...As a practical matter, limiting global warming to no more than 2C seemed like the most ambitious target that could possibly be achieved, since it would require virtually ending fossil fuel emissions within 30 to 40 years... Yet even as the 2C target has become a touchstone for the climate talks, scientific theory and real-world observations have begun to raise serious questions about whether the target is stringent enough." — NY Times
As is documented in the article, the recent climate talks in Lima ended with an agreement to try to limit the long-term warming of the planet to below 2 degree celsius above the global average temperature at the start of the Industrial Revolution. This limit has been central to talks aimed at...
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. — citymetric.com
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 – ≈262 ft – rise would look like as well as coming up with new names for this new...
South America's biggest and wealthiest city may run out of water by mid-November if it doesn't rain soon. São Paulo, a Brazilian megacity of 20 million people, is suffering its worst drought in at least 80 years, with key reservoirs that supply the city dried up after an unusually dry year. — Thompson Reuters Foundation
One of the most important reservoirs in Brazil is the Cantareira watershed, which supplies around 45% of the city of São Paulo's water. Back in August, authorities warned that the city, which is the largest on the continent, could run out of water in 100 days if the waters dropped to 12%. Now...
Suffering in its third year of drought, more than 58 percent of the state is currently in "exceptional drought" stage [...] Exceptional drought, the most extreme category, indicates widespread crop and pasture losses and shortages of water in reservoirs, streams and wells [...] If the state continues on this path, there may have to be thoughts about moving people out, said Lynn Wilson, academic chair at Kaplan University and who serves on the climate change delegation in the United Nations. — CNBC
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. — NJ.com
The map [...] based on a report by the Boston Harbor Association, shows the impact of 5-foot and 7.5-foot coastal floods in Metro Boston that could be caused by a number of things — a rising sea level, storm surges, astronomical high tides or other causes. — WGBH News
As Okinawa and Kyushu prepare to take the brunt of what was until Monday categorized as a “super typhoon,” local infrastructure will be pushed to its limits, especially in Kyushu, where the area is saturated from heavy rains last week. — The Diplomat
Typhoon Neoguri is the strongest typhoon of the 2014 season, thus far. As it barrels through the Ryukyu island chain and towards mainland Japan, the storm is already taking its toll. Reports claim 25 people have been injured, thousands are without electricity, and 540,000 have been ordered to...
Aiming to avoid a humanitarian crisis, Kiribati recently purchased land in Fiji — about 1,200 miles away — where its residents would be relocated in the event that sea-level rise drowns the Pacific island nation and displaces its population of just over 100,000 people [...]
Contributing very little to the greenhouse gases that most scientists agree fuel climate change, Kiribati is among the least responsible for the present climate crisis. — Al Jazeera
As atmospheric CO2 levels near 402 ppm without any significant curtailing of industrial production by the major nations of the global economy, time is running out for many of the poorest and most vulnerable countries. The UN and other transnational bodies are beginning to seem like echo chambers...
U.S. disaster rebuilding has traditionally focused on merely replacing what has been lost. But a little-noticed federal design competition, Rebuild by Design, has done something different: engage communities to develop a more porous relationship between land and water that recognizes the dynamism of rising seas and more violent storms... — Al Jazeera
"...just as planning for response to an industrial accident doesn’t make an industrial accident more likely, so too planning for relocations should not make them more likely... It is .... likely that the slow-onset effects of climate change will lead many to voluntarily migrate in anticipation that conditions will worsen. Those who are left behind – and who will need government assistance to relocate – thus may be particularly vulnerable." — Brookings Institute
The pressure to start preparing for inevitable relocations due to global warming and the resultant rise in sea levels is growing for many communities around the world. For some, the time for preparation is already running out and the time for action is now. In the United States, the first "climate...
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