Archinect - News 2016-02-09T05:23:18-05:00 http://archinect.com/news/article/146662467/madrid-is-about-to-get-a-lot-more-green Madrid is about to get a lot more green Nicholas Korody 2016-01-26T15:31:00-05:00 >2016-01-26T15:33:30-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/pv/pvmem2wsuat96jgx.jpg" width="514" height="344" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Nature is poised to reconquer Madrid. Faced with rising summer temperatures, Spain&rsquo;s capital has announced plans, reported in today&rsquo;s El Pais, to seam the city so thoroughly with new green patches that its face could be quite transformed. City parks will be expanded and restored, and 22 new urban gardens created. Vacant public land will be freed up to create community gardens while the banks of the city&rsquo;s scrappy Manzanares River will be thickly planted with trees...</p></em><br /><br /><p>According to the report, other components of the initiative include funding and encouragement for green roofs and fa&ccedil;ades. Plants beds would be added to paved squares and ponds may be created to catch excess stormwater <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/146346245/copenhagen-copes-with-extreme-weather-by-building-parks-that-turn-into-ponds" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">like in Copenhagen</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Madrid's location &ndash; perched high on a plateau that receives little rain &ndash; has always brought harsh winters and grueling summers. But according to a study made by Arup, rainfall could drop by 25% by the midcentury. When it does arrive, it's probably going to be in massive summer storms that can have more averse effects than positive.</p><p>If put into action, this plan could greatly improve the city today &ndash; and save it from tomorrow.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://archinect.com/features/tag/506696/anthropocene" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architecture of the Anthropocene</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/146346245/copenhagen-copes-with-extreme-weather-by-building-parks-that-turn-into-ponds" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Copenhagen copes with extreme weather by building parks that turn into ponds</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/146194305/last-year-was-the-warmest-since-at-least-1880" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Last year was the warmest since (at least) 1880</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/144962617/our-cities-must-adapt-to-climate-change-and-growing-populations-within-a-single-generation-according-to-the-head-of-arup" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Our cities must adapt to climate change and growing populations within a single generation, according to the head of Arup</a></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/146267509/king-tides-give-a-glimpse-of-what-the-near-future-s-rising-seas-will-look-like "King tides" give a glimpse of what the (near) future's rising seas will look like Nicholas Korody 2016-01-21T12:29:00-05:00 >2016-01-21T14:55:38-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/d6/d6ea0ewcvenroc55.jpg" width="514" height="299" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>King tides&mdash;a type of perigean spring tide (there&rsquo;s your science jargon)&mdash;occur&nbsp;when extra-high tides line up with some other meteorological anomalies. They&rsquo;re not a huge deal: The water flowing over the seawall is part novelty, part nuisance. But these rare days hint at a new normal, when sea level rise will render current coastlines obsolete [...] On January 21 and 22, the king tide will bring San Francisco&rsquo;s shoreline about a foot higher than average high tide.</p></em><br /><br /><p><strong>Related:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/141300588/can-silicon-valley-save-the-bay-area" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Can Silicon Valley save the Bay Area?</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/140875921/the-gsd-vs-the-sea-school-s-new-office-for-urbanization-tackles-climate-change-in-miami-beach" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The GSD vs. the sea: school's new Office for Urbanization tackles climate change in Miami Beach</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/137735976/climate-change-is-increasing-the-risk-of-severe-flooding-in-new-york" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Climate change is increasing the risk of severe flooding in New York</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/135588607/sea-level-rise-accelerating-according-to-new-data-from-nasa" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sea level rise accelerating, according to new data from NASA</a></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/146194305/last-year-was-the-warmest-since-at-least-1880 Last year was the warmest since (at least) 1880 Nicholas Korody 2016-01-20T13:32:00-05:00 >2016-01-20T13:41:11-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/k2/k2h72rf6mzir5cld.jpg" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Last year was the Earth's warmest since record-keeping began in 1880, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA said Wednesday. It's been clear for quite some time that 2015 would steal the distinction of the hottest year from 2014, with 10 out of the 12 months last year being the warmest respective months on record -- and those records go back 136 years.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The news that 2015 was the warmest year on record didn't exactly take climate scientist by surprise. But what is startling is by just how much: the average global temperature was 1.62&#730;F above the 20th century average.</p><p>December, in particular, reached new heights of heat, becoming the first month to ever exceed temperature averages by 2 degrees Fahrenheit.</p><p>According to reports, El Ni&ntilde;o played a significant role in bringing up temperatures. It's <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/146139696/have-these-heavy-rains-alleviated-the-california-drought" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">still bearing down</a> on the Western US right now &ndash; although not yet dumping enough precipitation to rescue California from its historic drought.</p><p><a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/19/weather/major-snowstorm-this-weekend/index.