Daily Archives: October 13, 2016

Study: Sea level rise to swamp coastal cities by 2100

2100. That’s 89 years from now — the turn of the next century. I think it’s fair to say that most of us reading this post now will be dead.

My son, born in 2000, would be 100 years old if he lives that long.

I bring this up because 2100 is the year that many climate change reports use as a marker to predict what will happen with various aspects of climate change. For example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that by 2100, the world’s average temperature will have risen anywhere from 2 to 10 degrees worldwide.

2100. That’s a dizzying 22 presidential elections – and 89 Super Bowls — from now.

In this day and age of the instant and endless news cycle, thinking that far ahead is admittedly difficult to do. I doubt there are many stories or blog posts on this site that mention the year 2100.

It’s relevant at this moment because yet another climate change report – this one about sea-level rise in the USA – crossed my desk this week. In it, the report states that rising sea levels could threaten 180 U.S. coastal cities by 2100, according to new research led by University of Arizona scientists.

…(read more).

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Model projections of rapid sea-level rise on the northeast coast of the United States : Abstract : Nature Geoscience

Human-induced climate change could cause global sea-level rise. Through the dynamic adjustment of the sea surface in response to a possible slowdown of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation1, 2, a warming climate could also affect regional sea levels, especially in the North Atlantic region3, leading to high vulnerability for low-lying Florida and western Europe4, 5, 6. Here we analyse climate projections from a set of state-of-the-art climate models for such regional changes, and find a rapid dynamical rise in sea level on the northeast coast of the United States during the twenty-first century. For New York City, the rise due to ocean circulation changes amounts to 15, 20 and 21 cm for scenarios with low, medium and high rates of emissions respectively, at a similar magnitude to expected global thermal expansion. Analysing one of the climate models in detail, we find that a dynamic, regional rise in sea level is induced by a weakening meridional overturning circulation in the Atlantic Ocean, and superimposed on the global mean sea-level rise. We conclude that together, future changes in sea level and ocean circulation will have a greater effect on the heavily populated northeastern United States than estimated previously7, 8, 9.

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  1. Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306, USA
  2. Climate Research Group, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA
  3. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Princeton, New Jersey 08542, USA

Correspondence to: Jianjun Yinyin

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Cleaning Up the Charles River


Conservation Law Foundation (CLF)

Published on Apr 28, 2015

Staff Attorney Caitlin Peale Sloan talks about why CLF and the Charles River Watershed Association are suing the EPA for failing to protect the Charles River from stormwater pollution.

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Water Resources and the Urban Environment, Lower Charles River Watershed, Mass achusetts, 1630–2005, P. Weiskel, et. al.

By Peter K. Weiskel, Lora K. Barlow and Tomas W. Smieszek

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Circular 1280

Introduction

The Charles River, one of the Nation’s most historically significant rivers, flows through the center of the Boston metropolitan region in eastern Massachusetts (fig. 1). The lower Charles River, downstream of the original head of tide in Watertown, was originally a productive estuary and important source of fish and shellfish for the Native Americans of the region. This portion of the river has an exceptionally long and colorful human history. In 1615, the explorer Captain John Smith gave the river its modern name, in honor of young Prince Charles of England. In 1617–18, the Native American community of the watershed was decimated by an epidemic, after having continuously occupied the area for the previous 4,000 years. In 1630, the first large group of English settlers, led by John Winthrop, set foot on the Shawmut Peninsula at the mouth of the river (fig. 2), and established the town of Boston. In the 1630s, the first printing press, public park, public school, and college in the English colonies were all established on the banks of the Charles River. Almost immediately, the settlers of Boston and adjacent towns also began to modify the landscape and water resources of the watershed.

Perhaps the most important type of landscape alteration in the watershed was the filling of the extensive salt marshes and tidal flats of the estuary downstream of Watertown (fig. 2). This landmaking activity along the lower Charles River began in the mid-1600s, and did not conclude until the 1950s (Seasholes, 2003). In the early 20th century, the estuary mouth was dammed, creating a freshwater basin in the lower 9.5 miles of the river. A system of parks and parkways was built along the banks of the impounded river (Haglund, 2003). In addition to the mainstem river, virtually all of the remaining water resources in the watershed have also been altered. Most of the river’s tributaries, for example, were culverted, or placed into tunnels, and many of the ponds and freshwater wetlands in the watershed were filled to facilitate urban development.

One additional legacy of the river’s long human history is pollution from industry and sewage. By 1875, a total of 43 mills were operating along the lower Charles River between Watertown Dam and Boston Harbor (Charles River Watershed Association, 2004a). Thousands of gallons of untreated sewage and industrial wastewater entered the river daily through gravity drains, posing a major threat to public health (City of Boston, 1878). Concerted efforts to address the sewage problem began in the late 1870s. By the 1960s, the water quality of the river was significantly improved, yet still not suitable for swimming, fishing, or even boating under most conditions. In 1965, the Charles River Watershed Association was organized and the call to restore the environmental quality of the river and its parklands was heard anew. Passage of the Federal Clean Water Act in 1972 and the subsequent court-ordered reconstruction of the region’s sewage-treatment infrastructure in the 1980s and 1990s (the “Boston Harbor Cleanup”) provided additional impetus to address the river’s remaining pollution problems.

In 1995, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the Clean Charles 2005 Initiative, which brought together government agencies, private-sector institutions, and environmental organizations to focus on restoring the river to fishable and swimmable conditions by Earth Day 2005. This initiative has achieved substantial improvements in water quality; sewage discharges to the river, for example, have been largely eliminated. Nevertheless, it is now widely acknowledged that full attainment of water-quality standards will likely depend upon improved public understanding of the watershed, continued efforts to eliminate illicit sewage discharges to the river, and better management of the urban runoff that enters the river both directly and from its many tributary streams.

(read more).

Read full report in PDF Format

 

Extreme Ice Greenland


Climate State

Published on Sep 22, 2016

Greenland’s ice sheet is melting faster than previously thought https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vp7g…

Extreme Ice Survey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme…

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Noam Chomsky – When Elites Fail, and What We Should Do About It, Oct. 2, 2009


TheEthanwashere

Published on Jun 5, 2012

Noam Chomsky, world renowned linguist and dissident author, delivers the keynote address at the ECONVERGENCE CONFERENCE in Portland, Oregon, on October 2nd, 2009.

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Noam Chomsky (2013) “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”


Noam Chomsky Videos

Published on May 29, 2013

Pedagogy of the Oppressed: Noam Chomsky, Howard Gardner, and Bruno della Chiesa Askwith Forum

On Wednesday, May 1, the Askwith Forum commemorated the 45th anniversary of the publication of Paolo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” with a discussion about the book’s impact and relevance to education today.

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