climate change

What The Dutch Can Teach Us About Sea Level Rise

Sep 19, 2013
Nickolay Lamm / StorageFront.com

American scientists and engineers have been comparing notes with Dutch counterparts over the problem they both have: how to protect their low lands from rising sea levels.

In the U.S., it’s treated as a new problem. But the Dutch stopped panicking about sea level rise about 800 years ago and began to address it systematically.

Dikes and levies are a big part of the plan. But the Netherlands has also learned to pick its fights, and even let the water win sometimes.

Getting Your Head Around Climate Change Through Music

Sep 5, 2013
Peter J. Maerz/WLRN

It’s often said that life influences art. And for composer Carson Kievman, life in low-lying South Florida led to a symphony about climate change.

Kievman was composer-in-residence for the Florida Philharmonic during the 1990s, and he now runs the SoBe Institute of the Arts in Miami Beach. But the idea for his symphony, titled “Biodiversity,” came from a scientist at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Global sea level has been rising as a result of global warming, but in 2010 and 2011, sea level actually fell by about a quarter of an inch.

Scientists now say they know why: It has to do with extreme weather in Australia.

The sea level drop coincided with some of the worst flooding in that continent's history. Dozens of people died and torrents washed away houses and cars, forcing thousands from their homes.

Help Miami-Dade Find New Sources Of Sand

Aug 12, 2013
Yahoo Images/Cejas.me

Miami-Dade County needs new sources of sand for its beaches.

The Army Corps of Engineers says Miami-Dade is running out of offshore supplies and the county is looking for new places to harvest sand.

The corps is holding public meetings every day this week starting in Miami Beach this evening. Meetings will be held in Palm Beach and Broward counties Tuesday and Thursday.  

The corps is already considering a couple of different places Miami-Dade can get more sand from such as upland sources and federal and state waters in Southeast Florida.

The weather is one of those topics that is fairly easy for people to agree on. Climate, however, is something else.

Most of the scientists who study the Earth say our climate is changing and humans are part of what's making that happen. But to a lot of nonscientists it's still murky. This week, two of the nation's most venerable scientific institutions tried to explain it better.

Documenting Evidence Of Climate Change

Jul 11, 2013
Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

For South Florida, climate change isn't part of some vague future; it's a reality today.  South Florida has seen nine inches of of sea-level rise since the 1920s.

Miami, Soon The American Atlantis?

Jul 5, 2013
New York Times, http://nyti.ms/SktOCY

On The Florida Roundup, we focus on the impacts of sea-level rise on our very vulnerable region.   

Rolling Stone magazine says Miami - and much of South Florida - is doomed to drown.  You wouldn’t know it based on what you hear from state leaders.  While county and local officials say they are working on solutions, are they pursuing the right ones? 

Why Handwringing About Sea Level Rise Won't Save Miami

Jun 28, 2013
FL Center for Environmental Studies

Miami as the modern Atlantis has a strangely tragic and romantic appeal.

Officially founded in 1896 (though there were settlers for some 75 years before that), and if a Rolling Stone article due to hit newsstands on July 4 is correct, Miami and the rest of coastal South Florida is looking at a very succinct timeline of existence.

Update at 2:38 p.m. ET. Obama Lays Out Plan:

In an address at Georgetown University in Washington, President Obama laid out a sweeping new plan to address climate change.

As expected, Obama said his plan seeks to cap the carbon emissions of power plants.

Obama also said the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to Texas, would only be approved by the State Department if it aligned with the "nation's interest."

That is if "this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution," Obama said.

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

Today on the show, 50 years on from Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech and music from the front lines of Brazil. But first, in a major policy address on Tuesday, President Barack Obama will outline his administration's plan to curb our historic levels of carbon emissions. A video released yesterday outlined some of what to expect.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

Nickolay Lamm / StorageFront.com

Current climate change and sea level rise models indicate a very grim -- and water-logged -- future for South Florida and Miami in particular. But new imagery from researcher/artist Nickolay Lamm paints an almost hypnotic picture of these proposed realties for American cities like Miami, Boston, Washington D.C., and New York.

Why Miami Can't Copy New York's Plan For Sea Level Rise

Jun 14, 2013
maxstrz / Flickr Creative Commons

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made significant waves Tuesday when he announced a comprehensive $19.5 billion plan to gird the city against the threat of sea level rise.

The long-term plans include a series of levees and storm barriers to protect against waters that are expected to rise anywhere from 20 inches to more than six feet in the next century. 

The national flap about Bloomberg's proactive stance on coping with impending coastal inundation has led to a sort of "OK, that's what they're doing. What about the rest of you?" sentiment among the media.

twitter.com/Kristin_Jacobs

Even before last year's coastal calamity caused by superstorm Sandy, Broward County Mayor Kristin Jacobs was trying to get everyone's attention about sea-level rise and it's impact on South Florida.

She's one of the founding members of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, a multi-county effort to help local governments plan ahead. Jacobs is a longtime county commissioner serving a second one-year term as mayor, a largely ceremonial role.

twitter.com/algore

Today is Earth Day. 

And here in low-lying, hurricane prone Florida, the day has special meaning.

Sea-level rise is no longer something so incremental that we don't notice.

It's real and visible, and planning for a future of rising oceans has become a top priority for local towns, cities and counties across the state.

For some perspective, WLRN turned to former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who has become one of world's foremost thinkers on the consequences of global warming and climate change.

maxstrz / Flickr Creative Commons

If sea level rise continues unabated, sections of South Florida -- and Miami in particular -- will be under water in a matter of decades. But a new study suggests that swift reductions in "short-lived climate pollutants" and carbon dioxide levels could help to slow the rise.  

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