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">In other weather news</a>, the East Coast is about to receive some heavy snow. Early predictions suggest this could be one of the biggest snowstorms in history.</p><p>While unusual and severe weather events comprise perhaps the most visible &ndash; and dangerous &ndash; effects of global climate change, they have been <a href="http://archinect.com/features/article/142453636/ways-of-seeing-in-the-anthropocene-review-of-the-geological-imagination-and-the-underdome-guide-to-energy-reform" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">frequently co-opted</a> by certain American politicians in the last few years to deny the reality of anthropogenic g...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/146139696/have-these-heavy-rains-alleviated-the-california-drought Have these heavy rains alleviated the California drought? Nicholas Korody 2016-01-19T20:45:00-05:00 >2016-01-19T22:17:57-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/cz/czfqo7b4678z0p68.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>...this week's higher temperatures and sunny skies serve as a reminder that one watery week doesn't erase the years of hardcore drought that have dragged on in SoCal and all of California. The record-breaking rains are a reason to be excited, certainly, but "Although this is a favorable start to the year, there are still 3-4 more critical months that will determine how much rain/snow will fall and accumulate during the wet season," [says] David Miskus, a meteorologist ...</p></em><br /><br /><p><strong>Relevant:</strong></p><ul><li><a title="Drought reveals 16th century church beneath Mexican reservoir" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/139317744/drought-reveals-16th-century-church-beneath-mexican-reservoir" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Drought reveals 16th century church beneath Mexican reservoir</a></li><li><p><a title="In face of drought, San Diego's desalination efforts won't stop there" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/136648960/in-face-of-drought-san-diego-s-desalination-efforts-won-t-stop-there" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">In face of drought, San Diego's desalination efforts won't stop there</a></p></li><li><p><a title="Thirst-quenching as Los Angeles heats up: Next Wave @ UCLA" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/142904746/thirst-quenching-as-los-angeles-heats-up-next-wave-ucla" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Thirst-quenching as Los Angeles heats up: Next Wave @ UCLA</a></p></li><li><p><a title="Fatal shores? Sea snakes wash up on Southern California beaches" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/140811641/fatal-shores-sea-snakes-wash-up-on-southern-california-beaches" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Fatal shores? Sea snakes wash up on Southern California beaches</a></p></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/146135676/we-have-probably-hit-peak-stuff-says-ikea-boss "We have probably hit peak stuff," says Ikea boss Nicholas Korody 2016-01-19T19:24:00-05:00 >2016-01-20T12:27:14-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/fm/fmuoqmvv5ldu6hzs.jpg" width="514" height="341" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The appetite of western consumers for home furnishings has reached its peak &ndash; according to Ikea, the world&rsquo;s largest furniture retailer. The Swedish company&rsquo;s head of sustainability told a Guardian conference that consumption of many familiar goods was at its limit. &ldquo;If we look on a global basis, in the west we have probably hit peak stuff. We talk about peak oil. I&rsquo;d say we&rsquo;ve hit peak red meat, peak sugar, peak stuff &hellip; peak home furnishings,&rdquo; Steve Howard said [...]</p></em><br /><br /><p><strong>Related:</strong></p><ul><li><a title="Ikea and Airbnb: a match made in globalized heaven?" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/138800384/ikea-and-airbnb-a-match-made-in-globalized-heaven" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ikea and Airbnb: a match made in globalized heaven?</a></li><li><p><a title="Get a glimpse of these hacked IKEA kitchens by BIG, Henning Larsen, and NORM Architects" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/133974036/get-a-glimpse-of-these-hacked-ikea-kitchens-by-big-henning-larsen-and-norm-architects" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Get a glimpse of these hacked IKEA kitchens by BIG, Henning Larsen, and NORM Architects</a></p></li><li><p><a title="UN Refugee Agency Commissions 10k Ikea-designed Better Shelters" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/124209727/un-refugee-agency-commissions-10k-ikea-designed-better-shelters" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">UN Refugee Agency Commissions 10k Ikea-designed Better Shelters</a></p></li><li><p><a title="Why is Ikea a Non-profit?" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/109025204/why-is-ikea-a-non-profit" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Why is Ikea a Non-profit?</a></p></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/144962617/our-cities-must-adapt-to-climate-change-and-growing-populations-within-a-single-generation-according-to-the-head-of-arup Our cities must adapt to climate change and growing populations within a single generation, according to the head of Arup Nicholas Korody 2016-01-04T13:43:00-05:00 >2016-01-17T22:00:00-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/pe/pedq2rn1ax5zgz3l.jpg" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Cities around the world have only one generation to meet the twin challenges of climate change and a rapidly growing urban population, the head of a global engineering firm has warned. Gregory Hodkinson, chairman of the Arup group, said that with more than half the world&rsquo;s population already living in cities, and the proportion set to rise to 70% by 2050, city leaders need to take urgent action.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Gregory Hodkinsin, the chairman of the engineering giant Arup Group, has warned that cities must adapt to climate change and booming population growth within the timespan of a single generation.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If we don&rsquo;t, in my view, we&rsquo;re screwed: my children and my grandchildren and everybody else&rsquo;s children," Hodkinsin told <em>the Guardian</em>.&nbsp;"We need to find a way to do this rapid urbanisation in a way that&rsquo;s not going to kill us &ndash; and to do it once.