[GWSG] FEMA & slr; groundwater; McKibben review; passive solar again; solar map; Swiss csp; biochar dissolves

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Fri Apr 26 10:08:53 EDT 2013

1.  New FEMA flood insurance rules go into effect next year.  Insurance rates for the most at-risk homes in New Orleans, those ten or more feet below the 100 year flood level, will increase by a factor of ten.   Thanks to Brian Paradise for the story.  http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/03/dramatic_flood_insurance_incre.html   Because New York’s new FEMA flood maps were begun in 2010, before the passage last summer of the law which requires attention to scientific opinions on sea level rise and storm intensity when preparing flood maps, rebuilding after Sandy will not be influenced by sea level rise.  Storms such as Sandy are also ignored.  FEMA currently plans to redraw maps every 5 years; sets begun after last summer should include what we anticipate concerning water levels.  http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20130204/climate-change-global-warming-flood-zone-hurricane-sandy-new-york-city-fema-federal-maps-revised-sea-level-rise

2.  Stephen Mulkey sends “Assessment of groundwater inundation as a consequence of sea level rise” by Kolja Ratzoll and Charles Fletcher from the current issue of Nature Climate Change (subs. req.).  It examines the role of groundwater levels in flooding from sea level rise in coastal areas, using Honolulu, Hawaii as a test case.  Groundwater levels are typically higher than sea level, rising and falling with it close to the shore.  As the sea rises groundwater will create new wetlands, expand others, and compromise drainage and other infrastructure earlier than would have been expected from sea level alone.  The flooded area is twice as large as that created by sea level rise alone.  High tides, rainfall events, and the like will initiate flooding events in formerly safe coastal areas.  Planners need to allow for groundwater inundation.

3.  Dick Bizot forwards Bill McKibben’s review of several recent publications on climate from the NY Review of Books.  http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/may/09/some-like-it-hot/

4.  A Stanford research team has developed a kind of reverse solar water heater which collects heat from a building and sends it to space.  (This looks to be more detail on the reflective material I listed in late March.)  The technology promises to be durable and cheap.    http://www.technologyreview.com/view/513891/solar-cooling-with-photonic-reflector-panel/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-weekly-energy&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130422

5.  In interactive map of the solar industry, state by state, shows, among other things, that we have more solar workers than ranchers in Texas, more in California than actors, and more solar workers all told than coal miners.  Thanks to Brian Paradise for the link.  http://www.treehugger.com/green-jobs/america-now-has-more-solar-energy-workers-coal-miners.html

6.  Switzerland is developing a cheap concentrating solar power/desalinator.  http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-04/solar-panel-makes-fresh-water-too

7.  Biochar (and other black carbons) can dissolve and wash into the ocean, rather than simply accumulating in the soil.  As much as 40% of the black carbon created by combustion each year washes back into the oceans.  The use of biochar to sequester carbon may be complicated by the finding.  http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2013/04/soil-carbon-science
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