Tag Archives: climate change

As SC island homes fall into ocean, owners behind them wonder if they’re next


Photo courtesy of: “the Western Carolina University Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines

Excerpts;

This small slip of land on the eastern tip of Beaufort County is the legacy of an opportunistic time when a wave of businessmen descended on the South Carolina coast keen-eyed for fragments of paradise to package and sell off…

Read Full Article; Post & Courier (02-01-2020)

Sea rise along South Carolina coast accelerating faster than realized, researcher says; Post And Courier (02-01-2019)
Within 50 years, the sea off Charleston will be rising about one inch every five years — twice as fast as it was rising about a century ago and one-third faster than it was in 2000…

Developers don’t get it: climate change means we need to retreat from the coast, Guardian UK (15-03-2016)
It is preposterous to build in areas that are bound to flood. So why are real estate companies still doing it?..

Coastal Hazards & Targeted Acquisitions: A Reasonable Shoreline Management Alternative: North Topsail Beach, North Carolina Case Study; by the Western Carolina University Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (July 1, 2019)
This study is the first of several case studies to be released by the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines examining the feasibility and economics of targeted acquisition strategies in oceanfront, resort communities. Buyouts of vulnerable properties have become an increasingly popular tool for reducing future exposure in flood-prone communities across the U.S.

Sea Level Rise Will Reshape U.S. Population In All 50 States; Yale E360 (04-19-2017)
Sea level rise could cause mass migrations that will affect not just the United States’ East Coast, but reshape communities deep in the heart of the country, according to new research…

Coastal residents need to set aside money now to cope with future flooding; Sun Sentinel (07-10-2018)
Sea-level rise is a national economic insecurity. According to the National Ocean Service, 39 percent of the U.S. population in 2010 lived in counties that are on shorelines…

The only answer to rising seas is to retreat; By Orrin H. Pilkey & Keith C. Pilkey; The News & Observer (10-18-2017)
Except for the timing, there is no controversy among scientists regarding sea level rise. Defending the coast and holding the shoreline in place ultimately will be futile. With a three-foot or a six-foot sea level rise, we will retreat, probably beginning within the next 50 years…

Surrendering to rising seas; Scientific American (08-2018)
Coastal communities struggling to adapt to climate change are beginning to do what was once unthinkable: retreat…

Natural disasters could cost 20 percent more by 2040 due to climate change


Sandbagged, trashed beach at South Nags Head, N.C. in February 1987, with some evidence of bags that have been torn or ruptured and have leaked sand. The scarp under the houses indicates that storm waves are topping the bags, and buildings were damaged or lost in the end. Captions and Photo courtesy of: © Orrin Pilkey.

Excerpts;

Climate change could add more than 20 percent, or $100 billion annually, to the cost of extreme weather events around the world by 2040, according to a new analysis by researchers at Cambridge University…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (02-27-2020)

Can these giant dams keep Europe from drowning?


“Am Strand” 1870, by Dutch painter Frederik Hendrik Kaemmerer. Image source: Public Domain / Wikimedia

Excerpts;

A plan for a giant a 400-mile enclosure, The Northern European Enclosure Dam (NEED), would cut off the North and Baltic Seas from the Atlantic Ocean to protect 15 European countries from those rising seas.

The project’s scale is unprecedented. Its cost phenomenal. But it’s still cheaper than all the alternatives—including doing nothing. All the alternatives except one: Taking action now against climate change…

Read Full Article; BigThink (02-22-2020)

On rising Great Lakes, backyards are disappearing overnight


Lake Michigan, Chicago. Photo source: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Document and near-record water ranges in all 5 Nice Lakes are inflicting tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in injury from Minnesota to New York as eroding shorelines and monster waves trigger properties to plummet into the water, public piers and lakeside trails to crack and crumble, and parks and properties to flood…

Read Full Article; The WSJ (02-20-2020)

Antarctica melts under its hottest days on record


February 4 – 13, 2020

By NASA;

On February 6, 2020, weather stations recorded the hottest temperature on record for Antarctica. Thermometers at the Esperanza Base on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula reached 18.3°C (64.9°F)—around the same temperature as Los Angeles that day. The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers.

The warm temperatures arrived on February 5 and continued until February 13, 2020. The images above show melting on the ice cap of Eagle Island and were acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 on February 4 and February 13, 2020.

The heat is apparent on the map below, which shows temperatures across the Antarctic Peninsula on February 9, 2020. The map was derived from the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) model, and represents air temperatures at 2 meters (about 6.5 feet) above the ground. The darkest red areas are where the model shows temperatures surpassing 10°C (50°F).

