Tag Archives: coast

Hurricane Irma has made landfall in the Florida Keys

One of the strongest storms ever to touch U.S. soil  arrived on Sunday morning, crossing near Key West as a Category 4 hurricane. With sustained winds of 130 mph, a storm surge as high as 15 feet, and waves an additional 30 feet on top of that, Irma is expected to lash nearly the entire state for at least 24 hours.

The storm is so huge that tropical storm watches extend as far inland as Atlanta. As of midday Sunday, it yielded around 80 terajoules of energy, more than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

The biggest worry for meteorologists is Irma’s immense coastal flooding potential, which could perfectly align to create a worst-case scenario for Gulf Coast cities like Naples, Ft. Myers, and Tampa. Nearly 7 million people have fled the path of the storm, the largest mass evacuation in U.S. history.

Meanwhile, photos of complete devastation continue to pour in from the Caribbean. On the island of St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, forests were flattened and twisted into mangled messes. In the Bahamas, Irma’s offshore winds were so strong on one beach that they pushed the ocean completely out of sight. Barbuda was so ravaged that the normally lush island appeared brown from space.

And if you’re wondering, climate change is a huge part of the story here. Since 2010, seas have risen in Florida at one of the fastest rates anywhere in the world.

Read more: 

Hurricane Irma has made landfall in the Florida Keys

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, ONA, Prepara, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Florida

One of the strongest storms ever to touch U.S. soil arrived on Sunday morning, crossing near Key West as a Category 4 hurricane. With sustained winds of 130 mph, a storm surge as high as 15 feet, and waves an additional 30 feet on top of that, Irma is expected to lash nearly the entire state for at least 24 hours.

The storm is so huge that tropical storm watches extend as far inland as Atlanta. As of midday Sunday, it yielded around 80 terajoules of energy, more than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

The biggest worry for meteorologists is Irma’s immense coastal flooding potential, which could perfectly align to create a worst-case scenario for Gulf Coast cities like Naples, Ft. Myers, and Tampa. Nearly 7 million people have fled the path of the storm, the largest mass evacuation in U.S. history.

Meanwhile, photos of complete devastation continue to pour in from the Caribbean. On the island of St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, forests were flattened and twisted into mangled messes. In the Bahamas, Irma’s offshore winds were so strong on one beach that they pushed the ocean completely out of sight. Barbuda was so ravaged that the normally lush island appeared brown from space.

And if you’re wondering, climate change is a huge part of the story here. Since 2010, seas have risen in Florida at one of the fastest rates anywhere in the world.

Excerpt from:  

Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Florida

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Dakota Access protesters say they purposely damaged the pipeline.

Climate change is rapidly altering the region, and less sea ice means more ships are lining up to traverse its remote waters. “It’s what keeps us up at night,” Amy Merten, a NOAA employee, told the New York Times. “There’s just no infrastructure for response.”

Cargo ships and cruise liners are already setting sail, and the Trump administration is clearing the way for oil rigs to join them.

Canada, the U.S., and Russia have an agreement to help each other during emergencies, but the U.S. only has two functional heavy icebreaker ships, and rescue efforts would likely have to rely on other commercial ships being nearby.

To top it all off, the head of the Coast Guard, Paul Zukunft, says the U.S. is unprepared to deal with an Arctic oil spill. Zukunft pointed out the difficulty in cleaning up the Deepwater Horizon spill, which had much more favorable conditions.

“In the Arctic, it’s almost like trying to get it to the moon in some cases, especially if it’s in a season where it’s inaccessible; that really doubles, triples the difficulty of responding,” the head of the Navy’s climate change task force told Scientific American.

See more here: 

Two Dakota Access protesters say they purposely damaged the pipeline.

Posted in alo, Anchor, Citizen, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, ONA, oven, PUR, Ringer, solar, solar panels, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Two Dakota Access protesters say they purposely damaged the pipeline.

Warren Buffett is driving truckloads of money into electric companies.

Climate change is rapidly altering the region, and less sea ice means more ships are lining up to traverse its remote waters. “It’s what keeps us up at night,” Amy Merten, a NOAA employee, told the New York Times. “There’s just no infrastructure for response.”

Cargo ships and cruise liners are already setting sail, and the Trump administration is clearing the way for oil rigs to join them.

