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Global Warming

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

By: Jessica Meszaros

A new study describes the future mass redistribution of plants and animals on Earth due to climate change.  The research conducted by the University of Florida and the University of Tasmania appears in the journal Nature Climate Change. An author of the study says Florida is already experiencing this migration due to global warming. Brett Scheffers, a professor of wildlife ecology at UF, spoke with WUSF's Jessica Meszaros.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Tampa Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor was recently selected as chair of the new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

Fourth National Climate Assessment

The latest in a series of scientific reports on climate change was recently submitted to Congress. A group of Florida scientists delved into the report, and things aren't looking too good if you've got beachfront property.

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.

Ninety-four percent of Floridians live in areas experiencing more extreme heat days a year, according to a new study published Tuesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.  


Most of the news and research these days about coral reefs is pretty grim — massive losses from bleaching, everywhere from Australia to the Florida Keys. Some parts of Florida and the Caribbean have lost more than half of the living coral off their reefs in the last three decades.

But there is some good news on the coral research front and this week saw a major milestone in those efforts, when Mote Marine Laboratory opened its new $7 million center in the Keys.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, monitors weather and climate change for the federal government. It predicts about one foot of sea level rise by 2100 under the best case scenario, and more than eight feet of sea level rise in the so-called “extreme” scenario.

The state tourism industry calls it “Bragging Season”. To the weather community, the three-month period from December to February is referred to as meteorological winter. This year, however, many Floridians are asking themselves “what winter?”

 

Florida Keys officials have approved a framework for county roads that need to be adapted to rising sea levels.

This has been one of those weeks in South Florida when there’s a lot of water in the streets, even when the sun’s out. It’s a King Tide week. Business people, scientists and local officials got together in a Fort Lauderdale conference room with the water rising outside the building to talk about the problem.

Allen Tilley, retired professor of the University of North Florida, believes government leaders aren’t doing enough long-term planning to prepare for the damages sea level rising can cause across the nation, but especially here in North Florida.

www.mangrove.at

As the international forum on climate change heats up in Paris this week, it's placing a spotlight on places such as Florida - which could be Ground Zero for rising sea levels in the United States.

One computer model has the Florida Keys completely under water in a little over a century - if greenhouse-causing carbon emissions aren't curtailed.

Sea level rise is beginning to affect the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A protective dune not too far from the launchpads has collapsed and waves have washed over railroad tracks built in the 1960s. Now NASA is taking steps to protect its launch infrastructure.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A study on the effects of climate change forecasts the widespread bleaching of coral reefs sooner than expected. Corals in the Dry Tortugas are among those at risk.
 

Any change in normal conditions, like unusually warm water, can cause corals to release algae from their tissues. These algae give corals their color and provide their primary source of food.

Call it the “CC” word. The allegations have been floating around the Capitol for weeks – Governor Rick Scott has a gag order on members of his administration – use any words or phrases related to climate change and you’re history.

The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in this country, according to scientists. Sea-level rise alone threatens 30 percent of the state’s beaches over the next 85 years.

But you would not know that by talking to officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the state agency on the front lines of studying and planning for these changes.

SumterCountyFL.gov

While some scientists say Florida is the state at the greatest risk of the effects of global warming, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting says state officials feel otherwise.

The federal government is proposing that Florida cut its carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 38 percent by the year 2030.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced specific targets for all states Monday as part of the Obama administration's effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants nationwide by nearly a third over the next 15 years.

Florida's 2012 carbon emission rate was more than 1,200 pounds per megawatt hour of energy produced. The EPA is asking the state to develop a plan to lower that to about 740 pounds.

The regulation takes aim at the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States, the nation’s more than 600 coal-fired power plants. If it withstands an expected onslaught of legal and legislative attacks, experts say that it could close hundreds of the plants and also lead, over the course of decades, to systemic changes in the American electricity industry, including transformations in how power is generated and used.

New federal regulations announced Monday aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030.

The draft proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency has sparked opposition from industry groups who say the changes would be prohibitively expensive. But the proposal's backers say the rules are needed to cut carbon pollution that scientists say contributes to climate change.

Update at 10:45 a.m. ET: Proposed Rule Published

The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation, especially South Florida, if action isn't taken to combat climate change. Some states' Republican lawmakers still are not buying it.

Things won't be pretty in South Florida if the latest White House climate assessment is right. You can expect intensified storms and a sea that will keep steadily encroaching on your way of life slowly nipping away at that shore your toes used to trust.

The 400 parts per million level in the atmosphere, up 40 percent since wide use of fossil fuels began with the Industrial Revolution, is rapidly spreading southwards. First recorded in 2012 in the Arctic, it has since become the norm for the Arctic spring. The World Meteorological Organization expects the global annual average carbon dioxide concentration to be above 400 ppm in 2015 or 2016. Rising concentrations of the heat-trapping gas raise risks of more heatwaves, droughts and rising sea levels. "Time is running out," WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a statement.

Florida and other Southeastern states are "exceptionally vulnerable" to sea level rise, extreme heat events, hurricanes and a decreasing freshwater supply, according to the National Climate Assessment released Tuesday.

A new U.S. government report released Tuesday finds that climate change is already having a broad impact on both weather and the economy.

NPR's Elizabeth Shogren tells our Newscast unit the third National Climate Assessment is the most comprehensive look at climate change that the government has ever produced. It was put together by more than 300 experts "guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee."

She filed this report for our Newscast unit:

Coastal Cities Face $1 Trillion Floods by 2050: Study

Aug 20, 2013

By 2050, flood damage in the world's coastal cities is expected to reach $1 trillion a year as sea levels rise and global warming triggers new extremes of heat, windstorm and rain. Risks increase as the environment changes: some coastal cities are subsiding; sea levels are slowly but surely rising as the oceans warm and the glaciers melt; and for two decades researchers have repeatedly warned that what used to be "extreme" events such as once-in-a-century floods are likely to arrive considerably more often than once a century.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

A group of environmental activists and students protested what they claim is the federal government's lack of action in fighting climate change. It coincided with a climate conference at the University of South Florida.

(SOUND: What do we want? Clean energy? When do we want it? Now....)

About a dozen activists gathered on USF's Tampa campus in an attempt to prod the federal government to promote clean energy policies to combat global warming.  Frank Jackalone is with the Sierra Club's Florida Chapter.

Climate Change: Ready or Not

Apr 5, 2012

The Natural Resources Defense Council thinks states like Florida should start preparing for problems caused by climate change -- rising coastal waters and interior droughts -- even if they don't believe climate change is real.

Ben Chou* -- the author of a new state-by-state analysis of climate change readiness -- tells WUSF that even non-believers can get behind the idea of better safe than sorry.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and in the long run the costs of not preparing for climate change far outweigh the costs of planning now," he said.