[GWSG] Flooding study; anti-ed in TN; Mulkey's PP; 2010 hottest; nukes to be marginal; political pv; need for expensive fossils

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Fri Mar 23 10:02:40 EDT 2012

1.  Two linked studies of coastal areas at risk from sea level rise have appeared in Environmental Research Letters.  They employ a new high resolution mapping of coastal areas from NOAA.  The authors estimate the vulnerability of coastal areas to flooding, which is expected to occur with increasing frequency as even modest storm surges are added to sea level rise.  The approach finds that 87% more people are at risk from a meter of flooding than had been calculated using older census figures and measuring flooding from mean elevation instead of the high tide mark.  The studies anticipate that 37 million people in the US will be displaced by flooding by 2030.  The strategy of using high tide profiles rather than sea level for estimating vulnerability should be useful to planners.  The biggest news is that the study has been widely reported and constitutes a major move toward public awareness of the problem.  http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/mar2012/2012-03-14-01.html  Climate Central’s report, The Surging Seas, based on the two articles, with an interactive map of flooding:  http://sealevel.climatecentral.org/  The New York Times story is an odd mixture of serious consideration of the article and mere propaganda.  On the helpful side, it comments on the implications for property insurance.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/science/earth/study-rising-sea-levels-a-risk-to-coastal-states.html?_r=1  Bloomberg has much more (and better) on the insurance implications of the study.  http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-03-20/florida-s-inland-residents-may-pay-as-sea-levels-climb  Gauging the impact of sea level rise requires more than flood projections, of course.  Other factors include infrastructure vulnerability and terrain.  The Miami-Dade Task Force on Climate Change calculated that two feet of slr would be sufficient to “hopelessly compromise” the water supply of the region.  Orrin Pilkey in The Rising Sea warns that two feet of slr is enough to destabilize the East Coast’s barrier islands, on which North Florida’s beach communities rest.

2.  Tennessee has passed a bill protecting teachers who wish to attack science in the areas of evolution and climate change.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/21/tennessee-bill-teachers-evolution-climate-change

3.  Stephen Mulkey’s PowerPoint for his recent presentation at U of FL provides a succinct introduction to our climate situation, and to the proper way forward.  The link is to the Facebook page of his sponsoring organization, the Citizens Climate Lobby; click on their dropbox link for the slides.  Thanks to Tom Larson for sharing this.  http://www.facebook.com/CitizensClimateLobbyGainesvilleFL

4.  2010 is now considered the warmest year on record, and the last decade the warmest.  http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0320-hance_2010_warmest.html

5.  The Economist foresees a marginal role for nuclear power, due to rising costs and perceived risks.  Thanks again to Tom Larson for the item.  http://www.economist.com/node/21549098

6.  As prices for rooftop solar drop, more people will buy it.  100 million homes would still represent only 2% of US energy use—but almost 1/3 of the voters.   Someone who is benefitting from cheap renewable energy will probably support a national transition to renewables.  http://grist.org/solar-power/rooftop-revolution-how-to-get-solar-onto-100-million-u-s-homes/

7.  A study in Nature Climate Change finds that most of the new energy added by renewables has not gone to replace fossil fuel energy.  Instead, the new energy tends to increase demand.  The lesson seems to be to make the fossil fuel energy really expensive and the renewable really cheap.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17476542
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.unf.edu/pipermail/gwsg/attachments/20120323/533131dd/attachment.html 

More information about the GWSG mailing list