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Charlton Crown

Flooding experts say Britain will have to adapt to climate change - and fast - 1 views

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    "You are looking at retreat," says Prof Colin Thorne, a flooding expert at the University of Nottingham. "It is the only sensible policy - it makes no sense to defend the indefensible." This assessment of how the UK will have to adapt to its increasing flood risk is stark, but is shared by virtually all those who work on the issue.Centuries of draining wetlands, reclaiming salt marshes and walling in rivers is being put into reverse by climate change, which is bringing fiercer storms, more intense downpours and is pushing up sea levels. Sea walls are now being deliberately allowed to be breached, with new defences built further back, and fields turned into lakes to slow the rush of the water, as flood management turns back towards natural methods.Thorne says the strategy of once more "making space for water" has been around for a decade, but the urgency of implementing it has increased sharply. "We thought then we were talking about the 2030s, but it is all happening a heck of a lot quicker."

    Large parts of southern England had their wettest January ever recorded, the Met Office announced on Thursday, and the Somerset Levels, much of which is below sea level, have been inundated for weeks. "I have enormous sympathy for these people," says Thorne. But he thinks the 1,000-year history of keeping the sea out of the area is coming to the end. "Can the Somerset Levels be defended between now and the end of the century? No," he says.

    Hannah Cloke, a flooding expert at the University of Reading, agrees: "We could make the choice to protect the Levels forever, but that is going to take a lot of resources. My gut feeling is that you are going to have to let that be a marshland in the end. But people live there and have their livelihoods there, so it is very tricky." Cloke says greatest priority across the country is giving people the help they need to adjust to more frequent floods, from warnings and emergency planning down to home-level protection, such as water-absorbing
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    Source: http://blog.crowncapitalmngt.com/flooding-experts-say-britain-will-have-to-adapt-to-climate-change-and-fast/






    "You are looking at retreat," says Prof Colin Thorne, a flooding expert at the University of Nottingham. "It is the only sensible policy - it makes no sense to defend the indefensible." This assessment of how the UK will have to adapt to its increasing flood risk is stark, but is shared by virtually all those who work on the issue.Centuries of draining wetlands, reclaiming salt marshes and walling in rivers is being put into reverse by climate change, which is bringing fiercer storms, more intense downpours and is pushing up sea levels. Sea walls are now being deliberately allowed to be breached, with new defences built further back, and fields turned into lakes to slow the rush of the water, as flood management turns back towards natural methods.Thorne says the strategy of once more "making space for water" has been around for a decade, but the urgency of implementing it has increased sharply. "We thought then we were talking about the 2030s, but it is all happening a heck of a lot quicker."



    Large parts of southern England had their wettest January ever recorded, the Met Office announced on Thursday, and the Somerset Levels, much of which is below sea level, have been inundated for weeks. "I have enormous sympathy for these people," says Thorne. But he thinks the 1,000-year history of keeping the sea out of the area is coming to the end. "Can the Somerset Levels be defended between now and the end of the century? No," he says.
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    "You are looking at retreat," says Prof Colin Thorne, a flooding expert at the University of Nottingham. "It is the only sensible policy - it makes no sense to defend the indefensible." This assessment of how the UK will have to adapt to its increasing flood risk is stark, but is shared by virtually all those who work on the issue.Centuries of draining wetlands, reclaiming salt marshes and walling in rivers is being put into reverse by climate change, which is bringing fiercer storms, more intense downpours and is pushing up sea levels. Sea walls are now being deliberately allowed to be breached, with new defences built further back, and fields turned into lakes to slow the rush of the water, as flood management turns back towards natural methods.Thorne says the strategy of once more "making space for water" has been around for a decade, but the urgency of implementing it has increased sharply. "We thought then we were talking about the 2030s, but it is all happening a heck of a lot quicker."

    Large parts of southern England had their wettest January ever recorded, the Met Office announced on Thursday, and the Somerset Levels, much of which is below sea level, have been inundated for weeks. "I have enormous sympathy for these people," says Thorne. But he thinks the 1,000-year history of keeping the sea out of the area is coming to the end. "Can the Somerset Levels be defended between now and the end of the century? No," he says.

