Taken from the recent report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this fascinating map show regional trends in global climate change. Note that the regional symbols indicate increasing, decreasing, or (when arrows point both directions) more erratic patterns of heat, precipitation, and droughts. In fact, the general trends are clearly toward greater climate volatility.
Source: IPCC WGII AR5 Summary for Policymakers, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, 2014
*The Power of Scientific Knowledge
This sculpture by Issac Cordal in Berlin is called “Politicians discussing global warming.”
What do you think?
Report, Climate Action in Megacities Volume 2.0
The report, Climate Action in Megacities Volume 2.0 (CAM 2.0), was developed in partnership with consultancy firm Arup and released at the C40 Mayors Summit in Johannesburg. It clearly demonstrates that C40 cities are taking action, and are dedicated to working together in the fight against climate change. The research shows that across C40 cities, mayors hold the power to enact change, and this power is evidenced by widespread efforts across key sectors.
Map of London showing how it might be affected by flood without the Thames barrier
- How does the Thames Barrier stop London flooding? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26133660
URBAN VS. SUBURBAN CARBON FOOTPRINTS: Environmental Impacts of population density
Which U.S. municipal locations contribute the most to household greenhouse gas emissions (HCF), and how do population density and suburbanization affect these emissions? Confirming a growing body of work on the negative environmental impacts of suburban sprawl, Christopher Jones and Daniel Kammen of U.C. Berkeley recently published the results of research finding consistently lower HCF in urban core cities and higher carbon footprints in outlying suburbs. Suburbs alone account for about 50% of total U.S. HCF!
The authors also noted an interesting paradox, often left unexplained in such large-scale studies, about overall metropolitan size: while population density contributes to relatively low HCF in the central cities of large metropolitan areas, the more extensive suburbanization in these regions contributes to an overall net increase in HCF compared to smaller metropolitan areas. Differences in the size, composition, and location of household carbon footprints suggest the need for tailoring of greenhouse gas mitigation efforts to different populations. For those with a scientific interest in the intricacies of data, see the full article here.
For a series of fascinating interactive maps based on this research, see the CoolClimate Calculator. The maps start with the U.S. continental scale, but allow you to zoom into particulaer localities. Having grown up in the Los Angeles area, I included a map of average household carbon emissions (HCF), which corresponds neatly with another one (not shown here) of average household vehicle miles driven monthly. With all this data, you can find out how you compare to local averages and create a personalized climate action plan for you or your community. Check it out!
(Leonard Bernstein and Gene Thorp/The Washington Post)
Can America Adapt Its Waterfronts Before They Drown?America’s voracious appetite for waterfront development continues, even as a future filled with rising seas and extreme storms becomes more evident. The most proactive coastal areas have begun planing for adaptation, but are they doing enough?
“Even as seas have risen over the past century, Americans have rushed to build homes near the beach,” says The Economist. “Storms that lash the modern American coastline cause more economic damage than their predecessors because there is more to destroy. The Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, a Category 4 storm, caused $1 billion-worth of damage in current dollars. Were it to strike today the insured losses would be $125 billion, reckons AIR Worldwide, a catastrophe-modelling firm. In 1992 Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm, caused $23 billion in damage; today it would be twice that.”
“A survey by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found cities in America among the least likely, globally, to have plans for adapting to changing weather. But some, at least, are starting.”