Tag Archives: climate change

The danger of creating a designer planet


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

It is natural in the face of an impending emergency to look for something—anything—that will avert the crisis. So it is understandable that in the absence of a meaningful action plan emerging from last December’s UN climate meeting in Madrid people are grasping at almost any idea that might offer a solution to climate change. But pursuing an idea without a firm understanding of the inner workings of our planet is folly at best and just plain dangerous at worst, even if it is done with the best of intentions…

Read Full Article; WHOI (02-15-2020)

Why Australia’s 2019-2020 bushfire season was not normal

fire
Photo source: ©© Zootedrop

Excerpts;

Data from satellite sources assembled by the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) World Environment Situation Room confirms that the wildfires in Australia in the last two months of 2019 and the first six weeks of 2020 were far from normal.

2019 was the second hottest year on record since 1880, and Australia recorded its warmest temperatures ever in December 2019.

“Rising temperatures continue to melt records. The past decade was the hottest on record. Scientists tell us that ocean temperatures are now rising at the equivalent of five Hiroshima bombs a second.
One million species are in near-term danger of extinction. Our planet is burning,” says United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

“The trend is very clear: 37 of the last 40 years were the warmest recorded since 1880, and the six warmest years recorded were the last six years,” says Pascal Peduzzi, Director of UNEP’s Global Resource Information Database in Geneva. “For those who think Australia is always burning, the following graphs clearly show that these fires were exceptional…”

Read Full Article; UNEP (02-14-2020)

Coastal erosion: The homes lost to the sea; Video

houses-coastal-erosion-uk1
Severe coastal erosion and falling houses, Happisburgh, England. Photo source: ©© Martin

Excerpts;

As sea level rise, a senior figure in the Environment Agency says he wants the country to start “difficult conversations” about which areas should be protected and which should not…

Read Full Article and Watch Video, BBC News (02-13-2020)

Sinking England, A National Geographic Video (11-25-2011)
All may seem calm on the beautiful stretches of british coastline, but there is a battle being fought on the beaches of Britain. It is a fight for survival against the mighty forces of the North Sea. Erosion of this coastline have been going on for thousands of years, but things have gotten much worst. The country is gradually tilting into the ocean.

East Riding Coastal Erosion, In Pictures; Guardian UK (06-25-2014)

One in ten historic coastal landfill sites in England are at risk of erosion; Science Daily (11-16-2017)
Coastal erosion may release waste from ten per cent of England’s historic coastal landfills in the next forty years, according to research from Queen Mary University of London and the Environment Agency…

Floods and erosion are ruining Britain’s most significant sites; Guardian UK (02-07-2017)
Climate change is already wrecking some of Britain’s most significant sites, from Wordsworth’s gardens in Cumbria to the white cliffs on England’s south coast, according to a new report…

Popular Coastal Attraction Suffered 7 years’ Worth of Erosion in 2 Months, UK; BBC News (03-02-2014)

Growing Climate Change Threat to Britain’s Historic Coastline, The Telegraph UK (06-12-2015)

This Sinking Isle: The Homeowners Battling Coastal Erosion, Guardian UK (04-17-2015)
As sea levels rise, thousands of people on the coast of Britain have been forced to move inland…

Coastal Erosion: A series of Special Reports, Guardian UK (08-17-2015)

Coastal Warning: An Unwelcome Messenger on the Risks of Rising Seas; By Orrin H. Pilkey, Yale E360 (12-06-2018)

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…

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…

Antarctic temperature rises above 20C for first time on record


Concave Iceberg Gerlache Strait, Antarctica. “This melting iceberg probably calved from a glacier, as evidenced by bands of dark color which are sediment the glacier picked up while moving down the steep slopes of the Antarctic Peninsula. An iceberg containing sediment will absorb heat because of less reflectivity and thus will melt faster. Global warming increases the rate of glacier calving and the overall degradation of ice sheets, and also contributes to an acceleration in the rate of sea level rise.” Captions and Photo courtesy of: © Norma J. Longo

Excerpts;

The Antarctic has registered a temperature of more than 20C (68F) for the first time on record, prompting fears of climate instability in the world’s greatest repository of ice.

