[GWSG] Heating's up; and drought; as in the US West; scientists react; two on coastal retreat; overtopping; wave energy

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Sat Jun 19 10:27:23 EDT 2021

1. A range of measurements indicate that the rate at which the earth is heating has been accelerating since 2005. The causes appear to include decreased reflection of heat by clouds as well as the accumulation of greenhouse gasses. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2021GL093047?utm_campaign=Carbon+Brief+Daily+Briefing&utm_content=20210616&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Revue+Daily
In 2005-19 the  earth’s energy imbalance roughly doubled. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/jun/17/earth-trapping-heat-study-nasa-noaa

2. A UN report calls drought “the next pandemic” if water and land management measures are not taken. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/jun/17/earth-trapping-heat-study-nasa-noaa

3. The megadrought in the American West is the worst since the 1500s, and may top even that disaster as it continues. 46% of the drought is attributable to human activity. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2021/jun/17/tree-rings-america-megadrought-visual?utm_source=eml&utm_medium=emlf&utm_campaign=Email_MB_US&utm_content=variantA

4. Climate scientists in the US West remark on how it feels to see studies and projections coming to life. At least it is getting people’s attention.  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/18/us-heatwave-west-climate-crisis-drought

5. Science magazine has a section on coastal retreat, with at least some of the articles in open access. If you ignore the lowball sea level rise estimates, this one is useful in calling attention to issues many communities now need to face. Retreat is not an action but a complicated process.  https://science.sciencemag.org/content/372/6548/1287.full
Why use lowball sea level rise projections? Even those people with the normal resistance to entertaining the idea of relocation will dismiss the topic if they can, and anything other than minimal estimates will give them an occasion to do that. You start the discussion with extrapolations from current rates of sea level rise and once a schedule of adaptation is developed, look at more detailed slr estimates, often from NOAA. Using the best available estimates can then lead to a compression of the schedule and more realistic planning, which your now-educated audience is more ready to entertain.

6. PhysOrg supplies a summary of another of the Science articles. People considering retreat need to include other matters in their planning, such as where to limit new development and where to pursue new building strategies. The link at the end is to the article in open access.  https://phys.org/news/2021-06-retreat-war-climate.html?utm_source=nwletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily-nwletter

7. Coasts typically feature old dunes which protect inland areas. As the ocean rises, normal storm actions will overtop the defense and the region will face new flooding. That has increased over 50% in the last twenty years, and will increase a great deal more. https://phys.org/news/2021-06-coastal-overtopping-world.html

8. Besides being a nuisance, the ocean can be a source of power. The National Renewable Energy Laboratories are working on small wave energy generators. https://cleantechnica.com/2021/06/19/small-wave-energy-power-plants-could-be-wave-energys-path-forward/

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