&rdquo;</p><p>Climate change and urban population growth are "twinned" challenges for a variety of reasons. As global temperatures rise, an increase in natural disasters and resource-driven conflict will likely drive displaced populations to urban centers, where shelter and access to basic necessities are more available. This is a pattern already <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/23/world/is-the-syrian-conflict-linked-to-climate-change/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">emerging</a>, for instance,&nbsp;in the mass migration of refugees from Syria and Iraq into Europe and elsewhere.</p><p>Cities currently house more than half of the world's population &ndash; and will most likely have to shelter up to 70% in t...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/143667350/what-the-paris-agreement-means-for-architecture What the Paris Agreement means for architecture Nicholas Korody 2015-12-18T13:23:00-05:00 >2015-12-24T02:16:19-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/pw/pw1bvpq8iz5ul5xt.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Last weekend in the outskirts of Paris, the rap of a green-tipped gavel announced an historically-unprecedented <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/international/negotiations/future/index_en.htm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">international climate agreement</a>. A sense of accomplishment suffused the crowds gathered locally and the official statements broadcast globally &ndash; President Obama <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/12/12/paris-climate-accord-turning-point-world-obama-says/77218562/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">called the deal</a> &ldquo;a turning point for the world&rdquo; &ndash; but it followed some real moments of tension, as years worth of planning for the COP21 <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/13/paris-climate-deal-cop-diplomacy-developing-united-nations" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">nearly came undone</a> in the face of disputed verbiage and policy.&nbsp;</p><p>Now, with the details announced, debate continues over the merits of the &ldquo;<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Agreement" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Paris Agreement</a>.&rdquo; But first it should be noted that it won&rsquo;t be official until at least 55 of the 195 pledge countries have ratified it, with the 55 ratifiers in turn accounting for at least 55% of global emissions. This pretty much necessitates ratification by the US government, whose Congress is currently run by the Republican party, a majority of whom <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/23/climate-change-republican-party-trump-inhofe" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">refute</a> mainstream scientific consensus and deny the existence of anthropogenic climate chang...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/143664937/britain-s-last-deep-pit-coal-mine-closes-the-end-of-the-industrial-revolution Britain's last deep-pit coal mine closes — the end of the industrial revolution? Alexander Walter 2015-12-18T12:25:00-05:00 >2015-12-21T12:18:59-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/iw/iwd8dl0squ4ax0g5.jpg" width="514" height="368" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The last deep-pit coal mine in the U.K. plans to shut its doors here next week, heralding the end of a centuries-old industry that helped fuel the industrial revolution and build the British Empire. The shutdown [...] represents a victory for advocates of reducing carbon emissions after world leaders gathered in Paris to discuss how to combat global warming, with coal in the cross hairs. It also reflects a glut of energy on world markets, from crude oil to natural gas and coal itself.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/142904746/thirst-quenching-as-los-angeles-heats-up-next-wave-ucla Thirst-quenching as Los Angeles heats up: Next Wave @ UCLA Nicholas Korody 2015-12-08T19:18:00-05:00 >2015-12-15T23:55:57-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/v6/v6m2ltvvspq7l9qj.jpg" width="514" height="282" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Last week, UCLA&rsquo;s Hammer Museum hosted the final iteration of its 2015 program "<a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/122213377/the-pragmatics-of-adaptating-to-sea-level-rise-the-next-wave-ucla" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Next Wave: Quality, Quantity, and Accessibility of Water in the 21st Century</a>," a robust discussion series that has gathered experts in various fields to explicate and consider the most pressing issues surrounding water in the 21st century. This final event, subtitled "<a href="http://hammer.ucla.edu/programs-events/2015/12/thriving-in-a-hotter-los-angeles/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Thriving in a Hotter Los Angeles</a>," grappled with issues closest to home, largely under the purview of the goals articulated by the ambitious "<a href="http://grandchallenges.ucla.edu/sustainable-la/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sustainable LA Grand Challenge</a>," a UCLA initiative dedicated to achieving water and energy sustainability in the county by 2020.</p><p><strong>Claudia Bestor</strong>, the director of public programs at the Hammer, began the evening by introducing the speakers: <strong>Mark Gold</strong>, Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability (among other titles) at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA; <strong>Alex Hall</strong>, the faculty director at the UCLA Center for Climate Change Solutions; <strong>Eric Hoek</strong>, the founder and CEO o...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/141300588/can-silicon-valley-save-the-bay-area Can Silicon Valley save the Bay Area? Nicholas Korody 2015-11-17T19:09:00-05:00 >2015-11-18T23:13:42-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/fu/fu74wukrzwxt9iv3.jpg" width="514" height="399" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The subject of a thousand think pieces and endless dinner table conversations, the considerable changes unleashed on the Bay Area by the tech industry over the past few decades are pretty undeniable. An influx of money &ndash; and its attendant culture &ndash; has remade San Francisco and the valley to its south largely in its own image, and has touched just about every other city in the Bay in some way.