Elevation Zero

Sea-Level Rise
4:57 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Rhode Island Senator Cruises South Florida's Rising Seas

Rising seas is the issue driving Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse to tour southern coastal states.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user baldeaglebluff

Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse will finish his tour of four southern coastal states with a final stop in South Florida Friday.

He has been talking with scientists, residents and business owners during his week-long trip to discuss rising seas. It’s part of an effort to get congress more engaged with the issue by relaying stories from the people and towns dealing with the issue.

The senator will be in South Florida Friday and will moderate the South Florida Climate Action rally in Pinecrest.

Hear the full story below:

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Sea-Level Rise
10:40 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Why Sea-Level Rise Might Hurt Poor Neighborhoods More Than Coastal Areas

Some lower-income neighborhoods may be more vulnerable to the impacts of rising seas than coastal areas.
Credit Keren Bolter

Keren Bolter is a doctoral student of geosciences at Florida Atlantic University researching what areas in South Florida are particularly threatened by rising seas. She says all methods of analysis for the risks of sea-level rise only focus on financial vulnerability -- ranking Fort Lauderdale Beach and Miami Beach as high-risk -- but to her, that's not the whole story.

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Friday Business Report
8:08 am
Tue November 19, 2013

What If South Beach Becomes The Next Venice?

Credit Kenny Malone / WLRN

Structural engineers don't necessarily view rising sea levels as certain disaster. By definition, it's the job of the engineer to solve design and construction problems caused by environmental changes.

Business journalist Karen Rundlet examines some proposed solutions for sea-level rise. She interviews the University of Miami's Dr. Antonio Nanni about embracing some unusual possibilities. Click play to hear the interview.

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Elevation Zero
8:05 am
Mon November 18, 2013

For A Future Glimpse Of Sea-Level Rise, Check Out The King Tide

The Ghost of Sea-Level Rise Future? Last month's King Tide had pedestrians wading through knee-deep water in Miami Beach.
Credit Arianna Prothero

Want to see the effects of sea-level rise?  Don’t want to wait 50 years?  Just walk to virtually any coastal area during the natural phenomenon called “King Tide.”

There are plenty of charts, graphs and artist renderings hinting at what South Florida will look like once sea-level rise gets a foothold.  But experts say it’s probably Mother Nature who offers the most vivid preview of things to come.

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Elevation Zero
8:48 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

LISTEN: Sea-Level Rise In South Florida Town Hall

WLRN-Miami Herald News hosted a coastal-communities town hall on Nov. 7 as part of our more-than-weeklong multimedia series on the effects of sea-level rise, called Elevation Zero: Rising Seas in South Florida.

WLRN anchor Tom Hudson moderated the event, which included a panel of U.S. elected officials from East Coast districts gathered to discuss a response to the threat of rising seas. For more details on the premise, click here.

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Elevation Zero
4:00 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Sea-Level Rise Taking The Pines Out Of Big Pine Key

Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Big Pine Key takes its name from the pine forests that cover the island, about 30 miles from Key West. Rare plants and endangered animals — such as the Key deer — live in those forests.

But now the forests and hammocks are threatened by the rising seas around and beneath them.

Robert Ehrig points to a piece of land that was hardwood hammock when he came to live here 35 years ago.

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The Florida Roundup
3:44 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Sea-Level Rise Will Flood South Florida. Now What?

 

On The Florida Roundup, we continue our special coverage, Elevation Zero - Rising Seas in South Florida by looking at the predictions, the policies and the problems.

Host Tom Hudson will be joined by Curtis Morgan of the Miami Herald, Craig Pittman of the Tampa Bay Times, and Alex Chadwick, formerly of NPR and now producer/reporter of BURN: An Energy Journal.

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Elevation Zero
12:57 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Building For Sea-Level Rise -- Without Rules

The Miami-Dade Wastewater Treatment Plant on Virginia Key.
Credit Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department

  Miami-Dade County has recently worked out a $1.5 billion plan with the Environmental Protection Agency to fix its aging sewer system — an over-burdened network of pipes, pumps and plants that’s leaked a lot of sewage in the past years.

