[GWSG] Drought adaptation; SLR x 2?; Charleston's adaptation challenge; new coal/2?; NY's food campaign

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Wed May 10 10:49:36 EDT 2023

1. Drought is a growing problem in many areas. The first response is and should be water conservation. Brad Lancaster of Tucson wondered if he could make better use of the rain they did get, and heard about the work of Rajendra Singh in applying traditional drought measures in the Indian countryside. Using those practices and others from Africa, he essentially turned his lot into a garden and supplied much of his own water. House by house and then neighborhood by neighborhood people began using his techniques. The city helped by such measures as legalizing breaks in the street curbing to allow people to divert the water to catchments. An 11-minute video tells the story, and a 10-minute video describes 6 technologies which aid adaptation to extreme drought. https://climatecrocks.com/2023/05/06/the-weekend-wonk-ancient-and-moderntechniques-could-be-critical-for-drought-adaptation/

2. The unexpected rate of melt of Greenland’s Petermann Glacier suggests that sea level rise estimates have been too low. According to a study in PNAS, the grounding line has been found to respond to tidal flows, allowing warm water to intrude. If other glaciers ending in the ocean are in similar patterns, sea level rise projections could increase by as much as 200%. https://phys.org/news/2023-05-rapid-ice-greenland.html

3. Two further stories on the Petermann Glacier study, from the AP and the WA Post. https://climatecrocks.com/2023/05/10/tidal-effects-on-ice-sheets-could-mean-faster-sea-level-rise/

4. In her recent book Charleston: Race, Water, and the Coming Storm, Susan Crawford adds up the effects of the slowdown of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the destabilization of Thwaites Glacier in the West Antarctic, and the heating of the world’s oceans to project that Charleston should plan for “eight feet of sea level rise over decades, not centuries.” (Chapter Two, penultimate paragraph). Crawford, a professor of law at Harvard, was President Obama’s Special Assistant for Science, Policy, and Innovation. Her warning for Charleston should be heeded along the entire lower NE coast of the US. The book describes in some detail the planning we should be undertaking now and the consequences if we do not. The news from the Petermann Glacier in the previous item underlines the urgency of her message.

5. A ruinous number of new coal plants have been announced globally. According to a study in Environmental Research Letters, 50% are likely to be cancelled. If the use of the others can be restricted to 15 years, the Paris emissions goals remain within reach. https://phys.org/news/2023-05-experts-coal-fired-power.html

6. 20% of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions come from food; the city is on a campaign to reduce that by purchasing wisely, moving toward plant-based food in city programs, and offering a Plant-Powered Carbon Challenge to the private sector which includes resources to help them measure their carbon footprint. Thanks to Brian Paradise for the article. https://www.ecowatch.com/new-york-city-food-carbon-emissions.html

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