Elevation Zero

 

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

WLRN-Miami Herald News presents a series of stories about the effects of sea-level rise. The project is called “Elevation Zero: Rising Seas In South Florida."

Click through the pages below to see our entire archive of Elevation Zero stories, or listen to these special one-hour programs aired during our week of sea-level rise coverage, Nov. 11-15, 2013:

MONDAY
The Sunshine Economy: Underwater Real Estate

TUESDAY
Alex Chadwick's "BURN: An Energy Journal"

WEDNESDAY
Elevation Zero town hall, hosted by WLRN's Tom Hudson

THURSDAY
Select Elevation Zero features: "Rising Seas In South Florida"

FRIDAY
The Florida Roundup: Sea-Level Rise Will Flood South Florida. Now What?

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Newscast
6:43 am
Fri October 10, 2014

October 10, 2014: Miami Beach Fares Better During Latest King Tide, Dade Loses Jobs

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

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Environment
6:13 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Climate Change Worsens Coastal Flooding From High Tides

Cindy Minnix waits for a bus in a flooded street on Oct. 18, 2012, in Miami Beach. A changing climate is making floods related to high tides more frequent, scientists say.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 9:58 am

A wave of high tides is expected to hit much of the East Coast this week. These special tides — king tides — occur a few times a year when the moon's orbit brings it close to the Earth.

But scientists say that lately, even normal tides throughout the year are pushing water higher up onto land. And that's causing headaches for people who live along coastlines.

As Bob Dylan might have put it, the tides, they are a changin'.

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Newscast
6:30 am
Tue September 30, 2014

September 30, 2014: Students Get A Practical Lesson On Sea-Level Rise

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

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Environment
6:28 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

October King Tide Brings Trove Of Data For Sea-Level Threat In Miami Beach

TIDAL SCENE: The October King Tide of 2013 was a problem in Miami Beach. This was the scene at 10th Street and Alton Road.
Credit Arianna Prothero / WLRN

Another King Tide will wash over South Florida on Oct. 9.

That’s the alignment of the Earth, sun and moon in a way that gives us the highest tides of the year. And this one will bring an opportunity for local students who are really serious about climate change and sea-level rise to glimpse and document coastal Florida’s possible future.

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Environment
10:28 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

Map Shows Cities Their Climate Change Futures

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

By the time the 22nd Century rolls around, summers in Miami will be about six degrees hotter -- as hot as summers already are in south Texas.

That's what we learn from a new interactive map that's showing up on climate-change web sites. Just type in where you live now and the map will lead you to a city that has the same weather now as your city will have in 86 years.

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Environment
2:31 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Scientist To Governor: Stop Spreading Doubt About Climate Change

Dr. Ben Kirtman is a University of Miami professor who sees the impact of climate change happening now in Miami Beach and other areas of South Florida.
Credit Carla Javier/WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott has been repeatedly quoted as saying "I'm not a scientist" when asked whether he believes in man-made climate change.

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Explainer
4:43 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Listen: Does South Florida's Water Taste Funny?

Why does South Florida water taste funny? Or at least you think so.
Credit Cyndi Calhoun / Creative Commons/Flickr

How would you describe the flavor of water? The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle said it "tends to be tasteless." But you probably didn't feel that way when you tried the tap water outside your hometown. Why does water taste so different within the U.S., even within your own state?

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Sea-Level Rise
7:46 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Study: Our Water Use Is A Major Cause Of Saltwater Intrusion

Both sea-level rise and our pumping of groundwater contribute to saltwater intrusion. Freshwater is less dense than saltwater and will float on top. But with sea-level rise, saltwater pushes in and seeps into the freshwater aquifer. With withdrawals of groundwater, we lower the level of freshwater so there's less of it keep saltwater out.
Credit US Geological Survey

A study finds that South Florida maybe can’t blame the rest of the world for saltwater seeping into the groundwater, also called saltwater intrusion. 

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Environment
8:05 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Despite White House Warnings, Florida Legislators Skeptical About Climate Change

The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation, especially South Florida, if action isn't taken to combat climate change.
Credit David Burdick/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation, especially South Florida, if action isn't taken to combat climate change. Some states' Republican lawmakers still are not buying it.

Things won't be pretty in South Florida if the latest White House climate assessment is right. You can expect intensified storms and a sea that will keep steadily encroaching on your way of life slowly nipping away at that shore your toes used to trust.

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The Florida Roundup
11:29 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Education Bills Highlight Differences Among Republican Leadership

House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel), left, shakes hands with Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville).
Credit Florida House of Representatives

State Senate President Don Gaetz likes to introduce House Speaker Will Weatherford as the “taller, smarter, better-looking version of the Weatherford-Gaetz” duo. Their alliance has led to the quick passage of legislation like last year's ethics reform package and this year's sex offender bills. But on several education bills, the two diverge.

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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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Desalination
8:17 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Do You Know Where Your Water Comes From?

Florida desalinates the most water in the United States. Above is the water treatment plant in North Miami Beach, the first city in Miami-Dade to process salty water from the Floridan Aquifer.
Credit Elaine Chen

This story originally ran on March 13, 2014.

 

If you mention “desalination,” most people probably think you mean taking salt out of seawater, and they probably think you’re talking about what happens in desert nations in the Middle East.

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Rising Seas
11:15 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Environmentalists Speak At Bill Nelson's Miami Beach Sea-Level Rise Hearing

A packed Miami Beach City Hall during the hearing on sea level rise.
Credit Lisann Ramos

Miami Beach City Hall was at capacity this Earth Day when Sen. Bill Nelson held a field hearing on sea-level rise. 

The hearing attracted environmentalists from across South Florida and the country. 

The witnesses who spoke on account of sea-level rise included government officials Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs.

The other witnesses were scientists Piers Sellers and Fred Bloetscher, CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau William Talbert, and Dr. Megan Linkin from the Swiss Re reinsurance company. 

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Rising Seas
11:09 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Environmental Orgs Tour Miami Sites Affected By Sea-Level Rise

The coast of Sunny Isles Beach, where new condos are being built without sea level rise protection.
Credit Lisann Ramos

In light of a field hearing organized by Sen. Bill Nelson about climate change and sea-level rise, South Florida environmentalists put on a tour of affected sites in the area.

Several environmental toured sites including Little Havana, which feels the impacts of over-flooding, and a canal flood-control structure that can't keep up with the saltwater levels.

The tour also visited a Sunny Isles Beach condo tower and a Virginia Key sewage plant.

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