I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature. - FAQs - Follow - Face - Ask - Donations - Climate Book Store

Recent Tweets @climatecote
Posts tagged "ports"

Meet Professor Austin Becker, Assistant Professor of Coastal Planning Policy and Design at University of Rhode Island. He focuses on coastal adaptation and resilient sea ports. He’s also a good friend of mine.


by Michael Keller

Hope Floats

This Nigerian school is set to rise. The floating structure was built by Dutch and Nigerian architecture, design and urbanism firm NLÉ to serve the slum neighborhood of Makoko, much of which exists on stilts above a lagoon in the port city of Lagos. Looking to mitigate the compounding problem of massive population movements to urban areas and the realities of climate change, NLÉ built the school as a prototype for a broader urban planning initiative called Lagos Water Communities Project.

Their design conforms to the local necessity of building houses on stilts above the lagoon with flotation platforms crafted from 256 common plastic barrels. This will allow the three-story primary school to rise along with sea level due to climate change or rainfall. The architects also designed it to provide natural ventilation, water from a rain collection system and power from rooftop solar panels to occupants. The almost 2,400 square-foot bamboo and wood building can safely hold up to 100 students.

Read More


A “saltie” is an oceangoing ship that comes into the Great Lakes. The StarTribune reported on this year’s early first Duluth saltie arrival here.

Click through to see a picture of the ship. Could mark a new era in shipping US made goods to the EU and N. Africa.

The SCDNR’s climate report was supposed to be published in 2012, but new leadership changed focused on expanding a shipping port and building a the East Coast’s largest gold mine.

The report warns of dire economic circumstances if nothing is done. One scientist even quit due to (it seems to me) political in-fighting within the Department.

Secret climate report calls for action in SC

A team of state scientists has outlined serious concerns about the damage South Carolina will suffer from climate change – threats that include invading eels, dying salt marshes, flooded homes and increased diseases in the state’s wildlife.

But few people have seen the team’s study. The findings are outlined in a report on global warming that has been kept secret by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources for more than a year because agency officials say their “priorities have changed.”

Current DNR director Alvin Taylor said the department is busy with other environmental matters, such as port expansions in Charleston and Savannah, and a massive gold mine planned for Lancaster County.

Via The State

Asker terramarique Asks:
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.
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Hey there,

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!


I and some climate adaptation colleagues visited this a few months ago. The country graciously wined and dined us. Great trip. Here are some pics.


The Maeslantkering

The storm surge barrier is one of largest moving structures on Earth rivalling the Green Bank Telescope in the USA and the Bagger 288 excavator in Germany.

(via urbnist)

“We are now in uncharted territory,”


Arctic sea ice reaches new low, shattering record set just 3 weeks ago

New sea ice is finally starting to form again in the Arctic, scientists reported Wednesday, but not before reaching another record low last Sunday. 

“We are now in uncharted territory,” Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said in a statement announcing the record low of 1.32 million square miles — nearly half the average extent from 1979 to 2010. The extent has been tracked by satellite since 1979.

Read the complete story.

(via nbcnews)


Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Teaser pics from my adaptation trip to the Netherlands.

1) Floating homes moored on the new, man-made island of Ijburg in the bay outside Amsterdam. These modular puppies run for a cool 600,000. They’re partially-dubbed as a pilot project for sea-level rise.

2) This is not the apocalypse, but it sure is close. This site, though, will blow your mind.

On the horizon is the Shell Pernis Oil Refinery located in the port of Rotterdam. It’s the 6th largest refinery in the world, able to produce over 412,000 barrels per day. The air was gnarly and it took us about 30 minutes to drive past it. Epic.

I took this shot from Maasvlakte 2, which is another man-made island that expands the port of Rotterdam into the North Sea. They’re making it by dumping millions of tons of sand into the sea - literally dredging the ocean floor for sand via special barges, which then dump or spray the sand into place. (That’s my colleague Brian Helmuth bottom right setting up his tripod. Should give you an idea of scale.)

You have to see Maasvlakte 2 to believe it, here. The big pond you see? It’s filled with toxic, polluted sands from chemicals and bombs dumped into the sea after WWII. Seriously. In fact, the barges have special crewmen to diffuse any bombs they dredge up from the sea floor. Nasty nasty nasty.

We were among the first people in the world to visit the site. Oh, and there about a dozen or so wind turbines around the perimeter. 

Coastal erosion in India wiping out villages.

Drill baby drill? One barrel = 42 gallons.

  • Italy
  • France
  • China
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • UK
  • Greece(!)
  • USA
  • Other 


Top Importers of Libyan Oil

Libyan oil spreads out from the nation’s ports to the rest of the world. Italy is, by far, the largest importer of Libyan oil. US imports from the country have fallen in recent years, but China, France, and the United Kingdom have all been buying more Libyan oil.