environment

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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Elevation Zero
7:13 am
Tue November 12, 2013

RFK Jr.: Where The Feds Have Failed On The Environment, Carbon

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Credit Credit robertfkennedyjr.com

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is no stranger to stirring up controversy. As the 50th anniversary of his uncle's assassination approaches, his previously secret diaries have brought forth more private revelations about him and his famous family.

But he may be more comfortable poking at the fossil fuel industry (which he calls “criminal”) while also acting as a green technology entrepreneur.

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Elevation Zero
3:06 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Key West Awash With Plans For Rising Sea Level

A cyclist rides past buckled asphalt in Key West, Fla., after Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Key West experienced widespread flooding with the storm surge.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 6:00 pm

Florida — especially South Florida — is very flat and very low, and in places like Miami Beach and Key West, buildings are just 3 feet above sea level. Scientists now say there may be a 3-foot rise in the world's oceans by the end of the century.

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Elevation Zero
4:18 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Why Modern Human Beings Aren't Built To Grasp Climate Change

In 2007, artist Eve Mosher drew a chalk line at the 10-foot above sea level line around 70 miles of coastline in New York City.
Credit highwaterline.org

A decade ago, sea-level rise from climate change was a political argument with very little external reality in the minds of most people.

But University of Miami professor Kenny Broad might have said then what he says right now.

"This isn't some future generation problem," Broad said. "It’s in our lap right now and we don’t have a lot of time to make some clear decisions."

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Elevation Zero
4:18 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Will South Florida’s Real Estate Market Prices Plunge As The Seas Rise?

An aerial view of Ford Zachary Taylor Historic State Park and the Port of Key West.
Credit npr.org

Click the play button above to hear the radio version of this post by business reporter Karen Rundlet

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?

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Elevation Zero
6:00 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Meet The Miami Man Spearheading Climate-Change Research

The man and his maps. University of Miami professor Brian Soden studies the atmosphere and its affect on climate change.
Credit -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.

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Elevation Zero
6:14 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Exclusive: See Meta Impact Of Sea-Level Rise On South Florida

Credit 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.

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Elevation Zero
2:35 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

WLRN Special Report: Sea-Level Rise In South Florida

Credit 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

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

The Battle Over The Future Of Food, Farming In America

Is GE Food Making Pigs Sick?
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/

10/29/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents is with the Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, Wenonah Hauter.  She’s written widely on many environmental topics and owns a working organic farm in The Plains, Virginia. Hauter has written, FOODOPOLY:  The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America.

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Environment
11:29 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Birdwatchers In The Keys On Alert For Nature's Speed Demon

Credit Kerry Ross

The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest animal on the planet. 
Throw a brick off the top of the Empire State Building and the Peregrine will fall out of the sky faster.

The secret is the falcon’s ability to shape its body into an almost perfect teardrop, fine tuning its muscles and feathers according to the feel of the rushing wind. Navy scientists using radar have clocked them doing 240 miles per hour. Peregrine Falcons don’t do this for fun. They do it to survive.

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Climate
7:14 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Is Rebuilding Storm-Struck Coastlines Worth The Cost?

The Long Beach High School marching band prepares to march down the Long Beach boardwalk during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 2:10 pm

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.

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Environment
3:44 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

What South Florida's Spring Tide (Or King Tide) Looks Like

10th and Alton in Miami Beach.
Credit Arianna Prothero WLRN

The high tide that floods South Florida streets this time of year are known within the scientific community as a spring tide, although another popular term is king tide, which is not tied to any particular season.

A spring tide lasts several days and happens a few times a year when the moon, sun and Earth align.

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Environment
2:07 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

As Greenland Seeks Economic Development, Is Uranium The Way?

Workers stand inside the gold mine in Greenland's Nulanaq mountain in 2009. The Danish territory's underground wealth was at the forefront of elections in March. Now, Greenland faces another dilemma: whether to end a zero-tolerance policy on uranium extraction.
Adrian Joachim AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 6:39 pm

Karen Hanghoj, a scientist with Denmark's Geological Survey, points to the southern tip of Greenland on a colorful map hanging in her office.

"What you can see here in the southern region here is you have a big pink region," she says. "And then within the pink region, you see you have all these little purple dots.

"And what the purple dots are is a later period of rifting. These complexes have these weird chemistries and have these very, very strange minerals in them," she adds.

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Fishing
12:56 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Why Stone Crabbers Are Praying For A Better Season

Stone Crabbers line up on the Barron River behind the Everglades City Rod and Gun Club to receive a blessing before the start of stone crab season.
Credit Marya Repko

All summer, stone crab crews have been mending their traps and preparing their boats -- waiting for the start of the stone crab season.

With the opening of the season starting Oct. 15, the economic future of the industry will hinge on how bountiful the catch is for Monroe, Lee and Collier counties.

It’s these three areas that provide the bulk of the two to three million pounds of stone crab landings in Florida each year.

But last year, the going was rough for a lot of the crabbers.

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