Greenlaw from NRDC China, NRDC China Program, Beijing
May 2-9, 2013NRDC has been working in China for over fifteen years on such issues as energy efficiency, green buildings, clean energy technologies, environmental law, and green suppl… Continue reading →
Climate change will cause widespread global-scale loss of common plants and animals. More than half of common plants and one third of the animals could see a dramatic decline this century due to climate change, according to new research. The study look… Continue reading →
David Doniger, Policy Director, Climate and Clean Air Program, Washington, D.C.
Carbon dioxide concentrations have hit 400 parts per million for the first time in at least three million years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admini… Continue reading →
Ralph Cavanagh, Energy Program Co-Director, San Francisco, CA
Way back in 1997, I was honored to receive the Heinz Award and now I’m joining other winners of that prize and the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize as sign… Continue reading →
Most species of gigantic animals that once roamed Australia had disappeared by the time people arrived, a major review of the available evidence has concluded. The research challenges the claim that humans were primarily responsible for the demise of t… Continue reading →
This post is part of a blog series for Getting Climate Smart, a joint effort by NRDC and American Rivers to guide state action on climate and water preparedness.
Please join us for a one-hour webinar on May 14 at 3pm EDT, where we’ll provide highlights from our new guide, and state officials from California and Massachusetts will share about their climate preparedness planning and implementation experiences.
After what seems like a never-ending winter, there are many things that I’m looking forward to about the approach of summer: sunshine, warm weather, outdoor patio dining, and beach vacations. But for the millions of people who live along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, summer also marks the beginning of hurricane season. Last year, Superstorm Sandy slammed into the northeastern seaboard, destroying lives, homes, and businesses and in the process racking up $50 billion in damage. Other major tropical cyclones included Hurricane Isaac, which made landfall in Louisiana and caused $2 billion in damage, and Tropical Storm Debby, which caused severe flooding in Florida and $250 million in damages. During the 2011 season, Hurricane Irene caused damage of nearly $16 billion in the northeast, and Tropical Storm Lee inflicted over $1 billion of damage across a large swath of the eastern U.S.
Hurricane Sandy aftermath, Coney Island, NY (photo credit: drpavloff)
Because of the growing threats to our nation’s coastal communities from climate change, cities and states are taking charge to prepare for rising seas. Our new Getting Climate Smart guide contains hundreds of strategies to address climate threats to coastal communities and natural habitats. To illustrate measures states are putting in place to address sea level rise risks, we provide a case study of California. From developing sea level rise estimates and visualization tools for planning purposes to requiring projects to consider sea level rise implications, the state is tackling sea level rise through many avenues.
Other states also are taking action. As I’ve written about previously, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley recently signed an executive order to reduce flooding risks to state building and public infrastructure in coastal areas. The state’s eastern neighbor, Delaware, also has comprehensively assessed vulnerability to sea level rise and solicited public input on possible preparedness strategies. The Massachusetts Legislature is considering a bill (S. 344) that would require the development of sea level rise and storm surge scenarios so that state agencies can conduct a vulnerability assessment of their assets. And a bill (A6558) in the New York State Senate would require state-funded projects to consider sea level rise and other climate change risks and require state agencies to develop model local laws to enable municipalities to plan for climate change.
Local communities are not standing on the sidelines either when it comes to preparing for climate impacts. The four Florida counties in the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact have received much recognition for their efforts to better coordinate and collaborate on climate preparedness efforts in what is one of the most vulnerable areas in the U.S. to sea level rise. Mayor Thomas Menino also is making sure that Boston is prepared. Several months ago, the mayor announced the convening of a Climate Preparedness Task Force and tasked city agencies with developing climate change preparedness design components for new development, a wetlands ordinance to protect against sea level rise and storm surge, and guidelines for better enforcement of flood-proofing standards for buildings.
These states and communities, as well as many others, recognize the severe risks that sea level rise and climate change pose to public health and safety, homes, businesses, the economy, and ecosystems. By taking action, they are tackling climate change challenges head-on. Other states and communities should take heed and follow in their proactive steps.
Carolina Herrera, Latin America Advocate, Washington DC
President Obama’s visit to Mexico this week will be the second time he meets with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in less than six months, highlighting the import… Continue reading →
Details are emerging from a recent research expedition to the Sub-Tropical North Atlantic. The objective of the expedition was to study the salt concentration (salinity) of the upper ocean. Scientists explored the essential role of the ocean in the glo… Continue reading →
The Finnish Meteorological Institute has updated its estimates concerning the impact of rising sea levels on the Finnish coast. Post-glacial rebound and changes in the Earth’s gravity field protect the Finnish coast against rising sea levels, especially in the Gulf of Bothnia. In the Gulf of Finland, the sea level is starting to rise. Continue reading →
Songbird populations can handle far more disrupting climate change than expected. Density-dependent processes are buying them time for their battle. But without (slow) evolutionary rescue it will not save them in the end, says an international team of … Continue reading →
While rail may be considered safer than a pipeline, I don’t find that argument compelling when considered in the context of the math of climate change. The debate over rail versus pipelines is the wrong argument to be having. Continue reading →
Coral reefs are stressed because of climate change. Researchers have discovered corals themselves play a role in their susceptibility to deadly coral bleaching due to the light-scattering properties of their skeletons. No one else has shown this before… Continue reading →
Past climate change varied remarkably between regions. This is demonstrated in a new study coordinated by the international Past Global Changes (PAGES) project, which reconstructed temperature over the past 1,000 to 2,000 years. Continue reading →
Kimi Narita, MAP Energy Fellow , Chicago
Recently, the national media and blogosphere has picked up the story about a bill in Kansas that would outlaw public funding of sustainable development. Most of the stories have been of s… Continue reading →
A smaller proportion of black carbon created during combustion will remain in soil than have been estimated before. Contrary to previous understanding, burying black carbon in the ground in order to restrain climate change will not create a permanent c… Continue reading →
To help put a human face on the challenge of climate change, the Earth Day Network is collecting images of people, animals and places affected by climate change, as well as images of people working to find solutions. Continue reading →
Radhika Khosla, Staff Scientist, India Initiative , New York
The 2013 Clean Energy Ministerial concluded today in New Delhi, with ministers from more than 20 countries meeting to discuss our energy future. As the discussions acknowledg… Continue reading →