The Times reports on lagging measures and levels of preparedness relating to sea level rise and storm surge risk in New York City and in particular, areas like the South Bronx and parts of Brooklyn where the city’s industrial waterfront is especially at risk. Amazingly, New York City is second only to New Orleans in the U.S. for the city with the most number of people living within four feet of sea level.
An interesting piece in the Times today deals with research from the Southeast droughts of 2005-2007 that confirms that ppopulation density has more to do with drought than other factors. Researchers from Columbia say that density, more than random weather or global warming in general.
The US Global Change Research Program has released its comprehensive report on the effects of climate change on regions in the United States.
Some Key findings include:
- Climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow. Climate-related changes are already observed in the United States and its coastal waters. These include increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the ocean and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows. These changes are projected to grow.
- Crop and livestock production will be increasingly challenged. Agriculture is considered one of the sectors most adaptable to changes in climate. However, increased heat, pests, water stress, diseases, and weather extremes will pose adaptation challenges for crop and livestock production.
- Threats to human health will increase. Health impacts of climate change are related to heat stress, waterborne diseases, poor air quality, extreme weather events, and diseases transmitted by insects and rodents. Robust public health infrastructure can reduce the potential for negative impacts.
Lancet and The UCL report on the global health effects of climate change (Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change). The top map scales according to contributions to global climate change per country (CO2 emmisions for 1950-2000). The lower maps shows the distribution per nation of the four climate-sensitive effects (malaria, malnutrition, diarrha, and flood fatalities)
via the Times Exonomix blog
Via the Times: Chicago unveiled perhaps the most aggressive plan of any major American city to reduce greenhouse gases today: “The blueprint would change the city’s building codes to promote energy efficiency. It also calls for installing huge solar panels at municipal properties and building alternative fueling stations.
Ron Burke, a director with the Union of Concerned Scientists, which helped shape the plan, said it was “more robust and quantitative than those in any other city.””