sea level rise

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

South Florida leaders attended the annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit in Key West this week to come up with real solutions for combatting the effects of climate change, like sea-level rise.

“For the short-term there is a dramatic need to come to agreement with regards to some of the infrastructure standards,” said Jennifer Jurado, the director of Broward County Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division.

The composer John Luther Adams calls himself "deeply, deeply Alaskan." That's where the 62-year-old lived almost his entire adult life, and he still has his cabin in the woods where he's written so much of his music. But now he and his wife split their time between an apartment in New York City and a house in Mexico right next to the Pacific Ocean.

City of Key West

  While international leaders gather in Paris to look for global approaches to climate change, South Florida's leaders gathered in Key West. They are already immersed in dealing with the issue. Sometimes literally.

"When there is coastal flooding as a result of king tides, such as what we had a couple weeks ago, I can tell you I was up to my knees in the communities in my district," said Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams. "Local government is the first responder to the impacts of climate change."

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

On Wednesday, South Florida will go through another King Tide. Not sure what to expect, except maybe closed roads and cars on flooded streets. 

Miami Beach is trying to get ahead of the problem, which is a consequence of rising seas. The city is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on pump stations, higher roads and seawalls.

Jayme Gershen/Eve Mosher/flickr

Twenty university professors, including a few from Florida, sent a letter to the White House in September asking for an investigation of corporations that deny - and simultaneously profit from - the effects of climate change. The group says the actions of these organizations have been extensively documented in peer reviewed academic research.

KEENPRESS Photography/flickr

The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has taken up the cause of climate change in Florida. The national group claims 600,000 members or supporters around the country with more than 100,000 of them in Florida. It's funded by donations and grants.

EEN is part of the Floridians for Solar Choice coalition, which is pushing a constitutional amendment that would allow Floridians to buy electricity directly from someone other than a utility company.

Chalk And Rising Seas Combine In Delray Beach

Apr 27, 2015
Lisann Ramos

If you took a stroll through Delray Beach this weekend, you may have noticed a white chalk line on certain sidewalks and roads.

Along three neighborhoods in Delray Beach a group of volunteers pushed a field marker to release three lines of chalk. Each line spans three miles.

The chalk was drawn on the line where scientists project floodwaters will reach in the next major storm. In Delray Beach that’s four feet above sea level.

Lisann Ramos

The confetti has settled from Miami Beach’s week-long birthday bash. Now the city is back to work at combating sea level rise with a panel discussion Monday night at City Hall.

Florida International University is also getting involved in the talks.

“Our biggest strength is reaching out and understand that we don’t know all the solutions and are willing to ask,” said Bruce Mowry, a City of Miami Beach engineer.

The solutions so far include water pumps, dunes, Everglades restoration and seawalls.

Kenny Malone

One way Miami Beach might prepare for the threat of rising sea levels is to elevate the whole city.

“The only tried and true solution to combating rising sea levels is to raise with it,” says Eric Carpenter, public works director for the City of Miami Beach.

As the city celebrates its centennial, the top-level engineer and Miami Beach resident spoke with WLRN about how sea-level rise will affect the city’s next 100 years.

Christine Zenino/flickr

Warmer temperatures are causing glaciers to melt in places like Antarctica and Greenland. What’s in those glaciers may have a significant effect on ecosystems downstream. Those massive chunks of ice harbor a lot of organic carbon – like soot and byproducts from fossil fuel combustion.

All water, from tap water to the oceans, is full of organic carbon in varying forms and concentrations.

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