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Climate Change

It's possible for the world to keep global warming from reaching a crisis point in the next 20 to 30 years, but it would take an effort that's unprecedented in human history.

That's according to a report released Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a coalition of scientists brought together by the United Nations to guide world leaders on climate impacts.

President Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott have been reluctant to acknowledge the link between climate change and some of Florida's current environmental challenges, like King Tide flooding, stronger hurricanes and rising temperatures.

The apples won't be harvested until October. But when fourth-generation fruit grower Phil Schwallier walks through his orchard in Sparta, Mich., he already knows which ones he won't be able to sell.

More than 100 people answered the call from local students to march through downtown Fort Lauderdale on Saturday asking for action on climate change. 

'This Is Zero Hour' is a national climate change awareness and action campaign, but a group of recent graduates from American Heritage in Plantation organized a local campaign march that began in Esplanade Park. 

Dinorah Prevost / WUSF Public Media

As sea levels continue to rise in Florida, repeated flooding and storm surge are major concerns for Tampa Bay.

David Hastings, a climate scientist at Eckerd College, said the region could experience some of the most severe effects of climate change. He told the civic group Cafe Con Tampa on Friday that in the next 30 years, sixty-five thousand homes in Florida will flood twice a month affecting 100,000 Florida residents.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

From sports stadiums to Donald Trump, the three Republican candidates vying for the only open seat this year on the Pinellas County Commission are finding plenty to agree on.

With Governor And Legislators In Denial, This Tiny Florida Town Tries To Adapt To Climate Change

Jul 9, 2018
Isaac Babcock

This report, part of an FCIR series on climate change, was produced in partnership with WMFE, the NPR member station in Orlando. The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit news organization supported by foundations and individual contributions. For more information, visit fcir.org.

YANKEETOWN, Florida – While Florida state government bans the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in official business, this coastal fishing village of about 500 people and more water than dry land is being swallowed by the sea with almost no public attention or concern.

But town officials here are fighting back with some success.

If current sea-level rise trends continue, the ocean that makes many South Florida cities desirable places to live may become an existential threat.

Is there anything more Floridian than a flamingo?

They’re everywhere. Pink plastic ornaments dotting lawns. On cocktail swizzlers and motel signs.

Arcadio Castillo / Smithsonian

Scientists say that climate change is having an effect on the levels of the world’s oceans.

But it’s also apparently affecting the oxygen levels throughout the oceans, as well as our coastal waters including the Gulf of Mexico.

Sea-level rise is going to cost Broward County -- and leaders don't know yet how they're going to pay.

A roundtable meeting in Davie on Thursday brought together more than 40 elected officials, city staff and business leaders from across Broward. Many expressed concern over a lack of funding for sea-level rise adaptation projects.

Ron Wallace, the city engineer for Parkland, said he's concerned about drainage in South Florida's current system, which moves water from west to east.

If you thought sea-level rise was the greatest immediate threat to South Florida’s future, you may need to think again.

There’s growing concern that the perception of the sea-level rise threat by insurers, banks and investors might submerge South Florida before rising seas do.

Days after eight kids sued the state of Florida for policies they say contribute to climate change, a coalition of environment groups has launched a statewide campaign to get Floridians engaged on the issue.

Eight Florida kids are suing the state and Gov. Rick Scott over climate change.

They say it's not just inaction. The lawsuit states Florida officials have pursued policies that worsen the threat from greenhouse gas emissions, and violate Floridians' constitutional rights to health, prosperity and happiness.

National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service

No more computer models or projections. Finally – concrete data.

A scientific paper published in February may pave the way for a new conversation about rising sea levels using data instead of projections.

Citizens' Climate Lobby

Environmental advocates from around the country will be gathering at the University of South Florida for the Climate Action 2018 conference.

The goal of the event is to inform both lawmakers and the general public about the consequences that climate change has on the nation and how people may be able to stop it.

If you own a house in South Florida, you might want to start thinking hard about sea level rise.

The ocean here could rise a foot or more in the next 30 years -- the amount of time in a mortgage cycle -- according to University of Miami professor Harold Wanless and other researchers.  That means if you buy a house today, and rising seas put your house at risk for flooding, your property value might decrease... but your mortgage payments won’t.

A state senator and congressional candidate says it’s time for Florida to have a unified strategy for sea-level rise.

To make his point this legislative session, he’s wearing rain boots in the Senate.

Former North Florida Florida Congresswoman Gwen Graham is among the Democrats running for governor this year. She says for too long the state Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott have ignored the serious effects of climate change and rising seas.

Anthony Stansbury propped his rusty bike against a live oak tree and cast his fishing line into the rushing waters of Florida's Anclote River.

In an empty lot near the corner of 23rd Street and North Miami Avenue in Wynwood there’s a giant statue of a man carrying a fish on his back. A few feet away there are smaller human-like sculptures arranged in a circle facing a pyramid, a sphere and a cube.

The molds for these sculptures have made the long journey from Mexico hoping that, as they are created, these pieces of art ignite conversations about how to deal with sea level rise. 

A Florida State University study links declining bumble bee populations with climate change.

The researchers examined three bumble bee species in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and found warmer temperatures are affecting flowers, the animals’ food source.

Lead investigator Jane Ogilvie considers the findings a warning for other places like Florida, where she says the issue is not as well-studied.

“There could be subtle changes in how flowers are distributed in a place like Florida that could have these knock-on effects on pollinators.”

Hurricane Irma is hovering somewhere between being the most- and second-most powerful hurricane recorded in the Atlantic. It follows Harvey, which dumped trillions of gallons of water on South Texas. And now, Hurricane Jose is falling into step behind Irma, and gathering strength.

Is this what climate change scientists predicted?

In a word, yes. Climate scientists such as Michael Mann at Penn State says, "The science is now fairly clear that climate change will make stronger storms stronger." Or wetter.

Some have claimed that storms like Hurricane Harvey are the result of global climate change, which is likely to mean more dangerous weather events in the future. So we checked in with the State of Florida’s climatologist to get his take on that argument.

At Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, the landscape is quintessential Florida. There's the marsh area with towering cypress trees and there's the wet prairie. 

It's what Florida looked like hundreds of years ago. And it's one of the places where people were tallying butterflies for the North American Butterfly Association's (NABA) summer count. 

Climate change is going to cause disproportionate economic harm to parts of the United States that are already pretty hot, according to a study published in the journal Science.

The study by scientists and economists from the Climate Impact Lab suggests rising temperatures could increase a national income gap.

Google Maps

The south side of St. Petersburg - best known among locals as "Midtown" -- is a predominantly African-American area with a high rate of poverty.

Leaders of local governments re-affirmed their commitment to reducing greenhouse gases, unanimously approving a historic environmental resolution Monday at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami Beach.

The 259 mayors in attendance voted in favor of a resolution titled "100% Renewable Energy in American Cities," agreeing to set a goal of powering their communities exclusively by wind, solar, geothermal and wave energy by the year 2035. 

Outraged over President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdraw from the Paris Accords, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is vowing to take up the slack.

Commissioners in Miami-Dade County and the city of Key West have voted to endorse  the Paris Climate Accord, despite President Donald Trump withdrawing the U.S. from the international agreement to cut carbon emissions earlier this month.

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