<br><br>But even bigger changes for the Bay Area are on the horizon, as is made clear in a new "interactive documentary" entitled&nbsp;<em>The Water at Bay. </em>Comprising a map, videos, and text, the website highlights&nbsp;the risks posed to region by rising sea levels, and waCs created in part by a coalition of Silicon Valley business leaders.<br><br>Can the same forces blamed for ruining the Bay Area now come to its rescue?<br><br><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/650x/lm/lmel9lqctxi142yu.jpg"><br><br>In order to educate local people about the dangers and challenges posed by rising sea levels, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group teamed up with the Bay Area Council and Save the Bay under the banner&nbsp;<em><a href="http://ourbayonthebrink.org/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Our B...</a></em></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/139829407/unchecked-climate-change-will-make-the-gulf-uninhabitable-claims-new-study Unchecked climate change will make the Gulf uninhabitable, claims new study Nicholas Korody 2015-10-26T21:03:00-04:00 >2015-10-27T08:04:05-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/0a/0alhzradf9urmvbt.jpg" width="514" height="382" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Gulf in the Middle East, the heartland of the global oil industry, will suffer heatwaves beyond the limit of human survival if climate change is unchecked, according to a new scientific study. The extreme heatwaves will affect Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha and coastal cities in Iran as well as posing a deadly threat to millions of Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, when the religious festival falls in the summer.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"The study shows the extreme heatwaves, more intense than anything ever experienced on Earth, would kick in after 2070 and that the hottest days of today would by then be a near-daily occurrence."<br><br><strong>Related:</strong></p><ul><li><a title="Luxury Anthropocene: Dubai gets its first private floating islands" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/129327717/luxury-anthropocene-dubai-gets-its-first-private-floating-islands" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Luxury Anthropocene: Dubai gets its first private floating islands</a></li><li><a title="It's only August but humans have already consumed a year's worth of resources" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/134267895/it-s-only-august-but-humans-have-already-consumed-a-year-s-worth-of-resources" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">It's only August but humans have already consumed a year's worth of resources</a></li><li><a title="The climate is getting hotter, and we're not doing nearly enough" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/138435289/the-climate-is-getting-hotter-and-we-re-not-doing-nearly-enough" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The climate is getting hotter, and we're not doing nearly enough</a></li><li><a title="Scientists Propose Using Lasers to Fight Global Warming" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/107197418/scientists-propose-using-lasers-to-fight-global-warming" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Scientists Propose Using Lasers to Fight Global Warming</a><br>&nbsp;</li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/139317744/drought-reveals-16th-century-church-beneath-mexican-reservoir Drought reveals 16th century church beneath Mexican reservoir Nicholas Korody 2015-10-19T13:59:00-04:00 >2015-10-21T20:15:36-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/hr/hrvnh4uand4i4tb7.jpg" width="514" height="309" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The ruins of a 16th century church have emerged from the waters of a reservoir in Mexico. The water level in the Nezahualc&oacute;yotl reservoir in Chiapas state has dropped by 25m (82ft) because of a drought in the area. The church, known as the Temple of Santiago or the Temple of Quechula, has been under nearly 100ft of water since 1966. The church, which is believed to have been built by Spanish colonists, is 183ft long and 42ft wide, with a bell tower that rises 48ft above the ground.</p></em><br /><br /><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/4g/4gi3aqh8kf1m5mwm.jpg"><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/4s/4sgg2q1pz3jsebwi.jpg"><br>&nbsp;</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/138435289/the-climate-is-getting-hotter-and-we-re-not-doing-nearly-enough The climate is getting hotter, and we're not doing nearly enough Nicholas Korody 2015-10-07T20:27:00-04:00 >2015-10-07T20:27:34-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/qg/qg4ohvoc57i8n9qh.jpg" width="514" height="364" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>To stand a fair chance of keeping warming to just 2&deg;C by the end of the century&mdash;the de-facto goal of global climate policy&mdash;the stock of atmospheric carbon dioxide must be kept under 1 trillion tonnes ... If emissions continue on their present course around 140 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases will be released each year and temperatures could rise by 4.5&deg;C by 2100. And even if countries fully honour their recent pledges, temperatures may still increase by 3.5&deg;C by then.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In the article, the author lays out an argument that "when negotiators meet in Paris, they need to keep in mind that the world is already suffering from the effects of global warming." At the crux of it lies the fact that the current, so-called "ambitious" plans of the world's largest economies, like the US and China, still fall short of what's needed.</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/137735976/climate-change-is-increasing-the-risk-of-severe-flooding-in-new-york Climate change is increasing the risk of severe flooding in New York Nicholas Korody 2015-09-28T17:49:00-04:00 >2015-09-28T17:49:37-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/ro/roa0svd5pzocfi1l.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Flood risk in New York City has increased in recent decades due to human-caused sea level rise and the related storm surge that occurs during cyclones, according to a new study. Climate change threatens to exacerbate the risk storms pose to the largest city in the United States. [...] &ldquo;This is going from something you probably won&rsquo;t see in your lifetime to something you may see several times in your lifetime,&rdquo; said Andra Reed, a researcher at Penn State University.