sea level rise

Tracking Coastal Adaptation

Implementing CA’s Innovative Sea Level Rise Planning Database

Higher sea levels are already affecting California’s 3400 miles of coastline, millions of coastal residents, economy, buildings, and critical infrastructure. Yet, oddly enough for a state that is a worldwide leader in climate change mitigation, California has only recently begun to focus seriously on sea level rise adaptation. Recent reports have cited a lack of preparedness …


Climate Change Adaptation Strategy: Can California Do More?

Is Increased Reliance on the Public Trust Doctrine an Essential Part of Effective State Adaptation Policy?

I often tell students in my Climate Change Law and Policy course that adaptation–that is, how we can best adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change–is the poor stepchild of the debate over greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.  By that I mean that climate change mitigation (i.e., how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions) generates far more …


In Harm’s Way

Millions of people are in the path of rising seas. The time for action is now.

The NY Times has run a series of articles in the past few days dealing with disaster issues.  Taken together, they highlight the urgency of government action to protect populations in harm’s way. One article dealt generally with the threat posed by sea level rise. Miami is something of a poster-child for these problems, given its …


Sea Level Rises, Premiums Not So Much

Congress apparently just couldn’t resist restoring subsidies for coastal homeowners.

The President has now signed an important modification of the flood insurance program.  The changes are hard to understand, in part because the bill changed an earlier 2013 law that itself amended the basic statute.  So you have to work through the whole sequence to see what is going on. Before I go into more …


Poll Shows Vast Majority of Americans Favor Sea-Level Rise Adaptation. Now, Time to Start Planning.

Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment and the Center for Ocean Solutions recently released the results of a survey finding that the majority of Americans favor proactive sea-level rise adaptation actions. According to the survey results (margin of error: +/- 4.9% at the 95 percent confidence level), 82 percent of the Americans surveyed said …


Climate Change’s Bipolar Personality

Climate change is literally bipolar, impacting both the northernmost and southernmost parts of the globe. But the pace and effects of warming differ at the two poles. At the northern end of the world, impacts are already dramatic. The Economist has a special feature on the Arctic, which provides an especially clear explanation of why the …


Feeling the Heat

The forecast for the end of this century seems to be getting worse.  New measurements, reported by E&E here, indicate that Greenland is shedding ice rapidly — and Antarctica is also shedding: Ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are shrinking three times faster than they were in the 1990s, and their contribution to global sea …


Rewarding Climate Adaptation Heroes

Earlier this week, Mother Jones posted a piece on how the public rewards politicians for disaster response instead of disaster prevention: Politicians get much more credit for their reaction to disasters like Sandy than they do for trying to ensure disasters don’t cause so much damage in the first place. The post cites a 2009 …


Deep Waters

Dean Rowan pointed me to a nifty interactive site dealing with sea level change.  It covers the entire coastal U.S.  You simply put in the name or zip code of the place your interested in, along with the amount of sea level rise (1-10 feet).  You get a map of what parts of the city …


Sea-Level Rise Rockets Ahead Due to Climate Change

Here’s a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: An international research team has shown that the rate of sea-level rise along the U.S. Atlantic coast is greater now than at any time in the past 2,000 years and has shown a consistent link between changes in global mean surface temperature …