Scientists describe 20.75C logged at Seymour Island as ‘incredible and abnormal’…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (02-13-2020)

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…

Twin bomb cyclones to merge into one of strongest-ever storms in North Atlantic


Atlantic storm battering Brittany’s coast, France. Photo source: ©© Cecile Nouail

Excerpts;

A potentially unprecedented scenario is unfolding in the North Atlantic on Friday, as a bomb cyclone batters Iceland with hurricane-force winds and blizzard conditions, just as another bomb cyclone, known as Storm Dennis, rapidly intensifies behind it…

Read Full Article; The Washington Post (02-14-2020)

Bomb Cyclone Storm Dennis Could Rival Some of the Most Intense North Atlantic Storms on Record; Weather Channel (02-14-2020)
A powerful cyclone is combining forces with another intense storm currently pounding Iceland and Greenland, bringing extreme waves and hurricane force winds. This storm will take aim at northwestern Europe this weekend, just days after Storm Ciara pounded several countries…

What is a bomb cyclone? AcuWeather (10-16-2019)

Salvation or pipe dream? A movement grows to protect up to half the planet


Photo source: ©© Miramar2009

Excerpts;

Leading scientists and conservationists are proposing that up to 50 percent of the earth’s land and oceans be protected in the coming decades.

While some view the goal as unrealistic, proponents say it is essential for preserving the natural systems on which life itself depends…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (02-13-2020)

As climate risks worsen, U.S. flood buyouts fail to meet the need


North Carolina. Photograph courtesy of: © William Neal, Orrin Pilkey & Norma Longo.

Excerpts;

The U.S. approach to buying out properties vulnerable to flooding is rife with uncertainty and delays. Now, as climate change drives more extreme coastal storms and precipitation events, the system must undergo a drastic overhaul or risk stranding millions in flood-prone homes.

Buyouts are just one piece of the managed retreat puzzle, but they’re an essential one. If we aren’t able to provide timely and equitable assistance to those who need it to move out of harm’s way, then we don’t have managed retreat – it’s more similar to a domestic refugee crisis…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (01-23-2020)

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…

Coastal homes could see flood insurance premium going up again, and that’s only the beginning; Miami Herald (07-24-2018)

Coastal policy needs dose of reality; Op Ed by Orrin Pilkey; Star News Online (02-02-2017)

Who will pay for the huge costs of holding back rising seas? Yale E360 (08-05-2019)

Coastal Warning: An Unwelcome Messenger on the Risks of Rising Seas; By Orrin H. Pilkey, Yale E360 (12-06-2018)

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…

Sea level rise could reshape the United States, trigger migration inland; Science Daily (01-22-2020)

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…

Is Your Home At Risk Of Flooding From Rising Seas By 2050? Check This Map.; BuzzFeed News (11-13-2018)
Even if the world more aggressively tackles global warming, about 350,000 homes across the US, worth about $190 billion at today’s prices, are built on land that’s at risk of annual flooding by 2050. And if no steps are taken to curb carbon emissions, the number of at-risk homes jumps to about 385,000…

The next five years will shape sea level rise for the next 300, study says; The Washington Post (02-20-2018)
Peaking global carbon dioxide emissions as soon as possible is crucial for limiting the risks of sea-level rise, even if global warming is limited to well below 2 degrees C. A new study analyzes for the first time the sea-level legacy until 2300 within the constraints of the Paris Agreement…

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…

Rising seas already overwhelm the Bay Area. Time is running out for California to act


Butterfly Beach, California. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care
“King tide” is the informal term generally used to describe an exceptionally high tide, which most often occurs when the Moon and the Sun are aligned and their gravitational pull on the Earth is at its strongest.NASA, AeroTech News

Excerpts;

In Foster City, where the ‘king tide’ over the weekend reached 9 feet, the answer is a taller levee, costing $90 million. The plan comes as legislators warn that California is running out of time to prepare for sea level rise…

Read Full Article; LA Times (02-11-2020)

The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim; LA Times (07-07-2019)

Sea level rise could reshape the United States, trigger migration inland; Science Daily (01-22-2020)

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…

The next five years will shape sea level rise for the next 300, study says; The Washington Post (02-20-2018)
Peaking global carbon dioxide emissions as soon as possible is crucial for limiting the risks of sea-level rise, even if global warming is limited to well below 2 degrees C. A new study analyzes for the first time the sea-level legacy until 2300 within the constraints of the Paris Agreement…

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…

Californians Fight Over Whether Coast Should Be Rugged or Refined, The New York Times (02-09-2016)

California prepares policy for coastal ‘retreat’; E & E News (12-07-2018)
Oceanfront homes could be demolished along California’s coastline under a groundbreaking proposal to preserve the state’s made-for-movies beaches before they’re destroyed by rising seawater. The California Coastal Commission plans to release guidance early next year for dealing with sea-level rise in residential areas…