderson is the director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research, a primary source for the world’s climate science.  

Importantly, see Kevin Anderson’s deeply important emissions reality lecture, here. As well as the revised lecture, here.

Cheers,

Michael

RIP Rick Piltz — George W. Bush White House Climate Science Whistleblower.

From 1995-2005, he held senior positions in the Coordination Office of the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

In the spring of 2005, Rick resigned from his position to protest the Bush Administration’s political interference with climate change communication. His whistleblower documentation of politically motivated White House editing and censorship of climate science program reports intended for the public and Congress received front-page coverage in the New York Times and was widely reported in the media. 

Rick testified before both the House of Representatives and the Senate at hearings on political interference with federal climate scientists.

Basically, the Bush II administration was caught editing scientific reports from the EPA. Piltz informed the public, and a scandal broke out.

It should also be noted that George Bush Sr created the world’s first federal level climate change research office in 1990 with the Global Change Research Act of 1990. His son, George Bush Jr., tried to shut it down. See also.

New York State (1930)
Great early snow leeward of lakes Erie and Ontario; 48 inches deep just south of Buffalo. A total of 47 inches measured at Gouverneru east of Lake Ontario.

Salt Lake City, UT (1984)
18.4 inches of snow (most in 24 hours since 1884).

Phillipines (1985)
Typhoon Dot slammed into the central Phillipines; one of the strongest storms in years, Dot brought winds with gusts to 130 mph.

Via Accuweather

Any readers use ELDIS?

Climate change is among the factors Defense Department officials consider in protect national security around the globe, a senior DOD official recently told a Senate panel.

Daniel Y. Chiu, deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy, testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee May 21.

Chiu said while DOD plans for contingencies and unexpected developments to protect the nation’s security, climate change can create sea-level rise, storm surge, shifting climate zones and more severe weather conditions that can affect operations. And while some of those conditions have affected military installations, he said, such changes can also have a negative impact on other DOD concerns.

We are also seeing the potential for decreased capacity of DOD properties to support training, as well as implications for supply chains, equipment, vehicles and weapon systems that the department buys,” he explained.

Even while infrastructures are being adapted to climate change threats, DOD also is conducting a baseline study to determine which infrastructure elements are most vulnerable to extreme weather events and sea-level increases, he said, adding that the study is due for completion late this year.

Climate change effects potentially could alter, limit or constrain environments where troops operate, Chiu said, using sea-level increases as an example of an impact on amphibious operations.

Chiu states the US Dept. of Defense’s infrastructure is underprepared and vulnerable to climate impacts. Calls for more adaptation measures.

Interesting coverage of the first people to be moved from their homes at a large scale due to climate change.

Not a great article on this interesting topic. Anyone find better coverage?

via Climate Central

He’ll be deported.

Some climate adaptation ideas - build canals - for the great city of Boston.

Boston’s solution to sea level rise

A report scheduled to be released Tuesday about preparing Boston for climate change suggests that building canals through the Back Bay neighborhood would help it withstand water levels that could rise as much as 7 feet by 2100. Some roads and public alleys, such as Clarendon Street, could be turned into narrow waterways, the report suggests, allowing the neighborhood to absorb the rising sea with clever engineering projects that double as public amenities.

The canal system was among the more imaginative solutions offered by some of the city’s leading planning, architecture, and engineering firms in a report compiled by the local chapter of the Urban Land Institute.

Other suggestions include raising the Harborwalk, which rings the waterfront, to act as a stronger barrier for nearby buildings, adding breakwaters in the harbor, and creating wetlands that would act as sponges during periods of high water.

The authors said the ideas are intended to show how the region can respond creatively to the dramatic effects of climate change.

Via Boston Globe

Leadership fail.

Scientists and climatologists are saying that it would impact natural resources directly, making some parts of the world virtually uninhabitable. This, inevitably, would result in mass movement of human tide.

Norwegian minister of foreign affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre affirmed that back in 2011 at the Nansen Conference on Climate Change and Displacement:

Human displacement due to climate change is happening now. There is no need to debate it.”

The realisation, somehow, has not hit authorities in Pakistan, who remain in a state of denial. This, despite the reality of having witnessed a movement (albeit a slow one) of people from rural to urban centres, due in part to climate-related events which have been taking place over the last several decades.

Good read on displacement of people due to environmental impacts.

The savage heat waves that struck Australia in 2013 were almost certainly a direct consequence of the human release of greenhouse gases, researchers said Monday. It is perhaps the most definitive statement climate scientists have made that ties a specific weather event to global warming.

Five groups of researchers, using distinct methods, analyzed the heat that baked Australia for much of last year and continued into 2014, shutting down the Australian Open tennis tournament at one point in January. All five came to the conclusion that last year’s heat waves could not have been as severe without the long-term climatic warming caused by human activity.

“When we look at the heat across the whole of Australia and the whole 12 months of 2013, we can say that this was virtually impossible without climate change,” said David Karoly, a climate scientist at the University of Melbourne who led one research team.

One of the most direct and definitive statements from climate scientists to date. More here.