Canada, the U.S., and Russia have an agreement to help each other during emergencies, but the U.S. only has two functional heavy icebreaker ships, and rescue efforts would likely have to rely on other commercial ships being nearby.

To top it all off, the head of the Coast Guard, Paul Zukunft, says the U.S. is unprepared to deal with an Arctic oil spill. Zukunft pointed out the difficulty in cleaning up the Deepwater Horizon spill, which had much more favorable conditions.

“In the Arctic, it’s almost like trying to get it to the moon in some cases, especially if it’s in a season where it’s inaccessible; that really doubles, triples the difficulty of responding,” the head of the Navy’s climate change task force told Scientific American.

Link to original – 

Warren Buffett is driving truckloads of money into electric companies.

Posted in alo, Anchor, Casio, Citizen, Everyone, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, ONA, oven, Ringer, solar, solar panels, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Warren Buffett is driving truckloads of money into electric companies.

Good news about CO2: Emissions from the energy sector stayed flat for the third year in a row.

According to the cover article in today’s issue of the journal Nature, the iconic reef off the coast of Australia suffered unprecedented coral die-off after last year’s record-breaking bleaching event. Now, as the Southern Hemisphere hits late summer temperatures, central and southern sections of the reef — areas which avoided the worst of last year’s bleaching — are in trouble.

“We didn’t expect to see this level of destruction to the Great Barrier Reef for another 30 years,” coral researcher Terry Hughes told the New York Times. Hughes led the team that conducted aerial surveys to document the bleaching last year, as well as subsequent surveys to assess just how much of that bleaching turned into dying.

Bleached corals don’t always turn into dead corals — some are able to recover when temperatures drop. Er, if temperatures drop. If water temperatures stay high and corals stay bleached, they will eventually starve to death. Without coral building reefs, whole ecosystems may disappear, along with the food, tourism, and jobs they support.

Hughes and his coauthors found that even corals in pristine, protected water were likely to be suffering from heat stress, meaning the only thing left to do to protect corals is, you know, address climate change.

View post: 

Good news about CO2: Emissions from the energy sector stayed flat for the third year in a row.

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, ONA, Ringer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Good news about CO2: Emissions from the energy sector stayed flat for the third year in a row.

Think you’ve had it rough this past year? You should hear what the Great Barrier Reef is dealing with.

According to the cover article in today’s issue of the journal Nature, the iconic reef off the coast of Australia suffered unprecedented coral die-off after last year’s record-breaking bleaching event. Now, as the Southern Hemisphere hits late summer temperatures, central and southern sections of the reef — areas which avoided the worst of last year’s bleaching — are in trouble.

“We didn’t expect to see this level of destruction to the Great Barrier Reef for another 30 years,” coral researcher Terry Hughes told the New York Times. Hughes led the team that conducted aerial surveys to document the bleaching last year, as well as subsequent surveys to assess just how much of that bleaching turned into dying.

Bleached corals don’t always turn into dead corals — some are able to recover when temperatures drop. Er, if temperatures drop. If water temperatures stay high and corals stay bleached, they will eventually starve to death. Without coral building reefs, whole ecosystems may disappear, along with the food, tourism, and jobs they support.

Hughes and his coauthors found that even corals in pristine, protected water were likely to be suffering from heat stress, meaning the only thing left to do to protect corals is, you know, address climate change.

View post: 

Think you’ve had it rough this past year? You should hear what the Great Barrier Reef is dealing with.

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Ringer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Think you’ve had it rough this past year? You should hear what the Great Barrier Reef is dealing with.

The dam truth: Climate change means more Lake Orovilles

Just two years ago, Lake Oroville was so dry that submerged archaeological artifacts were starting to resurface. That was in the middle of California’s epic drought — the worst in more than a millennium.

And then the rains came. This winter is on track to become Northern California’s soggiest on record. A key precipitation index is running more than a month ahead of the previous record pace, set in the winter of 1982–1983 (records go back to 1895). Lake Oroville is so full that it spilled over for the first time, spurring evacuations downstream.

California’s climate has always been extreme (even before humans got seriously involved), but what’s happening right now is just ridiculous. We are witnessing the effects of climate change play out, in real time.

