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 "revkin"

White House invites the public to chat about the Polar Vortex and climate change. Yep, the White House! h/t Revkin

revkin:

Some tragic tornadoes this year, but on track for record low count, overall. Keep track via @NWSSPC.

Bush installed them also…

revkin:

.@Reuters jumps PNAS embargo & utterly botches story on new @PIK_climate study of sea level rise per degree warming.

Story headline: “Models point to rapid sea-level rise from climate change”

Paper title (italics added): “The multi-millennial sea-level commitment of global warming

Paper: “[W]e are committed to a sea-level rise of about 2.3 meters [per 1ºC] within the next 2000 years.”

At least Reuters got in a solid quote from lead author Anders Levermann that makes the right point on the right time scale: 

"Continuous sea-level rise is something we cannot avoid unless global temperatures go down again," Levermann said. “Our results indicate that major adaptation at our coastlines will be necessary. It’s likely that some currently populated regions can’t be protected in the long run." 

Much more on sea level realities on Dot Earth, including this recent Google Hangout with top NASA scientists and many earlier posts.

 

Things I learned in journalism: 1) Journalists do not understand anything with numbers and 2) Journalists do not understand science. The effects: No one knows why the Dow Jones is up/down for the day nor do they know if caffeine is good/bad for you. 

Looks to be the same principle here: Reporter skims a report, snags a few quotes from author interview, and runs the piece by their editors. Editors have no clue about science (nor how to fact check it), and kick it out with polished sentences. 

Can you ID this whale skull? Andrew Revkin, climate change and environmental journalist at the NYTimes is looking for clues. Anyone?

My open letter to the New York Times to dedicate more resources to environmental coverage.

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Postscript from yesterday’s announcement via Andrew Revkin: Looks like “Dot Earth" will stay open - for now.

From a logistical standpoint, the shutdown of Green was probably inevitable once the environment desk was closed in January. The two editors have new duties, and a blog is a lot of work. [Read “The Changing Newsroom Environment" for more.]

But inevitability doesn’t take away the sting.

Curtis Brainard, who writes about science journalism for the Columbia Journalism Review, harshly criticized Times management for the move and posted an apologetic e-mail message sent by Nancy Kenney, the former deputy environment editor, to the blog’s contributors.

The news side of The Times has nine sports blogs; nine spanning fashion, lifestyles, health, dining and the like; four business blogs; four technology blogs (five if you include automobiles as a technology); and a potpourri of other great efforts, with four of my favorites being the Learning Network blog, Scientist at Work, the IHT Rendezvous blog on global news and Lens, run by the paper’s photo staff. You can tour the paper’s blogosphere here.

Via

Presumably because the two former environment editors are moving to new tasks, making it an orphaned effort in a shrinking newsroom: Tracking the Green Blog’s Reporters.”

I note that at the time of this posting, the above reader-notice has “0” comments…

Asteroid “2012 DA14” safely passed by Earth late Friday. NASA feed via NYTimes’s Andrew Revkin.

Long talk on the effects of climate on the Arctic. Topics include trapped whales, tundra fires, species migrations, indigenous communities/anthropology, massive erosion, crumbling infrastructure, invasive plant species, melting glaciers, carbon sequestration, and many others. Great for climate folks.

Be sure to check out the Q&A at the end with NYTimes climate blogger, Andrew Revkin.

Warming Arctic, Changing Planet

Exciting discussion about the effects of climate change on the Arctic via the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Earth Institute, Columbia University and Quebec Government Office.

Experts highlighted how Arctic sea ice, climate, marine mammals, tundra, and indigenous communities have been affected by and are adapting to climate change. In addition, each expert addressed how these effects of climate change go far beyond the polar bears and may even impact you.

Moderator:
Andy Revkin, Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding, Pace University; Blogger, DotEarth

Speakers and Panelists:
Julie Payette, Canadian Astronaut, Scientific Delegate, Quebec Government Office

Natalie Boelman, Lamont Assistant Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

Kevin Griffin, Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University

Igor Krupnik, Anthropologist, Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Stephanie Pfirman, Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental Science, Barnard College

Pierre Richard, Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Bruno Tremblay, Associate Professor, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University

Global warming over the last 16 years, with natural variations (such as volcanic ash and the Ninos) stripped out. Via Revkin

Beautiful.
revkin:

Incredible @nytimes gallery of beach-tossed snapshots strewn by #superstorm #sandy. If you recognize someone, e-mail metropolitan@nytimes.com!
Excerpt from Dan Barry haiku on the pictures: 
If you take a walk along the altered coast these days, you will find snapshots and photographs everywhere, scattered like leaves shaken from family trees. Here, a wedding pose. There, a baptism scene. Just beyond, the moment that a shirtless man on a chaise longue laughed into the sun.
Freeze-frame pieces of private lives, they were once displayed on a bookshelf, or pinned to a corkboard or kept safe and secret in a box under the bed. Then Sandy, the storm whose casual name belied its fury, swept these moments up and left them in the sand and muck of places like Great Kills Park, where a part of Staten Island now uneasily meets the sea….

