sea level rise

NASA

Should we stay or should we go?

That's the question on the minds of Florida leaders reacting to President Trump's decision last week to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord. The accord is intended to limit carbon emissions that drive up global temperatures, worsening storms and intensifying sea level rise.

The president claims it costs U.S. energy and manufacturing jobs.

Kate Stein / WLRN

South Floridians are seeing the impacts of climate change firsthand, in sunny-day flooding and record-breaking temperatures as recently as Memorial Day weekend.

That's why for many, President Trump's decision Thursday to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accords constituted a betrayal.

Rilea Group

 

Development and sea level rise are two things Miami is known for. And they go hand-in-hand, as developers and local officials plan how to make buildings resilient against water that could rise three to six feet by 2100.

 

Kate Stein / WLRN

For the second weekend in a row, protesters marched across the country against President Donald Trump's policies.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Officials from four South Florida counties are collecting public input on an updated regional plan to address climate change and related challenges.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, is trying to fill in fellow U.S. senators on climate change. So it makes sense that he invited members of the Commerce Committee — of which he's the ranking minority member — to West Palm Beach to learn about increasing temperatures and rising seas from the experts who know it firsthand.

But whether those committee members will ever hear the testimony from the hearing on Monday is unclear. None of the other 26 senators on the Commerce Committee attended.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

For decades, height limits have been a third rail in development discussions in the Florida Keys — nobody wanted to go near them. But more frequent flooding, the prospect of sea level rise and higher insurance rates are all leading to one conclusion in the low-lying island chain — build up.

Key West voters agreed to raise height limits on the island by up to 4 feet back in 2014. Now Monroe County is considering a similar measure. That would apply in unincorporated parts of the county, like Key Largo and the Lower Keys.

Patrick Ferrell / Miami Herald

When it comes to the future of greater Miami, what worries you most? And what is the region doing well?

 

Kate Stein / WLRN

If you scoop a glassful of water from the heart of the Everglades, that water is as pure and clear as the water that flows from your tap.

That’s because chances are good your tap water comes from the Everglades.

One in three Floridians -- more than eight million of us -- gets drinking water from the Biscayne Aquifer a few feet below the southeastern Everglades. The ecosystem acts as a natural filter, removing excess nutrients and keeping out seawater.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Let’s start with what we’re losing: 

One of the most biologically diverse places on Earth, from sawgrass to cypress trees, apple snails to alligators. The historic home of Florida’s Miccosukee and Seminole tribes. A national park.

The ecosystem that ensures fresh drinking water for more than 8 million Floridians.

Everglades advocate Marjory Stoneman Douglas talked about all this in an interview in 1983.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Five, 15 or 50 years from now, what’s the future of Miami and its metro area?

At times, it looks traffic-jammed, Zika-infected, unaffordable and drowning under rapidly rising seas.

But if the region's trio of chief resiliency officers have their way -- maybe not.

Harvard University wants to study impacts of sea level rise in Southwest Florida-- Collier County, in particular. This was proposed during a climate change meeting at Florida Gulf Coast University on Monday. 

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

The federal government should do more to help local governments prepare for climate change, according to a report released Thursday.

 

C.M. Guerrero / Miami Herald

King tides caused widespread flooding throughout South Florida in October and November. From Key West to West Palm Beach, pedestrians waded through streets and drivers moved their cars from massive parking lot puddles.

 

But December’s king tides? They’ve been going on this week and flooding has been minimal. That's because calmer weather has kept high tides down in December, compared with earlier this year.

 

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