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 "land use"

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.

Another cold and bitter splash of reality on Obama’s environmental supporters. Quite the story by Michael Kranish for the Boston Globe.

mypubliclands:

At 85,710 acres in size, Adobe Town Wilderness Study Area (WSA) is the largest in Wyoming. Within the WSA, you’ll find Skull Creek Rim and Monument Valley - names that conjure up images of colorful badlands, buttes and spires created by thousands of years of erosion. Located 80 miles southwest of Rawlins, outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive and unconfined recreation exist in the WSA. 

This WSA’s rugged badland rims and numerous canyons provide ample opportunities to avoid the sights and sounds of other visitors. The open desert plain, with its expanses of sagebrush and open scenic vistas, projects a feeling of vastness and solitude. 

The WSA is nationally known for the educational and scientific study of paleontological resources. Fossil remains of mammals are numerous and widely distributed throughout the area. Two notable mammalian fossils found in the area are the Uintathere and the Titanothere. The Uintathere was a large mammal about the size and configuration of an African rhinoceros. The species of Titanothere found in the WSA was a tapir-like mammal, about 40 inches in height. This area has been identified as one of the premier sites in North America for paleontological resources.

Significant archaeological resources are found throughout the WSA, representing 12,000 years of continuous occupation by man from Paleo Indian through late Prehistoric periods. The cultural site density of the WSA is estimated to be 30 surface sites per square mile, which is unusually high.

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM

The Official tumblr of the Bureau of Land Management is spectacular.

Winner of black rhino hunting auction states his $350,000 will help save the species. I note this is common practice outside the U.S., and animal reserves and refuges depend on trophy hunting as a major source of funding. The fees hunters pay goes towards breeding, land use/habitat protection, and education programs.

NatGeo summed-up this (very old) practice well

According to a recent study, in the 23 African countries that allow sport hunting, 18,500 tourists pay over $200 million (U.S.) a year to hunt lions, leopards, elephants, warthogs, water buffalo, impala, and rhinos.

Private hunting operations in these countries control more than 540,000 square miles (1.4 million square kilometers) of land, the study also found. That’s 22 percent more land than is protected by national parks.

As demand for land increases with swelling human populations, some conservationists are arguing that they can garner more effective results by working with hunters and taking a hand in regulating the industry.

Sport hunting can be sustainable if carefully managed, said Peter Lindsey, a conservation biologist with the University of Zimbabwe in Harare, who led the recent study.

"Trophy hunting is of key importance to conservation in Africa by creating [financial] incentives to promote and retain wildlife as a land use over vast areas," he said.

The more interesting angle, from my point of view, is why conservation efforts to save the black rhino (and many other species) has failed so miserably. In other words, despite the many millions funneled from traditional conservation groups, why is the black rhino still rare? Overall, untold billions have been spent towards conservation efforts and yet dozens of species fall down, extinct, every month. So, for me, I’d like to see a shift in conservation management towards better and more effective practices. This would begin with a bold admission that efforts to date have failed. 

Obama is no environmentalist. He’s helped increase fracking, expanded off-shore oil drilling, continues to stealthily approve parts the Keystone XL Pipeline, weakened endangered species protection, and will sign off on Alaska’s horrifying Pebble Mine gold mine.

1) The Philippines has become increasingly vulnerable to typhoons for lots of reasons — and climate change is only one angle here.

Thanks to basic geography, the Philippines has long been one of the most storm-ravaged places on Earth, with about 8 to 9 typhoons making landfall each year, on average. The warm waters surrounding the island nation help fuel strong tropical cyclones, and there are few natural barriers to slow the storms down or break them up. …
2) Typhoons aren’t the only natural disaster the Philippines has to worry about. … But the precise risks are often difficult to pinpoint — and that makes preparation even harder. Many climate models still have trouble making predictions at a very fine-grained, regional level. And typhoons are especially difficult to forecast: While the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change thinks it’s “likely” that tropical cyclones will get stronger as the oceans warm, it’s less clear how the frequency of storms will change in the years ahead (they may even become less frequent).

3) Adaptation can help, but it’s not always enough. Many countries have managed to reduce their exposure to natural disasters over the years by implementing detailed adaptation plans. If climate change does increase the risk of natural disasters in the years ahead, then those plans will become increasingly important. …

Bangladesh, for instance, has steadily reduced the number of deaths from tropical cyclones since the 1970s through early-warning systems, shelters and evacuation plans, and building coastal embankments.

4) Where will the money come from for adaptation? There are two key questions that always come up at international climate talks like the one now going on in Warsaw. First, how will the world cut its carbon emissions to slow global warming? And second, where will the money come from to help poorer states prepare for its effects? The second question is likely to get more attention in the wake of Haiyan. …

"We have received no climate finance to adapt or to prepare ourselves for typhoons and other extreme weather we are now experiencing," Saño told the Guardian. “It cannot be a way of life that we end up running always from storms.”

The Washington Post covers climate adaptation FTW!

NPR asks: If coastal communities are so economically vibrant, why can’t they pay to rebuild after storms? Should the Federal Government continue to pay and subsidize rebuilding America’s coastal cities?

The Federation Maproom are disaster and climate maps used by the Red Cross. I use the map room once in a while to check out the “Recent Climate Trends” tab. Note, these maps contain huge data sets, so they take a few seconds to load and you’ll need a touch of patience.

For readers actually into climate adaptation and urban planning, this is huge, huge news. Click here to read more about the the Flood Insurance Act of 2012. This basically undoes decades of subsidizing risky properties in the U.S.
The burden of living in risky, flood-prone areas will shift more towards the individual home owner and away from the American taxpayers.
What are your thoughts on the NFIP? Should the rates stay the same or be adjusted?  

Secretary Jewell personally welcomes back furloughed employees from Dept. of Interior.

70,000 Interior employees are back on the job, as national parks, wildlife refuges, public lands, energy bureaus, and BIA offices begin to re-open.

America, model for the world? This coal plant leaks and dumps waste into the Yellowstone River. Only about 30% of coal burned in a power plant produces electricity - the remaining 70% of the energy is literally wasted…

If you can stomach it, here’s a picture of an ExxonMobil oil refinery, also on the Yellowstone. This is how your electricity works…

Corette coal-fired power plant on the Yellowstone River in Montana. This facility is discharging toxic water pollution into the Yellowstone using a permit that should have expired several years ago. 

Great maps! Check out the study. Also, shout out to Alaska Public Radio! Hi guys!