[GWSG] SLR + on both coasts; SLR conf report; from forest to savannah; savannah rice

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Tue Jun 26 10:57:45 EDT 2012

1.  An article in Nature estimates sea level rises to 2300, based partly on historical data.  Limiting warming to 1.5° C would strongly limit the rise.  Doubling that would result in about 3.5 meters of rise.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120624134955.htm  Sea level rise is accelerating 3-4 times faster along the east coast of the US from Boston to North Carolina than it is globally.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/24/us-east-coast-sea-level-rise  The US West Coast is also in for a larger than average rise, due in part to subsidence.  http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112644421/california-oregon-washington-sea-levels-expected-to-rise/

2.  A report from Margo Moehring:  Hi Allen. As you know, I attended the Sea Level Rise Summit in Boca Raton last week. In addition to learning a lot about the current state of scientific thinking on the subject, the summit provided an overview of what is happening in South Florida, where there seems to be much acceptance of the need for adaptation. The summit was focused on adaptation, and there was not much discussion on mitigation. The Miami Herald covered the summit: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/22/2864586/rising-seas-mean-shrinking-south.html
Here are some of my observations from the summit:

1. An insurance industry representative reminded the group that the insurance industry is avidly watching the science, and is also watching community response. They view lack of response as a risk factor that distinguishes between communities.

2. In the absence of certainly regarding SLR, the US Army Corps of Engineers currently requires that 3 possible SLR scenarios be considered on any coastal project.

3. There is a certain tension between those that think that a complete re-think of how people are fed and housed and how cities work is in order, as opposed to design solutions based on current practice.

4. A university representative said that universities are not set up to collaborate with each other, with outside scientists and other partners in the way they will need to, in order to address SLR.

5. I asked if there was a State of Florida agency representative who would discuss the science of SLR with a local community if asked. The reply was that the universities had that role.

6. South Florida counties have signed a climate compact and have released a draft of a regional climate action plan, and counties like Broward are working on changes to their Comp Plan. Theirs is a regional model to be studied. They got started because elected officials instructed staff to work together. More at this link: http://www.southeastfloridaclimatecompact.org/

7. I observed not only the frustration one would expect among summit participants who have been talking about SLR for years and feel like there is more talk than action going on, but also a sense that the pessimism surrounding SLR is a waste of energy. This group was anxious to see more adaptation so that they could point to successes and learn from experience.
The presentations from the summit will be posted on the summit website http://www.ces.fau.edu/SLR2012 in a week or so.
Margo Moehring
Director of Policy, Northeast Florida Regional Council

3.  When forests burn in the Southern Rockies, they are replaced by savannah and shrub (which is the future for North Florida).  “Seeking to preserve existing systems is futile.”  http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/goodbye-to-mountain-forests/?ref=earth

4.  Guyana is experimenting with rice cultivation in a savannah.  Peanuts and beans also work.  http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/guyana-tries-out-rice-cultivation-on-savannah
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