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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Posts tagged "flooding"

Three years of repeated floods have inflicted serious damage on Pakistan’s economy, halving its potential economic growth, an expert says.

“The impact of floods on Pakistan’s economy is colossal as the economy grew on average at a rate of 2.9 percent per year during the last three years,” said Ishrat Husain, an economist and director of the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi.

That is less than half the 6.5 percent that Pakistan could potentially have managed if it weren’t facing the economic and human losses associated with the flooding, Husain said.

Flooding is hardly the only impediment to economic growth in the troubled South Asian country. Worsening power shortages, “a poor law and order situation and a host of other structural impediments” also are holding back investment and growth, Husain said.

But extreme weather presents an especially worrying economic challenge, he said, because the country can work to reduce its energy crisis and improve law in order, but has limited scope to avert natural calamities, other than trying to devise effective mechanisms to minimise its losses.

Reuters

Nice white paper from Vermont Transportation. They’re taking a “no-regrets” approach to climate adaptation - very rare in the US.

An overview of climate related adaptation and resilience oriented efforts underway at the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans).

In recognition of the potentially negative consequences of climate change to well-being of Vermont, VTrans is in process of incorporating adaptive management, policies, and plans into every level of planning, design, operations, and maintenance.

Experts believe that global climate change will fuel increasingly frequent and severe weather events resulting in more frequent flooding in the Northeastern U.S.

Existing flood vulnerability of the transportation system will be exacerbated by the effects of climate change increasing the risk of costly delays, detours, and premature infrastructure replacement. Recent flooding events following tropical storm Irene revealed the need for preemptive actions and planning to minimize the costs of similar events in the future.

Many of the lessons learned during the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene are applicable to this effort. Enhancement of emergency procedures and systems, employee training, public outreach, and rapid hydraulic assessment tools are examples of some of the positive adaptive outcomes. Going forward, the Agency should expand programs and projects focused on gathering and monitoring data, increasing adaptive capacity, and incorporating risk-management into the decision-making process.

The recommendations made in this report have ‘no-regrets’ in that they will increase the effectiveness of long-term decision making under any future climate scenario.

[A] community’s ability to react during a disaster is one thing. Minimizing the impact of a flood is another. Now, the province faces a potentially decade-long cleanup effort that could cost $5 billion by BMO Nesbitt Burns estimates.

Disaster risk management experts say the Alberta situation should serve as a wake-up call to municipalities across the country of the need to spend money and time mitigating the risks before disaster strikes, especially as climate change is predicted to bring bigger and more frequent severe weather events.

"We go from disaster to disaster … being sure that we protect a life so people are protected and then finding the best way how we pay for that," said Slobodan Simonovic, author of Floods in a Changing Climate: Risk Management. “But what we are doing is we are simply reacting to that, paying for that. We are not investing in the reduction or minimization of the future.”

'Tremendous increase'

On average, Canada gets 20 more days of rain now than it did in the 1950s. While flooding – the costliest natural disaster for Canadians – was once mainly a spring event due to the combination of frozen ground and rainfall, it’s now increasingly happening in the summer.

I completely missed the major flood in Calgary last month. City looks totally flooded my muddy river water. I’m not sure what happened at this point, but I suspect flash-storms, a fast river system (boxed in by old-school engineering), and poor drainage systems. I’ll investigate. 

inothernews:

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)

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

Floods in Europe. From In Focus - The Atlantic

The historic flooding throughout central Europe continues, as the Elbe River has broken through several dikes in northern Germany, and the crest of the swollen Danube River has reached southern Hungary, and threatens Serbia.

Parts of Austria and the Czech Republic are now in recovery mode, as thousands of residents return home to recover what they can. Gathered here are images from the past several days of those affected by these continuing floods.

See earlier entry: Flooding Across Central Europe[24 photos]

First photo: A Super Puma [helicopter] of the German Federal Police Bundespolizei carries sandbags to fix a broken dam built to contain the swollen Elbe River during floods near the village of Fischbeck, on June 10, 2013. (Reuters/Tobias Schwarz)

Second photo: Budapest. The flooded River Danube, with a city view of the parliament building in downtown Budapest, on June 10, 2013. The Danube peaked at 891 cm, 31 cm higher than the record levels of 2006. (Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images) Via

Existing flood walls and barriers are holding up, though.  

doctorswithoutborders:

South Sudan: Preparing for the Rainy Season

At the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan, where the population has increased five-fold in the past year, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is treating growing numbers of patients and preparing for the additional hardships that will come with the approaching rainy season.

laboratoryequipment:

Communities Work to Hold Back Storm-Swollen Waterways

A tiny, flood-prone community breathed easier after shoring up a makeshift levee holding back the rain-swollen Mississippi River. Other Midwest communities scrambled to fend off waterways that threatened to overflow as more storms marched through the region.

Volunteers hustled earlier this week to shore up weak spots in a levee hastily built last week to stop the Mississippi from overrunning the flood-weary hamlet of Clarksville. At times toiling in heavy rain, crews built a second wall of dirt and sandbags behind the original barrier and now calm has been restored. The Mississippi appeared to be receding, ever so slowly, from the community 70 miles north of St. Louis.

Via: laboratoryequipment

Annual spring floods. Short term approaches.

mothernaturenetwork:

Why you’re paying for everyone’s flood insurance

Two members of the Natural Resources Defense Council explain how the taxpayers, coastal homeowners and climate change are all connected.

Floods. Venice, Italy. Venice is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s also sinking, and probably unsaveable. See my Venice tag for more posts on this crazy city.

boston:

Winter weather - http://bo.st/ZvwUqA

massurban:

The Atlantic Cities: 

“The Generator Is the Machine of the Moment”

In the days that followed Hurricane Sandy, the developer of the luxury condominium 150 Charles Street hunkered down with his team of architects and engineers to rethink the building’s design.

Just steps from the Hudson River, the construction site was partially flooded. “Their mandate was to figure out how the building would have stayed open in a storm like this,” said Steven Witkoff, the developer. “They came back with a list of five things, and we implemented every single one.”

The efforts delayed the project by some six weeks and added as much as $3 million to its cost.

It was one of a number of projects that convened their engineers and construction teams to reconsider their plans after the rising waters rushed over the city’s embankments and into the basements of countless residential buildings across Lower Manhattan.

Now, more than two months after the storm caused millions of dollars in damage, novel and costly waterproofing techniques are being employed, including the addition of backup generators and floodgates, and the relocation of mechanical equipment. The owners of buildings that predate the flooding are also looking at these measures, although retroactive installation is so complex and costly that some may decide not to do anything.

“If you are in the flood zone and you are marketing a new high-end property, it will need to stand up to the test of another superstorm,” said Stephen G. Kliegerman, the executive director of development marketing for Halstead Property. “I think buyers would happily pay to be relatively reassured they wouldn’t be terribly inconvenienced in case of a natural disaster.” [Photo: Evan Sung for The New York Times]

This is a great read for adaptation and infrastructure folks. Purchases of large-scale pumps, generators, and other flood proofing measures are on the rise, especially in storm prone and coastal cities. I was walking along 5th Avenue recently and saw a motley work crew pumping the flooded basement of a uber fancy high-rise apartment building. “Why are you taking pictures of hoses?” my friend asked me. “Invest now,” I told her, “pumps are the future.”