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Posts Tagged ‘sea level rise’

Military and Civilians Alike are Battling Sea Level Rise in Tidewater Virginia

You need only drive down Messick Road in the Virginia tidewater town of Poquoson to get a sense of how vulnerable this whole region is to flooding and rising sea levels.

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Climate Debate Stuck in a Washington Rut

The climate debate in Washington is stuck in a rut. Last week, we saw politicians playing another round of the climate change blame game. This time the topic was tornadoes. But connections between extreme weather and climate change are a scientific question, not a political one. Read More

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Talking About Sea Level Rise: Leading Scientists Meet in Galveston, Texas

What better place to talk about the impacts of sea level rise than a coastal city on a barrier island on the Gulf Coast? That’s where I was two weeks ago – in Galveston, Texas, with 80 other Earth scientists at a conference sponsored by the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union. Galveston was the site of the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, more than a century ago. Read More

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Coastal Communities on the Front Lines of Sea Level Rise and Flooding: Convening a Conversation

Last week, almost six months after Hurricane Sandy came ashore to devastating effect, UCS convened a multi-state roundtable on the growing risks from sea level rise, storm surges, and flooding. Officials from Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia, together with a representative from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, came together to talk about what they are doing to help protect their communities from these risks and what future steps may be needed to build resilience. Read More

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Grappling with Sea Level Rise Before and After Hurricane Sandy: Film “Shored Up” Leaves No Sand Grain Unturned

I have the opportunity to participate in a work-in-progress screening of the new film “Shored Up” with Ben Kalina, Director and Producer, as part of the 2013 Filmfest DC. The film leaves no sand grain unturned; every perspective is brought together to capture wisdom and ironic lessons as New Jersey and North Carolina grapple with accelerating sea level rise before and after Hurricane Sandy. It is a gripping tale about human nature and how we try to prevail over the tremendous forces of nature that can be episodic and terrifying at times, separated by long periods of seeming tranquility. The scenes shot during and after Hurricane Sandy remind us of that reality in a visceral way.

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Seaside Retreat: Redefining Coastal Communities as the Ocean Rises

We get it now: Sea level is rising and the wrong storm can decimate our coastal communities. Now what? Read More

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Hurricane Sandy: Sand Castles and Seawalls

I remember as a child working furiously with my brother to erect a sand castle fast enough during low tide so we could enjoy it before the high tide began its work of destroying our youthful attempts at engineering. Even as children we had a respect for the power of the ocean. We knew our sand castle was a bit of fantasy that was temporary fun, but I am not so sure we have the same notion when it comes to seawalls or other structures erected along sand, gravel or cobble shorelines. Hurricane Sandy reminds us just how powerful the ocean is and how vulnerable nearly any structure is that we put within its reach. With its reach now expanding, what can be done?

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Get “Ice Bitten” on the Big Screen

Several years ago, as I stood upon the bow of a ship leaving the Arctic sea ice after months of research, a senior colleague observed that I had become “ice bitten.” He was right. It’s a feeling that’s never left me, one that still motivates me today. And as a new documentary, “Chasing Ice,” hits the big screens this weekend for a limited engagement, one thing is clear. I’m not the only one. Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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Hurricane Sandy: An Unfolding Human and Economic Crisis

Hurricane Sandy has put climate change firmly on our country’s radar screen. What’s clear is that we are not at all adequately prepared for the risks of extreme weather, especially in a warming world. And our ill-preparedness is devastatingly costly. Can we learn from this and do better? Read More

Categories: Global Warming  

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Sandy’s Punch Proves Truth Will Out

Sometimes it’s really difficult to accept that we’re still evolving. In the far distant past, our ancient ancestors could look about them and observe the planets and the stars and the tides. They would experience flood and drought and watch for signs of impending disasters. They might believe that the disasters were caused by angry gods, and their strategies for avoiding calamity may have been limited by their belief systems. Nevertheless, they were guided at least, in part, by what their eyes and senses told them, and relied on their powers of observation to predict what would happen. Read More

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