climate change

In Florida, Officials Ban Term "Climate Change"

Mar 9, 2015
FCIR

The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in this country, according to scientists. Sea-level rise alone threatens 30 percent of the state’s beaches over the next 85 years.

But you would not know that by talking to officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the state agency on the front lines of studying and planning for these changes.

whitehouse.gov

A South Florida sea-level rise researcher will have one of the best seats in the house for the President’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Nicole Hernandez Hammer of Boca Raton will be one of First Lady Michelle Obama’s invited guests.

Hernandez Hammer says her research shows that cities and regions most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and sea-level rise also have large Hispanic populations.

“Most people don’t know about our vulnerability. That was really eye-opening and encouraged me to go into advocacy,” she says.

Jenny Staletovich / Miami Herald Staff

As the oceans absorb more carbon on a planet increasingly choked by greenhouse gases, scientists worry its reefs — the great storm-deflecting rampart for much of the tropics — will crumble and fall.

Scott For Florida

Gov. Rick Scott’s inauguration is less than a month away. Scott is only the second Republican governor in Florida history to win reelection. Jeb Bush was the first.

Scott told reporters at the Capitol this week he'll focus on education and tax cuts, as well as growing jobs during his second term. 

A wave of high tides is expected to hit much of the East Coast this week. These special tides — king tides — occur a few times a year when the moon's orbit brings it close to the Earth.

But scientists say that lately, even normal tides throughout the year are pushing water higher up onto land. And that's causing headaches for people who live along coastlines.

As Bob Dylan might have put it, the tides, they are a changin'.

National, state and local leaders recently gathered in South Florida to discuss climate change at the Southeast Florida Climate Leadership Summit Program. Mike Boots, director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, was the keynote speaker.

Boots is also chair of a new task force on climate preparedness. While he was here, he toured parts of South Florida to see firsthand what could be ground zero for issues like sea-level rise.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

What are the real threats of climate change to this region?

Southeast Florida Regional Compact

Absorbing the material at the sixth annual Climate Leadership Summit was a lot like trying to drink from a fire hose. There was a lot of information, much of it technical, dense and very detailed.

The two-day event was a series of expert deep dives into hydrology and re-insurance and risk management.

Florida Roundup: Floridians Wait The Longest To Vote

Oct 3, 2014
Vaguely Artistic / Flickr/Creative Commons

      

On The Florida Roundup, review of voting in the 2012 election finds Florida voters waited in line far longer than any other state by more than a half hour. Why? And what’s being done to address it?

The People's Climate March Takes Miami

Sep 22, 2014
Lisann Ramos

The People’s Climate March Sunday included more than 2,000 events in over 150 countries.  

In Miami, a group of about 100 people spent Sunday afternoon handing out T-shirts, putting on costumes and coloring posters at the Freedom Tower. Many of those posters focused on the effects of sea-level rise.

Jonathan Ullman works with the Sierra Club, one of the organizers of Miami’s march.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

The forecast calls for picture-perfect weather Tuesday in New York City as world leaders gather to discuss the challenge of a changing climate.

More than 120 leaders, including President Obama, are expected to attend the one-day climate summit, sponsored by the United Nations. They've been instructed to arrive with "bold ideas" to slow the rise in global temperatures.

NextGen Climate

Scientists say much of Florida will be underwater within a century if nothing is done about climate change. Now, a wooden ark is taking that message on a tour around the state.

The ark is 22 feet long and 8.5 feet tall. It belongs to NextGen Climate, a political action committee taking aim at Gov. Rick Scott for not taking action against climate change. 

Nicolas Fleury / Flickr

Every few years we get a snapshot of the health of the Everglades in the System Status Report, which was released earlier this month. It shows improvement in the restoration of animal habitat, but there’s still a lot of work to do in getting more water to flow south.

Read a conversation with Julie Hill-Gabriel, the director of Everglades policy for Audubon Florida, about the update.  

Gina Jordan/WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott sat down for half an hour this week with climate scientists who want him to take immediate action to deal with climate change.

A few of those same scientists took their message to the Internet Thursday.

Gina Jordan/WLRN

Scientists from South Florida flew to Tallahassee Tuesday for a 30-minute meeting with Gov. Rick Scott.  They went to explain how and why the climate is changing.

The group tried to convince Scott that climate change is real, and humans are at least partly responsible.

Harold Wanless is a professor of geological science at the University of Miami. He says the sea level is rising fast.

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