</p></em><br /><br /><p>According to a <a href="http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1513127112" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">report</a>&nbsp;published in the journal <em>PNAS&nbsp;</em>that looked at sediment at different point of the New Jersey shore, before 1800, a flood that rose 7.4 ft above sea level would occur about once every 500 years.</p><p>Now &ndash; or, more precisely, since 1970 &ndash; we can expect a storm like that to hit the Big Apple every 24 years.</p><p>Between 850 CE and 1800, there was a slight, natural, and gradual rise in sea levels. But in the last few decades, sea level has risen an average of 2 millimeters per year.</p><p>According to Time, "Nearly 90% of that rise has been the result of human activity."</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/137353975/major-international-companies-to-set-targets-to-switch-to-renewable-energy Major international companies to set targets to switch to renewable energy Nicholas Korody 2015-09-23T18:36:00-04:00 >2015-09-28T23:40:44-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/d3/d3oq0vypwgutsk58.jpg" width="514" height="381" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Some of the world&rsquo;s most prominent companies are expected to set a long-term target on Wednesday of powering their operations entirely with renewable energy, the latest in a wave of commitments suggesting that corporations are becoming more serious about battling global warming. In addition, backers of a campaign to divest from fossil fuels announced Tuesday that investment managers controlling assets of $2.6 trillion had joined their effort...</p></em><br /><br /><p>The Times article considers this a clear sign that the fossil fuel divestment campaign has "spread far beyond its modest origins on American college campuses."<br><br>On Wednesday, nine major companies are set to join a coalition committed to making the switch to renewable energy, including Johnson &amp; Johnson, Procter &amp; Gamble, Starbucks, Walmart and Goldman Sachs.<br><br>The news comes as Pope Francis is on a <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34337942" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">historic tour</a> of the United States, continuing his appeal for a robust and united effort to mitigate global warming. In November, the leaders of the world's nations will <a href="http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">meet in Paris</a> to attempt (for yet another time) to create a real and substantial climate agreement.&nbsp;<br><br>&nbsp;</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/135588607/sea-level-rise-accelerating-according-to-new-data-from-nasa Sea level rise accelerating, according to new data from NASA Nicholas Korody 2015-08-31T18:53:00-04:00 >2015-09-01T18:16:15-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/bs/bs3eiwdl9uitamb3.jpg" width="514" height="276" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>NASA has <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/5e92d30f16ca4e5a86f70cab104909d0.htm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">released</a> new images that show an acceleration in global sea level rise, from about 1 millimeter per year at the beginning of the last century to 3 millimeters per year today.</p><p>&ldquo;NASA&rsquo;s been looking down at the oceans from space for about the last 23 years,&rdquo; explains Josh Willis, a NASA climate scientist, in a video posted below. &ldquo;And when they do we see the sea levels are rising &ndash; rapidly. Much more rapidly than they have any time in the last thousand years."</p><p>Since 1992, NASA has noted about 7 centimeters of sea level rise total. While this may not seem like much, it's spread over about two-thirds of the planet's surface. And as the planet continues to heat up, glacier and ice sheets will melt, further contributing to sea level rise. According to Willis, the implications will be profound.&nbsp;</p><p>"We live in a society that loves the ocean. We love the beaches and we put a lot of infrastructure there," Willis states. "Across the world, there are hundreds of millions of people that will ...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/134267895/it-s-only-august-but-humans-have-already-consumed-a-year-s-worth-of-resources It's only August but humans have already consumed a year's worth of resources Nicholas Korody 2015-08-14T15:40:00-04:00 >2015-08-17T08:45:10-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/gk/gkl08znmwzm53sos.jpg" width="514" height="251" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Humans have exhausted a year&rsquo;s supply of natural resources in less than eight months, according to an analysis of the demands the world&rsquo;s population are placing on the planet.</p></em><br /><br /><p>According to <em>the Guardian&nbsp;</em>article, the world's population currently consumes the equivalent of 1.6 planets a year &ndash; and, at the rate we're going, that will jump to two planets a year by 2030. But what does that mean, exactly?</p><p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_Debt_Day" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Earth Overshoot Day</a>, or Ecological Debt Day, refers to the "date on which humanity&rsquo;s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth&rsquo;s capacity to regenerate those resources that year."&nbsp; It's determined by the <a href="http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Global Footprint Network</a>, a think tank that provides ecological footprint accounting services.</p><p>This year Earth Overshoot Day was August 13 &ndash; six days earlier than last year. That means that despite efforts to reduce resource depletion, global consumption continues to rise due to both population growth and increased consumptive behavior.</p><p>While industrialized countries have traditionally been responsible for the largest share of global consumption, this balance is shifting as the rest of the world develops.&nbsp;</p><p>Experts believe that humans first began to exceed the...