    Hannah Cloke, a flooding expert at the University of Reading, agrees: "We could make the choice to protect the Levels forever, but that is going to take a lot of resources. My gut feeling is that you are going to have to let that be a marshland in the end. But people live there and have their livelihoods there, so it is very tricky." Cloke says greatest priority across the country is giving people the help they need to adjust to more frequent floods, from warnings and emergency planning down to home-level prote
Charles Crown

Watch 60 Years Of Climate Change In 15 Seconds - 3 views

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    source: http://blog.crowncapitalmngt.com/watch-60-years-of-climate-change-in-15-seconds/

    According to NASA, 2013 was tied (with 2009 and 2006) for seventh warmest year globally on record, dating back to 1880. NASA scientists have played a leading role in climate research in recent decades and the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) this month updated a report analyzing worldwide surface temperatures.
    "Long-term trends in surface temperatures are unusual and 2013 adds to the evidence for ongoing climate change," GISS climatologist Gavin Schmidt said. "While one year or one season can be affected by random weather events, this analysis shows the necessity for continued, long-term monitoring."

    The NASA data finds that with the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record have all come since the latest turn of the century, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the warmest years on record.


    cliamte
    Global average temperatures for 2013 (Credit: NASA)



    To drive the point home, GISS created the below animation that shows the increase in temperatures worldwide over the past 60 years, compiled from data collected by over 1,000 meteorological stations around the globe.

    A release from NASA makes the case that the increase in temperatures over the long-term is more a social problem than a matter of eons-long natural climate patterns:

    Driven by increasing man-made emissions, the level of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere presently is higher than at any time in the last 800,000 years.

    This summer, NASA plans to launch the Orbiting Carbon Observatory with the goal of studying both natural and manmade sources of carbon dioxide, one of the gases believed to be largely to blame for climate change.
Charles Crown

For Already Vulnerable Penguins, Study Finds Climate Change Is Another Danger - 1 views

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    Life has never been easy for just-hatched Magellanic penguins, but climate change is making it worse, according to a decades-long study of the largest breeding colony of the birds.
    The chicks are already vulnerable to predation and starvation. Now, the study at Punta Tombo, Argentina, found that intense storms and warmer temperatures are increasingly taking a toll.
    "Rainfall is killing a lot of penguins, and so is heat," said P. Dee Boersma, a University of Washington scientist and lead author of the study. "And those are two new causes."
    Climate scientists say more extreme weather, including wetter storms and more prolonged periods of heat and cold, is one impact of a climate that is changing because of emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. While monitoring the penguin colony, Dr. Boersma and her colleagues also documented regional temperature changes and increases in the number of days with heavy rains.
    The study, which is being published online Wednesday in the journal PLoS ONE, is one of the first to show a direct impact of climate change on seabirds. Most studies have looked at how warming temperatures affect animals indirectly, by altering predation patterns or food supplies.
    William J. Sydeman, senior scientist at the Farallon Institute in California, who was not involved in the research, said the study linked changes in climate, which occur on a scale of decades, to the daily scale of life in the colony. "That's a unique contribution," he said.
    The colony at Punta Tombo, in a temperate and relatively dry region about midway along Argentina's coast, is home to about 200,000 breeding pairs of the penguins, which are about 15 inches tall as adults. Dr. Boersma has been working there since 1982, with long-term support from the Wildlife Conservation Society.
    For this study, the researchers compiled data on nearly 3,500 chicks that they meticulously tracked by checking nests once or twice a day throughout the six-month breeding season, w
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It is not Nuclear Power but Renewable Energy: the answer to climate change - 2 views

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    There are a lot of people who assumes that the sole technology that is now available to substitute fossil fuels is nuclear power especially when climate scientists and some energy policy analysts take a "tough-minded" look at the numbers.
    Eduardo Porter of the New York Times made that argument last week when he wrote: …nuclear power remains the cheapest and most readily scalable of the alternative energy sources.

    There are many reasons why nuclear power is a bad solution to the climate crisis. The first reason is that the technology is not available. Nuclear power plants are capital-intensive, technologically complex to manage, and difficult, if not impossible, to site. These issues are not minor, investors chose putting their money somewhere else and communities are greatly against sitting a plant in their backyard.