Mauri Pelto, a glaciologist at Nichols College observed that during the warming event, around 1.5 square kilometers (0.9 square miles) of snowpack became saturated with meltwater (shown in blue above). According to climate models, Eagle Island experienced peak melt—30 millimeters (1 inch)—on February 6. In total, snowpack on Eagle Island melted 106 millimeters (4 inches) from February 6- February 11. About 20 percent of seasonal snow accumulation in the region melted in this one event on Eagle Island.


February 9, 2020

“I haven’t seen melt ponds develop this quickly in Antarctica,” said Pelto. “You see these kinds of melt events in Alaska and Greenland, but not usually in Antarctica.” He also used satellite images to detect widespread surface melting nearby on Boydell Glacier.

Pelto noted that such rapid melting is caused by sustained high temperatures significantly above freezing. Such persistent warmth was not typical in Antarctica until the 21st century, but it has become more common in recent years.

The warm temperatures of February 2020 were caused by a combination of meteorological elements. A ridge of high pressure was centered over Cape Horn at the beginning of the month, and it allowed warm temperatures to build. Typically, the peninsula is shielded from warm air masses by the Southern Hemisphere westerlies, a band of strong winds that circle the continent. However, the westerlies were in a weakened state, which allowed the extra-tropical warm air to cross the Southern Ocean and reach the ice sheet. Sea surface temperatures in the area were also higher than average by about 2-3°C.

Dry, warm foehn winds also could have played a part. Foehn winds are strong, gusty winds that cause downslope windstorms on mountains, often bringing warm air with them. In February 2020, westerly winds ran into the Antarctic Peninsula Cordillera. As such winds travel up the mountains, the air typically cools and condenses to form rain or snow clouds. As that water vapor condenses into liquid water or ice, heat is released into the surrounding air. This warm, dry air travels downslope on the other side of the mountains, bringing blasts of heat to parts of the peninsula. The drier air means fewer low-lying clouds and potentially more direct sunlight east of the mountain range.

“Two things that can make a foehn-induced melt event stronger are stronger winds and higher temperatures,” said Rajashree Tri Datta, an atmospheric researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. With warmer air in the surrounding atmosphere and ocean, the conditions were conducive this month for a foehn wind event.

This February heatwave was the third major melt event of the 2019-2020 summer, following warm spells in November 2019 and January 2020. “If you think about this one event in February, it isn’t that significant,” said Pelto. “It’s more significant that these events are coming more frequently.“

NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey and GEOS-5 data from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA GSFC. Story by Kasha Patel.

Original Article And Learn More; NASA (02-21-2020)

Arctic ice melt is changing ocean currents; NASA (02-06-2020)

Antarctic temperature rises above 20C for first time on record; Guardian UK (02-13-2020)
Scientists describe 20.75C logged at Seymour Island as ‘incredible and abnormal’.

Temperature in Antarctica soars to near 70 degrees, appearing to top record; The Washington Post (02-13-2020)
The temperature beats a milestone set days earlier by nearly 5 degrees…

Antarctica logs highest temperature on record of 18.3C; BBC News (02-07-2020)
A record high temperature of 18.3C (64.9F) has been logged on the continent of Antarctica. The temperature was recorded in the Antarctic Peninsula, on the continent’s north-west tip – one of the fastest-warming regions on earth…

Revealed: quarter of all tweets about climate crisis produced by bots


Image source: NOAA

Excerpts;

The social media conversation over the climate crisis is being reshaped by an army of automated Twitter bots, with a new analysis finding that a quarter of all tweets about climate on an average day are produced by bots, the Guardian can reveal.

The stunning levels of Twitter bot activity on topics related to global heating and the climate crisis is distorting the online discourse to include far more climate science denialism than it would otherwise…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (02-21-2020)

Climate change tipping point could be coming sooner than we think; Science Daily (01-23-2019)
A new study confirms the urgency to tackle climate change. While it’s known that extreme weather events can affect the year-to-year variability in carbon uptake, and some researchers have suggested that there may be longer-term effects, this study is the first to actually quantify the effects through the 21st century and demonstrates that wetter-than-normal years do not compensate for losses in carbon uptake during dryer-than-normal years, caused by events such as droughts or heatwaves…

Oil and gas firms ‘have had far worse climate impact than thought’; Guardian UK (02-19-2020)

‘The only uncertainty is how long we’ll last’: a worst case scenario for the climate in 2050; Guardian UK (02-15-2020)

20,000 deaths since 1999: New report reveals deadly impact of extreme weather in France

xynthia-mayor-official
La Faute sur Mer’s mayor (left) and Vendée’s senator (right) in front of an aerial view of the 2 inundated towns of L’Aiguillon and La Faute sur Mer, Vendée, France. Photo source: ©© Sénat

Excerpts;

France is one of the most exposed countries in the world to the risks of extreme weather, a new report has found, with nearly 20,000 deaths linked to heatwaves, floods and storms in the last 20 years.