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/127656481/frei-otto-feared-society-was-ignoring-the-ecological-crisis Frei Otto feared society was ignoring the ecological crisis Nicholas Korody 2015-05-20T20:36:00-04:00 >2015-05-21T12:26:57-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/a8/a89bc90a0b25e2d384cb2397bf62eeef.jpg" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The daughter of the man who was awarded what is considered the most prestigious prize in architecture said her late father was increasingly concerned society was not adequately confronting the looming ecological challenges. Frei Otto, a German, was named as the winner of the 2015 Pritzker Architecture Prize earlier this year, just days before his death... The award was received by...the architect&rsquo;s daughter who...said he had been worried that the concerns he tried to voice were not heard.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/126784195/company-creates-a-carbon-negative-plastic Company creates a carbon-negative plastic Nicholas Korody 2015-05-05T19:18:00-04:00 >2015-05-06T08:54:47-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/1e/1ey098jzqq8y4vcz.jpg" width="514" height="340" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>[Mark Herrema] and Kenton Kimmel, a high school classmate, founded the Irvine, California-based company Newlight Technologies in 2003. After years of research, the team unveiled a way to produce plastic from carbon emissions that is actually more affordably priced than oil-based plastics. The "secret sauce" is a biocatalyst that combines air and methane, and reassembles all of the carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules into a thermoplastic the makers call AirCarbon.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Newlight's work appears really interesting, addressing two separate but related issues: "first, oil dependency, by replacing oil with captured carbon emissions, and second, climate change, by creating a market-driven carbon capture platform." Basically, the technology comprises using a biocatalyst to combine oxygen with carbon and hydrogen molecules extracted from methane, producing a "long-chain thermoplastic polymer molecule, called AirCarbon." Like other "carbon-negative" technologies, this project involves actually removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, rather than merely attempting to reduce emission levels.</p><p>Smithsonian Magazine interviews the team behind AirCarbon. Some good snippets:</p><ul><li>"...In the past, all biocatalysts were self-limiting, meaning that they could only make a certain amount of polymer before they would turn themselves off and make carbon dioxide instead of polymer...Over the course of about ten years of work, we developed a new kind of biocatalyst that does...</li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/126421871/gov-brown-issues-order-to-reduce-california-s-greenhouse-gas-emissions Gov. Brown issues order to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions Nicholas Korody 2015-04-29T13:09:00-04:00 >2015-08-03T17:10:03-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/pf/pfjw7bxz60a2yb23.jpg" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an executive order to establish a California greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 - the most aggressive benchmark enacted by any government in North America to reduce dangerous carbon emissions over the next decade and a half. "With this order, California sets a very high bar for itself and other states and nations, but it's one that must be reached - for this generation and generations to come," said Governor Brown.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Currently in the midst of four consecutive years of exceptional drought, California is experiencing first-hand the real-life implications of a warming climate. Before the order, the state was already on track to "meet or exceed" targets for reducing CO2 emissions to pre-1990 levels in the next five years. But with Gov. Brown's new executive order, California should be able to reach 40% below 1990-levels by 2030, making it possible to achieve a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. These goals are oriented around the scientific consensus of the need to limit global warming to a pivotal 2&#730; Celsius mark &ndash; the threshold for what's known as "runaway climate change," or unpredictable, chain-reactive climate events.&nbsp;</p><p>The order also mandates updating the state's climate adaptation strategy &ndash; "Safeguarding California" &ndash; every three years. The plan is intended to identify vulnerable infrastructure, resources, services, transportations, etc. Other details o...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/124816981/could-scientists-engineer-synthetic-organisms-to-stop-climate-change Could scientists engineer synthetic organisms to stop climate change? Nicholas Korody 2015-04-08T14:12:00-04:00 >2015-04-13T19:39:10-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/8c/8c69151b1b9262c3fc825b720f16e952.jpg" width="514" height="322" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Scientists and politicians the world over are looking for ways to halt or reverse [climate changes], a task that is fraught with difficulties in a world hooked on fossil fuels. One option increasingly discussed is terraforming&mdash;deliberately altering the environment in a way that cools the planet... Instead of creating global engineering projects, why not create life forms that do a similar job instead...</p></em><br /><br /><p>Ricard Sole and his associates at the ICREA-Complex Systems Lab in Barcelona are experimenting with the potentials of using synthetic organisms to terraform the planet. One advantage to such a project &ndash; as opposed to other terraforming ideas that would require engineering feats of unprecedented scale &ndash; is that the landscape could be changed with minimal human input, using "the growth and colonizing potential that life offers."</p><p>Of course, as the article notes, the potential problems are also massive, like, for example, unintentionally triggering feedback mechanisms that accelerate global warming, or devastate global food supplies. Looking back at <a href="http://archinect.com/features/article/114117296/architecture-of-the-anthropocene-pt-2-haunted-houses-living-buildings-and-other-horror-stories" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">other historical attempts to engineer biology</a>&nbsp;to suit human interests, this seems a more likely outcome than not. But Sole and his team are trying to develop preventative measures against such runaway growth. And as the article notes, one day this may be an urgent necessity: "if and when that day comes, let&rsquo;s hope we&rsquo;ll be glad of the researc...