Climate Change | Sea Level Rise

January 26, 2023

2020 Worldwide CO2 Emissions by region, per capita (by Tom Schulz, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons).

The Climate Impact of Your Neighborhood, Mapped – Interactive Feature – the New York Times

New data shared with The New York Times reveals stark disparities in how different U.S. households contribute to climate change. Looking at America’s cities, a pattern emerges.

Households in denser neighborhoods close to city centers tend to be responsible for fewer planet-warming greenhouse gases, on average, than households in the rest of the country. Residents in these areas typically drive less because jobs and stores are nearby and they can more easily walk, bike or take public transit. And they’re more likely to live in smaller homes or apartments that require less energy to heat and cool.

Moving further from city centers, average emissions per household typically increase as homes get bigger and residents tend to drive longer distances.

But density isn’t the only thing that matters. Wealth does, too…

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More on Climate Change | Sea Level Rise . . .

Lyme Regis seafront looking towards landslips and former landfill, 2019 (by Darren Haddock CC BY-SA 2.0 via geograph.org.uk).

Coastal erosion and landfill exposure: Future impacts of climate change – Legal Futures

The UK’s historic coastline is a ticking pollution time bomb that is being rapidly accelerated by the impacts of climate change and landfill exposure…

As an island nation the UK has the largest coastline in Europe of 17,381km and is surrounded by four water bodies (Atlantic ocean, North Sea, Irish Sea and English Channel). For this reason, 28% of the UK’s coastline is vulnerable to coastal erosion as climate change has accelerated rising sea levels and increasingly hazardous weather…

Installing panels (by Oregon Dept of Transportation CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).

From Climate Exhortation to Climate Execution – the New Yorker

The Inflation Reduction Act finally offers a chance for widespread change…

So far, the climate debate has gone on mostly in people’s heads and hearts. It took thirty years to get elected leaders to take it seriously: first, to just get them to say that the planet was warming, and then to allow that humans were causing it. But this year Congress finally passed serious legislation—the Inflation Reduction Act—that allocates hundreds of billions of dollars to the task of transforming the nation so that it burns far less fossil fuel. So now the battle moves from hearts and heads to houses…

Storm Surge (by Scott Pena CC BY 2.0 via Flickr)

How sea level rise contributes to billions in extra damage during hurricanes – Yale Climate Connections

Had Ian hit a century ago, when sea levels were about a foot lower, the storm probably would have caused billions less in storm surge damage, judging by the results from two studies looking at storm surge damage from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy in New York. Taken together, the study results suggest that rising seas left a huge portion of U.S. coastal infrastructure – much of it built during the 20th century – vulnerable to storm surges.

Small increases in storm surge can cause huge impacts…

Ocean front property for sale sign south of Yachats, Oregon (by Rick Obst CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).

Extreme weather becoming a factor in where Americans choose to live – Fox Weather

A report shows that over 60% of Americans that are planning to move in the next year are reluctant to move to areas with natural disaster-prone areas or areas that experience extreme weather and sea level rise.

“All of these costs associated with climate change are actually becoming a real drag on not only our economy but particular areas that are, let’s say, high-risk areas,” Jesse Keenan, professor of sustainable real estate at Tulane University told FOX Weather. 

Kivalina, a village facing coastal erosion (by ShoreZone CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).

An Alaskan Town Is Losing Ground—and a Way of Life – the New York Times

For years, Kivalina has been cited—like the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, or the island nation of Tuvalu, in the Pacific—as an example of the existential threat posed to low-lying islands by climate change…
On a visit to the state in 2015, President Barack Obama flew over Kivalina and posted a photograph of the island on social media from the air. “There aren’t many other places in America that have to deal with questions of relocation right now,” Obama wrote, “but there will be.” He described what was happening in the village as “America’s wake-up call.”
Seven years later, Kivalina’s move is still mostly in the future, even though the island continues to lose ground…

Watch Hill, Rhode Island (by Patrick Franzis CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr).

Can Development Laws Elevate Us Out of Sea Level Rise?

Watch Hill is an old neighborhood, where houses with names like Windridge, Waveland and Sea Swept began to take their positions on the ridge more than 160 years ago…
But Watch Hill’s most implacable foe has always been Mother Nature. In 1938, the Great Hurricane wiped fifty houses off Napatree Point, a finger of land curling into the sound. Today, the village is under the increasingly frequent assault of water coaxed by tidal force or blown in by Nor’easters over streets and parking lots, cutting off access to Napatree and giving the old house names a sardonic twist…

At COP27 Closing Plenary, 19 November 2022 (by Kiara Worth, UNFCCC COP27, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 via Flickr).

A deal on loss and damage, but a blow to 1.5C – what will be Cop27’s legacy? – the Guardian

Developed countries as a bloc are still in the top five emitters, taking historical responsibility into account, but individually they are eclipsed by rapidly growing emerging economies, such as China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and other petrostates, according to Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House climate adviser…
“This Cop was something of a failure, because it completely let the world’s biggest emitter, China, off the hook,” he said. “Global emissions can’t fall until China’s emissions fall. This is the key to climate protection.”

COP27 Closing Plenary Session 19 November 2022 (by Kiara Worth UN ClimateChange CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 via Flickr).

How to Pay for Climate Justice When Polluters Have All the Money – the New Yorker

You can imagine the tension—the anger—that comes from watching your part of the world dry up or flood, knowing that the countries whose pollution caused your problems also have enough dollars to repair the damage…COP27 is one more reminder, however, that justice only proceeds, fitfully, through politics. Rebalancing the world’s wealth, even a little, is the trickiest of political tasks. Yet our chances for a livable world may depend on it.

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