California Department of Water Resources

Lake Oroville is as full as it has ever been, and remains vulnerable: We’re still in the peak of the rainy season, and more rain is on the way. On Tuesday and Wednesday, crews at the beleaguered dam worked around the clock to stabilize and reinforce the emergency spillway in anticipation of a fresh torrent of rainfall. But the scale of action — truck after truck of giant boulders dumping 1,200 tons of rock per hour — was small in comparison to the immense scale of erosion that has already taken place. There’s a real risk that the lake could spill over the top a second time.

And it’s not just Oroville. Major reservoirs ring the Central Valley, and nearly every one is full, or nearly so, as the Sacramento Bee reported earlier this week. Several levees statewide are seeping, and workers intentionally breached one along the Mokelumne River in Northern California over the weekend to relieve pressure. The levee system was simply not designed to be this stressed for extended periods of time.

Five successive waves of storms in the coming week could bring another foot of rainfall. The graphic below shows the amount of rain (and liquid-equivalent snow) on the way over the next seven days — enough to prompt renewed warnings from the National Weather Service.

NOAA/GFS model/Tropicaltidbits.com

Climate science and basic physics suggest we are already seeing a shift in the delicate rainfall patterns of the West Coast. A key to understanding how California’s rainy season is changing lies in understanding what meteorologists call “atmospheric rivers,” thin, intense ribbons of moisture that stream northeastward from the tropical Pacific Ocean and provide California with up to half of its annual rainfall. Exactly how atmospheric rivers will change depends on greenhouse gas emissions and science that’s still being worked out.

Atmospheric rivers are already responsible for roughly 80 percent of California’s flooding events — including the one at Lake Oroville — and there’s reason to believe they are changing in character. Since warmer air can hold more water vapor, atmospheric rivers in a warming climate are expected to become more intense, bringing perhaps a doubling or tripling in frequency of heavy downpours. What’s more, as temperatures increase, more moisture will fall as rain instead of snow, increasing the pressure on dams and waterways during the peak of the rainy season. There’s even new evidence that especially warm atmospheric rivers can erode away existing snowpack.

Peter Gleick, chief scientist of the Pacific Institute and frequent visitor to the Oroville area, is clear about what the drama at Oroville represents. “We’re seeing evidence of more extremes,” he says. “To ignore that would be a mistake.”

We’ve built dams based on old weather patterns, not for the extremes we’re now seeing. A clear problem emerges when we manage society for how things were, not how things are. In many ways, we are planning for the future with the expectation that the weather will be more or less the same as in the past. It won’t be.

The acting director of the California Department of Water Resources, Bill Croyle, made a telling statement earlier this week when asked why the infrastructure at Oroville seemed so fragile. “I’m not sure anything went wrong,” Croyle said. “This was a new, never-happened-before event.”

If we don’t start imagining and preparing for more “new, never-happened-before events,” more people will be put in danger — like they are right now in Oroville.

The near-disaster at Oroville has prompted another broad discussion about our country’s decrepit infrastructure, which arrives in the context of the Trump Administration’s plans to boost infrastructure spending.

But this is about more than just spending money to fix up our aging dams. The entirety of our country’s infrastructure needs to be reevaluated with the understanding that we have a unique opportunity to reimagine our shared future. If things are rapidly changing anyway, we might as well build a future consistent with our new weather reality.

At a place like Lake Oroville, that might mean leaving more space in the reservoir for flooding than has been done in the past. That wouldn’t be popular, because it would reduce the reservoir’s capacity, even as rising temperatures spur demand for more water. It may also mean increased resources for counseling services in coastal and riverine communities, as flooding events become more frequent and families consider whether to relocate. The state is already on a good start: Earlier this week, the California Department of Water Resources released a draft resolution for a comprehensive response to climate change, including dam operation.

After the current storms pass, California will still have two months left in its rainy season. It seems likely that 2016–2017 will become the wettest rainy season in state history. That means the danger at Lake Oroville won’t completely pass until this summer.

“They’re going to have to run the main spillway all spring in order to prevent additional flooding,” Gleick said. “I think people are going to be a little nervous for the next few months.”

View the original here:

The dam truth: Climate change means more Lake Orovilles

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, ONA, PUR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The dam truth: Climate change means more Lake Orovilles

“If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite.”

Oregon’s largest city became the first in the nation to ban the building of major fossil fuel terminals and the expansion of existing ones after a unanimous city council vote on Wednesday.

The city council used zoning codes to enact the ban, which will go into effect in January, and will prevent the construction of any new terminals for transporting or storing coal, methanol, natural gas, and oil. Other West Coast cities made similar moves earlier this year: Vancouver, Washington, banned new oil terminals and Oakland, California, banned coal terminals.