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/124294140/california-governor-mandates-water-restrictions California Governor Mandates Water Restrictions Nicholas Korody 2015-04-01T18:49:00-04:00 >2015-08-03T17:13:29-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/o7/o7es3oy926117n7g.jpg" width="514" height="685" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>California Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday imposed mandatory water restrictions for the first time on residents, businesses and farms, ordering cities and towns in the drought-ravaged state to reduce usage by 25%... [amounting] to roughly 1.5 million acre-feet of water (an acre-foot of water equals about 325,000 gallons) over the next nine months... "We're in a new era," Brown said. "The idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water every day, that's going to be a thing of the past."</p></em><br /><br /><p>Brown's executive order will also mandate:</p><ul><li>Require agriculture to report more on their water usage so as to better "enforce against illegal diversions and waste"</li><li>A ban on watering lawns on public street medians</li><li>Significant cuts in water use for large landscapes like universities, golf courses, and cemeteries.</li><li>Switching out some 50 million sq. ft. of lawn for "drought tolerant landscaping"</li><li>A temporary rebate program for consumers to replace their appliances with water efficient models</li><li>Prohibiting new homes and developments from using potable water in their irrigation systems unless using efficient drip irrigation systems</li></ul><p>Here's hoping these mandates are enough to somehow provide the <strong>11 trillion gallons of water</strong>&nbsp;that California needs to recover from this very real and unprecedented natural disaster...</p><p><a href="http://dryfutures.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/uploads/f8/f8xfni2nf4bnpbd6.jpg"></a></p><p><em>Have an idea for how to address the drought with design? Submit your ideas to the&nbsp;<a href="http://dryfutures.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dry Futures competition</a>!</em></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/122813531/california-has-about-one-year-of-water-left California has about one year of water left Nicholas Korody 2015-03-13T13:42:00-04:00 >2015-08-03T17:09:20-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/09/09e545ba3aa508e13f3b08fd801e1eba.jpg" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>As difficult as it may be to face, the simple fact is that California is running out of water &mdash; and the problem started before our current drought. NASA data reveal that total water storage in California has been in steady decline since at least 2002... Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one...</p></em><br /><br /><p>According to the article, written by Jay Famiglietti, a senior water scientist at NASA JPL, despite historic low temperatures this winter, California's "wet season" did little to alleviate the drought. In fact, this recent January was the driest in the state's recorded history, which goes back all the way to 1895. According to satellite data, the total amount of water in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins was "34 million acre-feet below normal."</p><p><a href="http://dryfutures.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/uploads/f8/f8xfni2nf4bnpbd6.jpg"></a></p><p><em>Have an idea for how to address the drought with design? Submit your ideas to the&nbsp;<a href="http://dryfutures.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dry Futures competition</a>!</em></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/117123658/the-most-relevant-news-of-2014-for-architects The Most Relevant News of 2014 (for Architects) Nicholas Korody 2014-12-30T14:02:00-05:00 >2015-01-05T18:25:46-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/xn/xnawzkr1kg61094f.jpg" width="514" height="309" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Sometimes it's easy to pretend that architecture exists outside of this world, erupting instead in the blank of a 3D space governed only by the laissez-fair laws of software. But sometimes a news headline will penetrate through this fog of imagination, appearing as a blazing light shining forth from an image of some distant row of houses hollowed by mortar fire and colored with the blood of a strangers' body. "This is the real of architecture," the news seems to silently implore.</p><p>As gravity serves as the counterweight to the feverish, technofuturism fashionable to today's students, news events seem to ground architecture just at the moment it seems like it may finally escape into the vapors of idealism. While it may seem that architecture is increasingly consigned to the building of institutions or expensive residences, the demand for buildings and dwellings simultaneously grows louder and more desperate with every unfolding disaster.</p><p>A year-end round-up is as fraught as a ranking. If...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/115572057/jeanne-gang-s-thinning-ice-exhibit-in-miami Jeanne Gang's "Thinning Ice" exhibit in Miami Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-12-09T12:40:00-05:00 >2014-12-11T19:13:30-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/a9/a92422a96863795cc2b1f2fabae1ea34.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>[Jeanne Gang] had just come back from a trip on which she&rsquo;d been using binoculars with Swarovski lenses and had become intrigued by the optical aspect of the crystal company&rsquo;s output. She had also become interested in James Balog&rsquo;s Extreme Ice Survey, a long-term project that documents glacier shrinkage using time-lapse photography [...] One challenge the studio faced was communicating the size of the glaciers photographed by Balog, and the extent of the devastation caused by global warming.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/115505365/relocation-or-adaptation-from-sprawl-to-archipelago Relocation or Adaptation: From Sprawl to Archipelago Nicholas Korody 2014-12-08T16:05:00-05:00 >2014-12-11T19:41:01-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/83/833f3cbd4ffcfe4824750530025a024f.jpg" width="514" height="514" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>1. By current estimates, if the polar ice caps melt, sea levels around the world will rise by between 80 and 100m. 2. Many cities (and, by default, around 70 per cent of the world's population) border on a body of water of some kind. According to 2010 government figures, 39 per cent of US population live on a coast. Half live within 50 miles of the ocean.