    As a consequence, despite our knowledge on how to use electricity this way plus our years of experience practicing it, in the U.S. these plants will never be built in enough amount to reduce global warming. There is a slight difference between the technology of nuclear power generation and the technology of nuclear bomb development. It is now hard to put things back the way it used to be, let us admit that human political systems or organizational processes cannot manage the risks of this technology.

    Other issues associated with current nuclear technologies that cause them to become problematic. For instance, the toxicity of its fuel and waste should not be ignored. Dangerous accidents are rare but once it happened, the impact is intense and long-lasting. It is hard to judge the danger posed by a poorly managed one while a well-managed plant poses little real danger. There is also a possibility of sabotage. Terrorists taking over a plant and threatening to plant accident could hold a city hostage.

    Electric utilities are natural monopolies that necessitate government regulation. The investment in infrastructure to produce and send out electrici
Ashtrid Nicks

Naomi Klein: 'Big Green Groups Are More Damaging Than Climate Deniers' - 1 views

http://ashgandhi.skyrock.com/3185643503-Naomi-Klein-Big-Green-Groups-Are-More-Damaging-Than-Climate-Deniers.html Canadian author Naomi Klein is so well known for her blade-sharp commentary that it...

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started by Ashtrid Nicks on 16 Sep 13 no follow-up yet
Charles Crown

Fewer resources, greater stress, more disasters: Climate change linked to violence amon... - 1 views

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    A world becoming warmer and experiencing more droughts and other climate-connected disasters is apt to bring about a considerable upsurge in fierce conflicts between individuals as well as whole societies, a major study has revealed.An analysis of 61 in-depth cases of violence has shown that personal clashes and wider civil conflicts grow considerably in number with significant changes to weather patterns, such as rising temperature and lack of rain, scientists said.Even fairly modest shifts away from the average lead to noticeable rise in the occurrence of violence, according to the study which theorized that the expected rise of in average world temperatures this century could result in a 50 per cent growth in major violent conflicts such as civil wars.

    The scientists suggest that climate shifts, especially rising temperatures, are bound to cause more frequent conflicts over progressively declining natural resources, on top of the physiological impact on people due to hotter weather.

    "We need to be cautious here. We do not mean that it is inevitable that further warming in the future will produce more conflict. We are saying that previous changes in climate -- especially, past temperature increase -- are connected with increasing personal and group disputes," said Marshall Burke of the University of California, Berkeley.

    "It is certainly possible that future communities will be more able to deal with severe temperatures than we do today; but we believe that it is risky to just presume that this will be so," said Mr. Burke, one of the authors of the study published in the journal Science.

    The study was based on an investigation of the scholastic literature for historical narratives of violent disputes, from individual aggression, such as murder and assaults to greater conflicts such as riots, racial tensions, civil war and even primary declines of civilisations that existed thousands of years back.

    Disputes between groups rather than between persons exhibited
Charles Crown

Climate change is happening 10 times faster than ever - 1 views

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    Stanford University recently published a report in the journal Science pointing but the extent to which the climate change rate - so much heat absorbed in very little time -is overtaking any other eras of warming or cooling in the Earth's 65 million years history. If present estimates are precise, the researchers state, that pace will speed up to 50 or even 100 times quicker than anything we have observed in the past.

    Scientific American explains:

    They observed climate occurrences or primary transitions that have transpired on Earth from the time of the dinosaurs' extinction. Those include the time when the Earth came out of an ice age. Temperatures then went up between 3 and 5 degrees Celsius, similar to the amount scientists predict is possible with the prevailing climate change. But that change occurred within about 20,000 years, the scientists pointed out, and not mere decades as it is now the case.

    Another study conducted by University of Texas and put out in the journal Nature, has discovered that the Antarctic permafrost is also melting at a rate 10 times faster compared to anything measured previously, that is, in the last 11,000 years. The scientists explain that the dramatic shift is not due to higher temperatures but to altering weather patterns in which the region is experiencing more sunlight than before. The researchers of the Antarctic case are not overly worried at their findings, explaining that for the Arctic polar ice to melt at this rate would be much more problematic.

    The findings of the Stanford study are not as hopeful. To keep up with the present rate of global warming, says study author Christopher Field, we have to begin adjusting accordingly on a significantly faster timetable. The chances of reducing its effects now, in his calculation, is not so bright:

    To keep the temperature rise to about 1.5 degrees, the Earth would have to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, and then attain negative emissions, that is,
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