In the wake of the Trump election, it’s clear that the federal government won’t be taking climate action, so environmentalists are increasingly looking to cities to adopt climate change–fighting policies — and those cities might want to follow Portland’s lead.

“What we’ve done in Portland is replicable now in other cities,” Portland Mayor Charlie Hales told InsideClimate News. “Everybody has a zoning code.”

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is also encouraging cities to take action. “Mayors and local leaders around the country are determined to keep pushing ahead on climate change,” he wrote recently, “because it is in their interest to do so.” It’s also in all of ours.

Read more:  

“If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite.”

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, InsideClimate News, Jason, LAI, LG, ONA, PUR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite.”

Mass transit wins big in ballot initiatives

In an otherwise rough election for cities, poor people, and the environment, all three got a bit of good news from state and local ballot initiatives funding mass transit. Across the country, voters approved a majority of measures to expand bus and rail lines.

Smart Growth America, the pro-transit and urbanism advocacy group, compiled a list of the biggest transit initiatives on Tuesday’s ballots. Of the 27 measures tracked, 19 passed. And of the eight that failed, five received majority support but fell short because local tax increases required a supermajority.

Among the biggest successes were a sales tax increase to build new light rail in Seattle, a property tax to pay for repairs and maintenance on the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system, and a slight sales tax hike to expand bus and rail services and upgrade bike lanes and sidewalks in Los Angeles County.

It wasn’t only the famously eco-friendly cities of the Left Coast that supported mass transit. Even in the South — the country’s most conservative region, with some of its most car-dependent metro areas — voters approved taxes for transit. Wake County, North Carolina, passed a half penny per dollar sales tax increase for new services, including three bus rapid transit lines and a commuter rail line. Atlanta passed two separate sales taxes for biking and walking trails, street and sidewalk improvements, and bus upgrades and rail expansions.

There were also positive results in smaller cities in the Midwest and Interior West. In Eastern Washington, the conservative side of the state, Spokane passed a 0.2 percent sales tax to fund more bus service and launch the area’s first bus rapid transit line. Indianapolis and surrounding Marion County voted for a 0.25 percent income tax to increase bus service. (The Indianapolis area has long had Republicans who support transit, such as former Mayor Greg Ballard and Carmel, Indiana, Mayor Jim Brainerd.)

The Center for Transportation Excellence, a pro-transit think tank, kept track of all transit-related ballot measures and found support for mass transit in small and mid-sized cities, too. Kansas City, Missouri, passed a 3/8-cent sales tax increase to build light rail, while Greensboro, North Carolina, voted for a transportation investment bond to fund new sidewalks.

There were also some disappointments. Measures to expand transit in Broward County, Florida, and in southeast Michigan failed. But, overall, the results were evidence that most Americans — even Trump voters — are willing to pay for greater, greener mobility.

Continue reading: 

Mass transit wins big in ballot initiatives

Posted in alo, Anchor, eco-friendly, FF, GE, Landmark, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mass transit wins big in ballot initiatives

In a weird twist, hurricanes help keep deltas above water.

As sea level rises, tropical storms will be a bigger problem for coastal cities — but the same storms could potentially deliver sand, silt, and clay to bolster sagging shorelines.

New Orleans, Shanghai, Cairo, Dhaka, and Karachi all sit on deltas, where a major river fans into smaller tributaries and wetlands to meet the sea. When big rainstorms wash lots of dirt downstream, it can replace, and even add to, eroding deltas. A third of the sediment flowing into Southeast Asia’s Mekong Delta, for example, is runoff from big tropical storms, according to a new study this week in Nature.

“We’ve all seen images of storm surges battering New Orleans or up the East Coast,” says geologist Steven Darby of the University of Southampton, who led the Mekong study. “But equally,” he says, “those surges and flooding … can have a constructive effect.

Whether the influx of sediment can balance out losses from erosion and sea-level rise remains to be seen. As storms get bigger and make landfall in new places, each delta will react differently — and for some coastal cities, it’s possible that the storms that plague them will also play a role in keeping them afloat.

See the original article here: 

In a weird twist, hurricanes help keep deltas above water.

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, GE, LG, ONA, Ringer, The Atlantic, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on In a weird twist, hurricanes help keep deltas above water.