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Based on worst-case scenarios for sea-level rise, cartographer Jeremy Linn imagined the future of three of America's major Western cities. He used topographic information to speculate on what an 80m &ndash; &asymp;262 ft &ndash; &nbsp;rise would look like as well as coming up with new names for this new geography. While such an increase in sea levels won't occur in our lifetime, our grandchildren could one day live in cities like this (if drastic food shortages, violent conflict, drug-adapted 'superbugs,' drought, and extreme weather don't get them first...). Such a rise in sea level would require every ice sheet on the planet to melt.</p><p>In Linn's imaginings, Portland (pictured above) has become a veritable archipelago of islands dominated by the spine of what-is-now Northwest Portland.</p><p>Likewise, much of contemporary Seattle will be replaced by a network of waterways. Only the city's hills would remains as isolated islands.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/47/47c88c7636fab03140c59c0cd8125d3e.jpg"></p><p>Los Angeles-of-the-future is almost entirely inundated. To get from Baldwin Island (Hil...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/111972700/how-has-the-world-changed-since-you-were-born How has the world changed since you were born? Nicholas Korody 2014-10-23T20:54:00-04:00 >2014-10-29T19:51:16-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/wf/wfr3jnt1fcpoov9a.jpg" width="514" height="362" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Find out how, since the date of your birth, your life has progressed; including how many times your heart has beaten, and how far you have travelled through space. Investigate how the world around you has changed since you've been alive; from the amount the sea has risen, and the tectonic plates have moved, to the number of earthquakes and volcanoes that have erupted. Grasp the impact we've had on the planet in your lifetime...</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/107648182/nimbys-go-to-court-over-modern-home-zaha-gets-an-apology-global-warming-rages-on-news-round-up-for-august-25-2014 NIMBYs go to court over "modern" home; Zaha gets an apology; global warming rages on: News Round-Up for August 25, 2014 Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-09-02T20:07:00-04:00 >2014-09-02T22:16:14-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/9v/9vtxfdi8z3dbl47e.jpg" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p><em><strong>Friday, August 29:</strong></em></p><ul><li><p><a title="MIT's MindRider helmet draws mental maps as you bike" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/107714855/mit-s-mindrider-helmet-draws-mental-maps-as-you-bike" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MIT's MindRider helmet draws mental maps as you bike</a>: The prototype is currently being used to create a mental-map and guidebook for NYC, and an upcoming Kickstarter campaign will attempt to fund the project for commercial sale.</p></li><li><p><a title="In Beirut, a grassroots push for more grass" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/107711639/in-beirut-a-grassroots-push-for-more-grass" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">In Beirut, a grassroots push for more grass</a>: Lebanon's fifteen-year civil war made much of Beirut's green space inaccessible or dysfunctional. The Beirut Green Project is trying to bring at least a modicum of green space back to the city's residents.</p></li></ul><p><em><strong>Thursday, August 28:</strong></em></p><ul><li><a title="Norwegian artists plan to open art academy in North Korea" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/107634526/norwegian-artists-plan-to-open-art-academy-in-north-korea" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Norwegian artists plan to open art academy in North Korea</a>: Nothing's final yet, but the school is committed to its disbelief in sanctions or boycotts on art.</li><li><a title="Alvar Aalto gets a close look from Google's Cultural Institute" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/107640149/alvar-aalto-gets-a-close-look-from-google-s-cultural-institute" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Alvar Aalto gets a close look from Google's Cultural Institute</a>: Google's cameras go inside the famous Finnish architects studio, as well as a selection of his works, for a curated photo-exhibition.</li></ul><p><em><strong>Wednesday, August 27:</strong></em></p><ul><li><a title="China considering drastic ban on coal" href="http://archinect.com/news/article/107557388/china-considering-drastic-ban-on-coal" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">China considering drastic ban on coal</a>: Chinese news outlets claim that work is underway to ban coal in Bei...</li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/107496087/recently-discovered-underwater-methane-leaks-contribute-to-global-warming Recently-Discovered Underwater Methane Leaks Contribute to Global Warming Nicholas Korody 2014-08-26T18:30:00-04:00 >2014-08-26T19:16:09-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/n2/n2aku23qhfbpyi4y.jpg" width="514" height="324" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Scientists have recently discovered deep deposits of a powerful warming gas leaking into the ocean from previously hidden vents just off North America's East Coast, kicking up underwater carbon dioxide levels [...] Most of the vents are located about 1,600 feet down, the perfect spot for the ocean's temperature and water pressure to combine and create an oozing mix of ice and methane gas, a powerful substance with an impact on global warming that's 20 times more damaging than that of [CO2].</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/104722607/relocation-or-adaptation-construction-on-steel-wall-along-jersey-shore-set-to-begin Relocation or Adaptation: Construction on Steel Wall Along Jersey Shore Set to Begin Nicholas Korody 2014-07-21T18:10:00-04:00 >2014-07-21T18:10:10-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/fw/fwv3scadh9uze9ec.jpg" width="514" height="347" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Construction of a four-mile long steel wall going up along a stretch of the Jersey Shore ripped apart during Hurricane Sandy is expected to begin next month [...] The state Department of Environmental Protection awarded a $23.8 million contract to Springfield-based EIC Associates in May to build the steel wall that will stretch from Lyman Street in Mantoloking through Brick.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html>