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Climate Change

Coping with storm surge fueled by rising seas in the Keys means elevating homes, buyouts in vulnerable areas, protecting important places like hospitals and wastewater plants and stabilizing parts of the Overseas Highway that could get washed out in storms.

Winters are warming faster than other seasons across much of the United States. While that may sound like a welcome change for those bundled in scarves and hats, it's causing a cascade of unpredictable impacts in communities across the country.

Temperatures continue to steadily rise around the globe, but that trend isn't spread evenly across the map or even the yearly calendar.

In love, timing is everything, the saying goes. The same is true for fruit and nut orchards in California's Central Valley, which depend on a synchronized springtime bloom for pollination. But as winters warm with climate change, that seasonal cycle is being thrown off.

Cold is a crucial ingredient for California's walnuts, cherries, peaches, pears and pistachios, which ultimately head to store shelves around the country. The state grows around 99% of the country's walnut and pistachio crop.

A right whale emerging from the water.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

North Atlantic right whales – already the most endangered large whale species in the world – are becoming even more at risk as rising sea temperatures make it harder to find food or safe waters.

Why Are Californians Asking About Florida Cow Poop? It's All About Climate Change

Feb 13, 2020

A California company has arrived in Florida for a kind of reverse gold rush, but it's not seeking precious metal -- it wants manure.

Two colossal oyster shells on a person's hand. The top shell is two-thirds the size of the bottom shell.
Jessica Meszaros

Colossal oysters, which once thrived in Florida's northern Gulf Coast, are shrinking in size and in numbers. Scientists at the University of South Florida published a study in the journal Biology Letters on Feb. 5 that examines this loss. 

Climate change threatens to dramatically alter the coastal landscape of Miami-Dade in coming decades — one way or another.

Updated Feb. 11 at 10:04 a.m. ET

On the front lines of climate change, warming temperatures and thawing permafrost are making it harder to get an accurate count for the 2020 census in some of the most remote communities of Alaska.

Forget Hurricanes And Sea Rise. This Bill Could Lead To A Building Boom In The Keys

Feb 7, 2020
AL DIAZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Florida Keys has been battered by hurricanes, flooded by sea level rise and is gentrifying quickly. But one state lawmaker from Naples wants to add thousands more homes to the island chain, a place many local leaders believe is already built to capacity.

Experts are once again telling Miami Beach to raise its roads against the threat of rising seas, this time even higher. And once again, residents are pushing back hard.

Jose Melendez, who lives in San Francisco, was visiting Miami about a week before the Super Bowl. He said he’s planning to cheer on his team from afar.

“I’m not going. I can’t afford it. It’s too expensive,” he said with a laugh, wearing a bright red 49ers jersey at the Super Bowl LIVE Experience, a free festival that the local host committee organized.

 

Our Region’s Greatest Threat Is Also The No. 1 Threat To Future Super Bowls In Miami

Jan 30, 2020

The Super Bowl is at Hard Rock Stadium, but the real party is 15 miles south at Bayfront Park.

That popular stretch of green space that abuts the bay is the home of Super Bowl Live, where concerts, food festivals and water shows will entertain the hundreds of thousands of tourists who will soon pack our hotels.

Increasing sea rise is going to water down the value of some of the most coveted and expensive real estate in Florida, and insurance rates will go up too.

Environmentalists rejoiced when city commissioners voted unanimously to power every home and business here with 100 percent clean energy by 2050. Two and a half years later city leaders say they still aren’t sure how they are going to do it.

Note: Julia confirms this is her first sit-down one-on-one interview since she was appointed in August 2019.

Miami has a strategy to survive climate change, and a big part of it is finding a way to pay for it.

On Friday's Roundup, we discussed the parental consent bill that requires parents of minor girls seeking an abortion to approve of the abortion before a doctor can perform it. Also, lawmakers in Tallahassee are considering a bill that would establish a statewide Office of Resiliency, along with a statewide Sea Level Rise Task Force.

A bill sponsored by state Rep. Cyndi Stevenson (R-St. Augustine) that would establish a statewide Office of Resiliency along with a statewide Sea Level Rise Task Force unanimously passed a House Subcommittee Tuesday afternoon.

Since 2016, Russian-American photographer Anastasia Samoylova has been capturing images of sea-level rise in South Florida in quiet — and often surprising — ways.

On a stretch of the Lower Keys, near an old borrow pit quarried during the construction of Big Pine, sea water and mud cover much of the rocky ground.

Before Britain started sending convicts to the continent in the 1700s, aboriginal Australians used fire to manage brushlands and forests across the continent.

About 1,000 middle and high school students and teachers from 27 schools came together for the second annual Broward Youth Climate Summit in Fort Lauderdale. 

Students had the chance to participate in a Broward County version of 'Game of Floods,' an interactive scenario. They also heard panels on how sea level rise will impact politics, art, economics, law and how they can advocate for policy change. The day-long event took place at the Museum of Discovery and Science.

As Florida’s leaders open the annual legislative session on Tuesday prepared to claim they’re responding to climate change, eight young residents are taking them to court for doing the opposite.

The mayors of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater talked about how to grow as a region during a "State of the Bay" conversation hosted by the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club Thursday.

Climate change and transportation received a lot of attention while the future of the Tampa Bay Rays remains a mystery.


A group of Florida teens say the state has violated their constitutional rights by not doing enough to combat climate change. They’ve sued the state because of it. A hearing was scheduled for Wednesday but was canceled after the defendants agreed new documents could be added in the case. Still, the teens met in Tallahassee to present their case to the public.

People on the front lines of climate change gathered Tuesday in St. Petersburg.  The meeting was hosted by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, which was the driving force in organizing and forming the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Council to address the problems posted by climate change.

Just after he entered the White House, President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate accord. It was only the most obvious rebuke of efforts to address climate change, that has since included ending a NASA carbon monitoring program and loosening regulations on air pollution.

It’s been a decade of wild swings and weather extremes in Florida. Record-setting temperature and precipitation trends were noted during the first half of the decade, while multiple major severe and tropical weather events characterized the last five years. We summarized the major weather stories from each year in the article below.

2010: A year governed by climate signals

Whether you think the new decade starts at midnight Tuesday or a year from then, the eve of 2020 seems like a good time to look back on the top political stories of the 2010s.

The environment will likely be a top story in Florida in the upcoming year. 2019 has been one of the hottest on record. King tides were some of the highest recorded. And, while Hurricane Dorian skirted along the Atlantic coast, it was a reminder of how vulnerable Florida is as climate change fuels more intense and wetter storms.

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