Beautiful.

revkin:

Incredible @nytimes gallery of beach-tossed snapshots strewn by #superstorm #sandy. If you recognize someone, e-mail metropolitan@nytimes.com!

Excerpt from Dan Barry haiku on the pictures: 

If you take a walk along the altered coast these days, you will find snapshots and photographs everywhere, scattered like leaves shaken from family trees. Here, a wedding pose. There, a baptism scene. Just beyond, the moment that a shirtless man on a chaise longue laughed into the sun.

Freeze-frame pieces of private lives, they were once displayed on a bookshelf, or pinned to a corkboard or kept safe and secret in a box under the bed. Then Sandy, the storm whose casual name belied its fury, swept these moments up and left them in the sand and muck of places like Great Kills Park, where a part of Staten Island now uneasily meets the sea….

Though this is about earthquakes, it’s similar to a major dilemma in adapting to climate change. Portland, Oregon passed a bill to retrofit and strengthen public school buildings to withstand earthquakes. On the one hand, this will save lives and upgrades to the schools are much needed. On the other, it continues to encourage people to live in unsafe areas.

Thus, cities that are threatened by, say, sea level rise face the same type of issues - either build high walls to hold back the ocean or move.

Also, follow revkin:

Great news in quake-threatened #PDX; Voters OK $480-million school retrofit bond. Background on risk from Yumei Wang (video). Much more on Dot Earth.

Definitive round-up of climate-hurricane connections by the indefatigable Andrew Revkin of the NYTimes.

As communities from the Carolinas to Maine brace for high storm surges, winds and downpours, there’s a growing climate discussion building around #Frankenstorm, which is the favored Twitter handle for the extraordinarily vast and potent nor’easter that is evolving as Hurricane Sandy, already a killer, collides with an Arctic cold front.

You can track specific developments in and around New York here and follow the details of the storm’s track and impacts via Jeff Masters, the Capital Weather Gang and Weather.gov.

But what is the role, if any, of greenhouse-drive global warming in this kind of rare system?

It’s easy to say, as some climatologists have, that “climate change is present in every single meteorological event.” As you’ll hear below, some climate scientists are telling me this event is precisely what you’d expect following a summer in which much of the Arctic Ocean was open water.

But there remains far too much natural variability in the frequency and potency of rare and powerful storms — on time scales from decades to centuries – to go beyond pointing to this event being consistent with what’s projected on a human-heated planet. [*Adam Frank posted a great piece on the NPR blog on other factors complicating this question.]

While the echo of Frankenstein in that Twitter moniker can imply this is a human-created meteorological monster, it’s just not that simple.

There are several areas in which greenhouse-driven warming is thought to be a potential influence. The first is in the buildup of heat in southern surface waters. A paper published earlier this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences was the latest to draw this conclusion, in this case through detailed analysis of storm surges recorded by Atlantic coast tide gauges:

We find that warm years in general were more active in all cyclone size ranges than cold years. The largest cyclones are most affected by warmer conditions and we detect a statistically significant trend in the frequency of large surge events (roughly corresponding to tropical storm size) since 1923.

But on longer time scales, the situation is murky because so many factors shape the formation and growth of tropical cyclones. I wrote in 2007 about a Nature paper by Jeff Donnelly of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and others. Here’s the core conclusion:

Over the last 5,000 years, the eastern Caribbean has experienced several periods, lasting centuries, in which strong hurricanes occurred frequently even though ocean temperatures were cooler than those measured today, according to a new study.

That’s the Caribbean, of course.

What about the Northeast? Here’s Hurricane Sandy. Last year was Hurricane Irene and then there was Hurricane Floyd in 1999. But when you look back in time in this region, big questions arise about just what constitutes a superstorm.

As I’ve written before, the great tropical storm and floods that devastated Vermont in November 1927 (and after Irene) appear to have been minor compared to repeated past hill-scouring superfloods, according to an important study of lake-bed sediments revealing storm patterns and intensities in recent millenniums.

Here’s the lede from my story on that paper, published one decade ago:

Four times since the last ice age, at intervals roughly 3,000 years apart, the Northeast has been struck by cycles of storms far more powerful than any in recent times, according to a new study. The region appears to have entered a fifth era in which such superstorms are more likely, the researchers say.

The other questions related to human-driven climate change are focused on the impact of reduced…

Read the rest at DOTEARTH

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This interview with Andrew Revkin was lovely to listen to. Revkin is the New York Times primary climate journalist, running Dot Earth Blog. He discusses how the candidates fared on energy, environment, and climate issues in last night’s debate.

revkin:

My chat with Ian Masters on Obama/Romney debate drillfest and climate gap, public attitudes, shifting baselines of perception (one generation’s problem is next generation’s norm), etc.