But a local environmental group says there’s a major piece missing from that agreement: climate-change planning in a consent decree.

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Elevation Zero
12:11 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Special Programming: 'Rising Seas In South Florida'

Credit Kenny Malone / WLRN

Starting Nov. 7, the WLRN-Miami Herald News staff brought you feature coverage of the effects sea-level rise has on our coastal communities.

Reporting fellow Wilson Sayre produced an hour-long special including the past weeks' feature programming and previously unaired content. The program, "Rising Seas in South Florida," was hosted by WLRN vice-president of news Tom Hudson and aired at noon on Thursday, Nov. 14.

Listen to it here:

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Elevation Zero
8:55 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Sea Level Limbo In The Caribbean: How Low Can You Go?

Map of the Caribbean showing in red the vulnerability of the Western Isles, especially The Bahamas.
Credit Google

The folks in the Bahamas hamlet of Dunmore Town seem blissfully unaware of sea level rise. One resort hotel operator I called in Dunmore, which sits on Harbour Island, dismissed it altogether.

“I was just down at our beachside bar,” she said. “I didn’t notice the sea level rising.” (Yes, she was serious.)

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Elevation Zero
3:24 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Outdated Miami Canals Too Weak For Sea-Level Rise

Credit Balthazira / Flickr Creative Commons

  It’s been more than half a century since flood-control structures such as dams and canals were constructed throughout Florida. Now, with the impact of sea-level rise on the horizon, many of these structures are becoming fragile barriers to keep floodwaters and tidal surge safely away.

Dr. Jayantha Obeysekera is in charge of assessing short- and long-term responses regarding sea-level rise for the South Florida Water Management District. He examines the canal system in Miami's Little River neighborhood, which separates the river from the ocean.

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The Sunshine Economy
7:54 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Underwater Real Estate

This chart from NOAA shows the monthly mean sea level in Miami Beach. The data does not include the regular seasonal fluctuations due to coastal ocean temperatures, salinities, winds, atmospheric pressures, and ocean currents. The long-term trend lines are designed by NOAA to indicate a 95% confidence level of the trend.

  

The dream of South Florida real estate is beachside.  The marquee properties along our beaches attract global attention and eye-popping prices.  But as studies from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration have found, sea levels in South Florida have risen about nine inches in the past century.  Today's beachside may be the next century's underwater property.

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Elevation Zero
7:53 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Fort Lauderdale Ahead Of The State When It Comes To Sea-Level Rise Protection

Fort Lauderdale's State Road A1A suffered serious damages from Tropical Storm Sandy.
Credit Florida Department of Transportation

If not for its patchwork of different shades of asphalt, you would never imagine the stretch of State Road A1A along Fort Lauderdale Beach was all underwater a year ago.

Last November, Tropical Storm Sandy and small storms that followed washed out a four-block section of A1A, north of Sunrise Boulevard. Sandy wasn’t a big storm, so the uncharacteristic destruction it brought has been explained by sea-level rise, which can cause increasingly harmful storm surges.

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Elevation Zero
7:01 am
Wed November 13, 2013

How South Florida Kids Learn About Sea-Level Rise

Students with MAST at FIU collect mangrove propagules for a restoration project.
Credit Sammy Mack / WLRN

Standing at the water’s edge on Florida International University's Biscayne Bay campus, Nicholas Ogle shows a crowd of teenagers what looks like a giant, rotten green bean.

“We don’t want any mushiness anywhere, especially at the top,” he says, then chucks the specimen to the side.

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Elevation Zero
7:00 am
Wed November 13, 2013

What To Make Of All Those Sea-Level Rise Projections

Credit NOAA

Climate scientists largely agree that sea level is rising. The extent of the change is a far more complicated matter.

“Probably two feet. Three feet, possibly,” said David Enfield, a climatologist with the University of Miami and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. “As an extreme -- if for example we see an unexpected acceleration of the melting ice in Greenland and Antarctica, something else we’re not observing -- we could be seeing six feet by the end of the century.”

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