The report from the global climate charity Germanwatch ranked 183 countries around the world according to how exposed they are to extreme weather events – such as heatwaves, storms and flooding – linked to climate change.

France was ranked in the top 20 most exposed countries in the world, in the same bracket as India and Madagascar.The worst affected countries in the world were Puerto Rico, Honduras, Myanmar and Haiti…

Read Full Article; The Local Fr (12-14-2019)

À La Faute-sur-Mer, le temps n’a pas effacé le cauchemar de la tempête Xynthia; Le Figaro (02-21-2020)
Ten years after Xynthia storm devastated France, scars still remain.

La Faute-sur-Mer and l’Aiguillon-sur-Mer beaches, Vendée, France; By Claire Le Guern (03-2010)
The very last day of February 2010. It is 4:00 am. Howling winds, whipping rains, infuriated seas, and eight meter high (26 feet) crashing waves, are muffling the desperate cries for help…4:00 am… Twenty nine human lives are being swept away, drowned in the frigid and salty ocean waters. They were in their sleep, in their beds, in the comfort of their home. They did not understand, they could not react, most of them too old, too frail, or much too little to run for safety and climb on the rooftops, like most of the survivors did…
When daylight unveiled the disaster, French Prime Minister François Fillon held an emergency cabinet meeting and afterward called the storm a “national catastrophe.” French President Nicolas Sarkhozy, declared: “We have to find out how families in France in the 21st-century can be surprised in their sleep and drowned in their own houses.” Mr. Sarkozy added, “We have to shed light as urgently as possible on this unacceptable and incomprehensible tragedy.”
As much as this tragedy is utterly unacceptable, it is all too comprehensible and sadly, previously announced by warnings from many scientists, locals, and even more relevantly by an official 2008 report from the Vendée Equipment Department, DDE. The risks of marine submersion were known to the Vendée DDE, which strongly addressed and questioned coastal safety, citing in particular the fragile sea walls in L’Aiguillon-sur-Mer and La Faute-sur-Mer, as well as their existing location and development in flood-prone areas. “There is no doubt about the vulnerability of the Vendée coast to marine submersion”…

A French beach cleared of homes shows NC the way; By Orrin H. Pilkey; News Observer (02-24-2019)

Developers don’t get it: climate change means we need to retreat from the coast, Guardian UK (15-03-2016)
It is preposterous to build in areas that are bound to flood. So why are real estate companies still doing it?..

Jeff Bezos Pledges $10 Billion To Fight Climate Change, Planet’s ‘Biggest Threat’


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says the funds will go toward the creation of the Bezos Earth Fund.

“This global initiative will fund scientists, activists, NGOs — any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world,” he writes in an Instagram post. “I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet…”

Read Full Article; NPR (02-17-2020)

Top US firms including Walmart and Ford oppose Trump on climate change; Guardian UK (12-01-2017)

As Trump Retreats, States Are Joining Forces on Climate Action; Yale E360 (10-09-2017)

California lawmakers vote on bill to go emissions-free by 2045; CBS News (08-28-2018)

The fight against climate change: four cities leading the way in the Trump era; Guardian UK (06-12-2017)

The US President Doesn’t Care to Understand Global Warming; The Atlantic (12-29-2017)
It’s a shame—ours and his…

A running list of how Trump is changing the environment; National Geographic (07-19-2018)

Antarctica Warmer Than Tel Aviv


The Antarctic. Photo courtesy of: © Denis Delestrac

Excerpts;

Temperature in the northern Antarctic peninsula hit an all-time high of 18.3 degrees Celsius (64.9 degrees Fahrenheit) on February 6, says an Argentine research station there. In February, the daytime temperature in Tel Aviv averages 64.5 degrees…

Read Full Article; Haaretz (02-17-2020)

Antarctic temperature rises above 20C for first time on record; Guardian UK (02-13-2020)
Scientists describe 20.75C logged at Seymour Island as ‘incredible and abnormal’.

Temperature in Antarctica soars to near 70 degrees, appearing to top record; The Washington Post (02-13-2020)
The temperature beats a milestone set days earlier by nearly 5 degrees…

Antarctica logs highest temperature on record of 18.3C; BBC News (02-07-2020)
A record high temperature of 18.3C (64.9F) has been logged on the continent of Antarctica. The temperature was recorded in the Antarctic Peninsula, on the continent’s north-west tip – one of the fastest-warming regions on earth…