[GWSG] Drainage thoughts; health & climate; ice sheet interviews; the slowing AMOC & sea level rise; getting to 1.5C

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Tue Apr 12 08:12:49 EDT 2016

1.  Lad Hawkins, a landscape architect and city planner, forwards some thoughts on dealing with drainage problems connected to sea level rise.  "A foot of rise will severely impact storm drains.  As waters rise the storm drains will back up and in many cases will discharge seawater from the ocean into the neighborhoods.  Fixing storm water drainage will be nearly impossible without pumps.

"In Louisiana they sometimes use flaps on the discharge end of storm water pipes.  The flaps stay open as long as the ocean/ gulf level is below the discharge invert elevation.  As the ocean/ gulf rises the flaps close to keep the saltwater from entering the pipe and flowing inland.

"When you have heavy rains and high sea levels you have big problems.  In Florida our porous lime rock sub strata makes the construction of dykes pretty useless.

"The additional salt water lens from elevated oceans will kill many trees and other plants whose root system now are situated just above the salt water/ water table.  When these plants die coastal erosion will increase.  This effect of tree and plant salt die off will extend up all tidal creeks/ rivers, etc.

"Not a pretty picture for many of Florida's many low lying communities."

2.  The EPA and a number of other governmental units have issued a joint release on the effects of climate change on human health.  https://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/71f0ceccd321602385257f8b0052ad6c?OpenDocument

3.  Peter Sinclair has put together a few short videos of leading scientists-Jason Box, James Hansen, Eric Rignot, and others-discussing our developing knowledge of how the polar ice sheets are contributing to sea level rise.  https://climatecrocks.com/2016/04/11/how-fast-can-ice-melt-understanding-new-sea-level-estimates/

4.  The Weather Underground explains the current rise of sea levels on the US East Coast occasioned by the slowdown of the gulf stream.   https://www.wunderground.com/blog/lpaocean/us-east-coast-sea-level-and-the-gulf-stream  The Washington Post has a clearer explanation of the reason for the rise (but less illuminating data).  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/23/global-warming-is-now-slowing-down-the-circulation-of-the-oceans-with-potentially-dire-consequences/

5.  The Paris Agreement on climate set temperature goals of 2C or, if possible, 1.5C.  An article in Nature Climate Change points out that the paths to these goals are uncertain, and even depend on technologies we have not developed and policies we have not adopted.  One solution would be to simply set a goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions and do all that we can toward that goal.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/04/11/those-ambitious-global-warming-goals-the-world-may-not-know-how-to-reach-them/  ?

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