climate change

President Obama is telling global leaders that the U.S. is taking the lead on combating climate change. But Congress would have to approve any money for the effort and Republicans are dead set against it. South Florida Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart says the president knows he's deceiving world leaders.

“This is a president who seems to be, every day, more and more out of touch with the reality of the world. And so, you know, would it surprise me if the president went and promised things he couldn’t deliver? It wouldn’t surprise me,” Diaz-Balart says.

Middle and high school students at the Mock-UN Summit.
Frost Museum of Science

  Dozens of middle and high school students from Miami-Dade County participated in a mock United Nations event over the weekend at the Frost Museum of Science.

 

The event coincided with climate change negotiations in Paris.

 

At the beginning of the day-long workshop held on Saturday, the students were given a presentation of the scientific aspects of climate change issues around the world, with a focus on its effects in South Florida. Some of the issues that were discussed were sea-level rise and extreme weather.  

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

South Florida leaders attended the annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit in Key West this week to come up with real solutions for combatting the effects of climate change, like sea-level rise.

“For the short-term there is a dramatic need to come to agreement with regards to some of the infrastructure standards,” said Jennifer Jurado, the director of Broward County Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

The story that Gov. Rick Scott's administration had banned the term "climate change" from state documents fueled national ridicule and environmentalist ire.

But ridiculing Republicans is no way to bring them on board to address the impacts of climate change, says one of South Florida's elected leaders.

The composer John Luther Adams calls himself "deeply, deeply Alaskan." That's where the 62-year-old lived almost his entire adult life, and he still has his cabin in the woods where he's written so much of his music. But now he and his wife split their time between an apartment in New York City and a house in Mexico right next to the Pacific Ocean.

City of Key West

  While international leaders gather in Paris to look for global approaches to climate change, South Florida's leaders gathered in Key West. They are already immersed in dealing with the issue. Sometimes literally.

"When there is coastal flooding as a result of king tides, such as what we had a couple weeks ago, I can tell you I was up to my knees in the communities in my district," said Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams. "Local government is the first responder to the impacts of climate change."

As COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, kicked off in Paris, roughly 20 people gathered outside of the French Consulate in Brickell on Monday to show support for a legally binding international agreement on climate change. Environmental groups 350 South Florida and the Miami Climate Alliance organized the rally.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

On Wednesday, South Florida will go through another King Tide. Not sure what to expect, except maybe closed roads and cars on flooded streets. 

Miami Beach is trying to get ahead of the problem, which is a consequence of rising seas. The city is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on pump stations, higher roads and seawalls.

Florida Gets Bad Grade On Climate Change Risk Preparedness

Nov 18, 2015

A new study released on Wednesday says the Sunshine state needs to do its homework to prepare for weather threats linked to climate change.

It gave Florida an overall C- grade in climate change preparedness.

The study by ICF International and Climate Central is the first assessment of its kind that evaluates how local governments in the U.S. face their climate change threats.

Jayme Gershen/Eve Mosher/flickr

Twenty university professors, including a few from Florida, sent a letter to the White House in September asking for an investigation of corporations that deny - and simultaneously profit from - the effects of climate change. The group says the actions of these organizations have been extensively documented in peer reviewed academic research.

Miami-Dade Clerk Of Courts Calls For Sea-Level Rise Superfund

Oct 21, 2015
FL Center for Environmental Studies

Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts Harvey Ruvin sent a letter last week to South Florida members of Congress urging for the creation of a Federal Resiliency Superfund.

This is another instance of South Florida’s local governments seeking to plan ahead for the effects of sea-level rise.

Ruvin says: “The proposal basically calls upon the federal government to play a part in what has to be an intergovernmental partnership to attack issues from climate change impact such as sea level rise."

Florida Roundup: Managing Rising Seas In South Florida

Oct 16, 2015
Climate Central

A new interactive map shows coastal cities like Miami could potentially be submerged within this century if carbon emissions worldwide continue “business as usual,” says Ben Strauss.

Strauss is vice president of sea level and climate impact at the research nonprofit Climate Central, which published the map.

It illustrates the effect of carbon emissions on sea-level rise through the year 2100.

In South Florida’s case, “the projections are difficult and unfortunate,” says Strauss.

'Global bleaching event' threatens corals around the world

Oct 9, 2015
XL Catlin Seaview Survey

A quarter of the world’s marine species depend on coral reefs for habitat. A half-billion people rely on them for their livelihoods or sustenance.

Researchers say we’re now in the midst of the third global coral bleaching event in less than 20 years. And that by the time it’s all played out, the world may have lost another 5 percent of its corals, with a murky future ahead for the rest.

City of Key West

Recent full moon high tides combined with weather systems off the Atlantic coast  to bring more than a week of "nuisance flooding" to streets along the Florida Keys.

And with sea level projected to rise between 3 and 7 inches by 2030, we can expect such events to become more frequent, according to Monroe County planners and consultants.

It wasn't all in your head — last month was hotter than ever before.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report that July had the highest average temperatures in records since 1880.

And it's not just in the U.S. Average July temperatures around the world set heat records too, NPR's Kat Chow reports.

She tells our Newscast unit that:

"This confirms what NASA and a Japanese agency found using separate data.

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