An influential group of scientists led by James Hansen, the former NASA scientist often credited with having drawn the first major attention to climate change in 1988 congressional testimony, has published a dire climate study that suggests the impact of global warming will be quicker and more catastrophic than generally envisioned. — the Washington Post
James Hansen, an indisputably important climate scientist and activist, alongside a group of other influential experts, has released a new, 52-page paper that revises much of mainstream expectations for global warming. Hansen has called it the most important work he's done.A synthesis of...
English cities and towns left without planned flood defences by government cuts will now get the projects after a surprise £540m boost in funding in Wednesday’s budget.
The north of England, devastated by winter floods, will get at least £150m of the new money, giving better protection for thousands of homes.
The Guardian had revealed that 294 projects in line for funding were left stranded after heavy cuts by David Cameron’s coalition government... — the Guardian
For related coverage, take a look at some of these older articles:"Pay to stay" may boot 60,000 UK families from their homesThe (state-facilitated) death of the council houseMore and more people are dying as a result of air pollution in EnglandThe Guardian reveals how developers play the planning...
A US government agency says it has attained the “holy grail” of energy – the next-generation system of battery storage, that has has been hotly pursued by the likes of Bill Gates and Elon Musk.
Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (Arpa-E) – a branch of the Department of Energy – says it achieved its breakthrough technology in seven years. — The Guardian
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (Arpa-E) was founded back in 2009 as part of President Obama's economic recovery plan. So-called "moonshot projects" are often too risky for private investors, but this state-run initiative may have unlocked a new technology that others, from Elon Musk...
We might think that most of the carbon emission come from the industrial sector and livestock, but a new study suggests that the real environmental problem is represented by the things we buy. [...]
“We all like to put the blame on someone else, the government, or businesses ... But between 60–80 per cent of the impacts on the planet come from household consumption. If we change our consumption habits, this would have a drastic effect on our environmental footprint as well”. — nextnature.net
You can read the full report, "Environmental Impact Assessment of Household Consumption", published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, here.Related on Archinect:A cardboard and carbon-emission economy: the long-term effects...
A handful of scientists and policy makers are...grappling with the long-term environmental effect of an economy that runs increasingly on gotta-have-it-now gratification [...]
The environmental cost can include the additional cardboard — 35.4 million tons of containerboard were produced in 2014 in the United States, with e-commerce companies among the fastest-growing users — and the emissions from increasingly personalized freight services. — NY Times
As internet retailers compete to provide as-close-to-instant services to satiate our increasing desire for rapid gratification, our collective ecological footprint grows. The problem isn't just the cardboard boxes piling up on your doorstep, but also the carbon emissions required to get that...
Nature is poised to reconquer Madrid. Faced with rising summer temperatures, Spain’s capital has announced plans, reported in today’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’s scrappy Manzanares River will be thickly planted with trees... — City Lab
According to the report, other components of the initiative include funding and encouragement for green roofs and façades. Plants beds would be added to paved squares and ponds may be created to catch excess stormwater like in Copenhagen. Madrid's location – perched high on a plateau that...
Eventually, Saint Kjelds will be able to withstand — and even welcome — heavy rainfall and flooding. [...]
More parks like it are being built to purposefully turn into small ponds during heavy rains, allowing them to capture and retain water on site until the drainage system has capacity to handle it. — citiscope.org
More news on cities' response to climate change:"King tides" give a glimpse of what the (near) future's rising seas will look likeJakarta, already 40% below sea level, is building one of the biggest sea walls on EarthUnchecked climate change will make the Gulf uninhabitable, claims new studyMajor...
King tides—a type of perigean spring tide (there’s your science jargon)—occur when extra-high tides line up with some other meteorological anomalies. They’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’s shoreline about a foot higher than average high tide. — Wired
Related:Can Silicon Valley save the Bay Area?The GSD vs. the sea: school's new Office for Urbanization tackles climate change in Miami BeachClimate change is increasing the risk of severe flooding in New YorkSea level rise accelerating, according to new data from NASA
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. — CNN
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˚F above the 20th century average.December, in particular, reached new heights of heat, becoming the first month...
The appetite of western consumers for home furnishings has reached its peak – according to Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer.
The Swedish company’s head of sustainability told a Guardian conference that consumption of many familiar goods was at its limit.
“If we look on a global basis, in the west we have probably hit peak stuff. We talk about peak oil. I’d say we’ve hit peak red meat, peak sugar, peak stuff … peak home furnishings,” Steve Howard said [...] — the Guardian
Related:Ikea and Airbnb: a match made in globalized heaven?Get a glimpse of these hacked IKEA kitchens by BIG, Henning Larsen, and NORM ArchitectsUN Refugee Agency Commissions 10k Ikea-designed Better SheltersWhy is Ikea a Non-profit?
The new study provides one of the strongest cases yet that from the amount of concrete mankind uses in building to the amount of plastic rubbish dumped in the oceans, Earth has entered a new geological epoch.
“We could be looking here at a stepchange from one world to another that justifies being called an epoch,” said Dr Colin Waters, principal geologist at the British Geological Survey and an author on the study published in Science on Thursday. — theguardian.com
More on the dawning Anthropocene:Archinect's Lexicon: "Anthropocene"Ways of Seeing in the Anthropocene: Review of "The Geological Imagination" and "The Underdome Guide to Energy Reform"Architecture of the Anthropocene, Pt. 3: Getting Lost in the OzoneArchitecture of the Anthropocene, Pt...
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’s population already living in cities, and the proportion set to rise to 70% by 2050, city leaders need to take urgent action. — The Guardian
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. “If we don’t, in my view, we’re screwed: my children and my grandchildren and everybody else’s...
Last weekend in the outskirts of Paris, the rap of a green-tipped gavel announced an historically-unprecedented international climate agreement. A sense of accomplishment suffused the crowds gathered locally and the official statements broadcast globally – President Obama called the deal “a...
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. — wsj.com
Jakarta sinks an average of three inches a year, and parts of the coast are going down as much as 11 inches a year [...]
In an attempt to halt the damage, authorities are building a gigantic wall off the coast, measuring 25 miles (40 kilometers) long and 80 feet (24 meters) high, National Geographic reports. To fund the $40 billion and 30-year-long project, the city will also create 17 artificial islands, on which developers can build luxury homes, offices, and shopping malls. — qz.com
A Dutch firm, KuiperCompagnons, is assisting with design. The first phase of the three-part plan is underway, although critics say that the project will encourage more government corruption and actually cause more environmental damage than it would help prevent.
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