climate change

Plenty of local realtors will describe South Florida’s housing market as recharged.  The latest reading from the popular Case-Shiller Index showed sales of single-family homes up 13.5 percent from a year ago in August.

There is continued demand for waterfront properties, fueled in large part by international cash buyers from countries like Canada and Brazil. In Miami-Dade County, for instance, the category of luxury properties selling at price points above $600,000 and below $1 million, saw growth in sales of almost 68 percent.

However, the question remains. If you add the threat of rising sea levels to the real estate investment equation in South Florida, are rooms with an ocean view actually a terrible place to put your money?

Meet The Miami Man Spearheading Climate-Change Research

Nov 7, 2013
-Brian Soden

Growing up in landlocked Iowa may be precisely the reason that the lure of the ocean was so strong for Brian Soden.

It pulled him from the cornfields to the waters around the University of Miami with designs on perhaps being the next Jacques Cousteau.

Except for one pesky problem. He didn't care all that much for biology. No fish fetish here.

What did emerge was a curiosity about how the oceans got to be the way they are, how the atmosphere factors into that and how water vapor, clouds and rainfall play a role in the planetary picture.

Climate Central

Global warming has raised global sea level about 8 inches since 1880 while rising seas dramatically increase the odds of damaging floods from storm surges. In fact, a Climate Central analysis found that the odds of worse floods occurring by 2030 are on track to double or more for widespread areas of the U.S.

Claudia H. Munoz

When it comes to climate change, one thing is certain: our oceans are rising. And South Florida is expected to be among the first regions on Earth to experience the impact. In fact, some initial preparations are already underway

One year ago Tuesday, Hurricane Sandy bore down on the East Coast, devastating shoreline communities from Florida to Maine.

Many of these areas have been rebuilt, including the Long Beach boardwalk, about 30 miles outside New York City. Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new boardwalk Friday.

Ninety percent of the funding for the restoration came from the federal government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid $44 million to repair the devastation.

Declaring that "human influence on the climate system is clear," a U.N.-assembled panel of scientists reported Friday that "it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century."

Scientists and government representatives are meeting in Stockholm this week to produce the latest high-level review of climate change. It's thousands of pages of material, and if it's done right, it should harbor very few surprises.

That's because it's supposed to compile what scientists know — and what they don't — about climate change. And that's left some scientists to wonder whether these intensive reviews are still the best way to go.

With almost exactly forty days and forty nights left in South Florida’s rainy season, now might be a good moment to consider the options.

Globally, four Noah’s Arks have been either completed or started in the last few years.

As of last March, one-tenth of a life-sized ark -- 150-feet worth -- sat just outside Hialeah, part of the $1.5 million Hidden Ark project. (An update on that later.)

What The Dutch Can Teach Us About Sea Level Rise

Sep 19, 2013
Nickolay Lamm /

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/

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,

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?