ThinkProgress:

Two thirds of property buyers in Miami don’t even ask their brokers about “the potential impact of global climate change and sea level rise on the local market,” a new survey finds.

Meanwhile, we appear headed toward the worst-case scenario of sea level rise, and President Donald Trump is doing all he can to pop the trillion-dollar coastal property bubble, abandoning the Paris climate deal and trying to gut both domestic climate action and coastal adaptation programs.

The 2017 Miami-Dade Real Estate Study, conducted by the Miami Herald released with polling firm Bendixen & Amandi International, came out this week. In the past month, they interviewed 100 “of the area’s top brokers, agents and analysts,” while guaranteeing anonymity.

Buried deep in the study is the jaw-dropping fact that the majority of respondents (64 percent) said their clients have not mentioned climate change and sea level rise as an issue when purchasing properties — which means that the true level of clients not asking about climate change is much higher. An agent would say his clients asked about climate change if even one client did, but for nearly two-thirds of agents, no one even asked.

This is a stunning degree of obliviousness by home buyers in city where, as Bloomberg has explained, “Tidal flooding now predictably drenches inland streets, even when the sun is out, thanks to the region’s porous limestone bedrock.”

Indeed, Sean Becketti, the chief economist for mortgage giant Freddie Mac, warned a year ago that the coastal property bubble will burst sooner than expected: “Some residents will cash out early and suffer minimal losses. Others will not be so lucky.”

That could be why 59 percent of the agents said that they themselves are “concerned about the potential impact of global climate change and sea level rise on the local market.”

Washington Post:

TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Mark Luther’s dream home has a window that looks out to a world of water. He can slip out the back door and watch dolphins swim by his private dock. Shore birds squawk from nearby nests in giant mangroves.

He said it’s hard to imagine ever leaving this slice of paradise on St. Petersburg’s Bayou Grande, even though the water he adores is starting to get a little creepy.

Over the 24 years since he moved into the house, the bayou has inched up a protective sea wall and crept toward his front door. As sea level rises, a result of global warming, it contributes to flooding in his Venetian Isles neighborhood and Shore Acres, a neighboring community of homes worth as much as $2.5 million, about 70 times per year.

“Why stay?” asked Luther, an oceanographer who knows perfectly well a hurricane could one day shove 15 feet of water into his living room. “It’s just so nice.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Arctic Heat Ramping Up

July 31, 2017

How hot was it in Nuuk, Greenland yesterday?

So hot, 3 people had to be bumped from my Air Greenland flight because the plane would not have enough lift to carry them. Per Pilot.

Climate Central:

The Arctic is a bastion of cold, blustery weather. But in the latest sign of how quickly changes are happening, new research published this week shows that the Arctic has seen more frequent bouts of warm air and longer stretches of mild weather.

The new findings show that while warm snaps have occurred even as far as back as the 1890s, a massive shift is afoot in the region, which is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world.

The North Pole region has been ground zero for these changes. Since 1979, the number of warm events has doubled and the number of days with mild air has tripled. There are now 21 days of mild weather at the North Pole in an average winter compared to just seven mild winter days at the start of record keeping.

An international team of scientists used data from buoys, land and a ship mired in winter ice in 2015 — as well as historical records from a 19th century expedition — as the basis for the new study, published Tuesday in Geophysical Research Letters.

They defined a “warm” event as any time when the temperature rose above 14°F (minus-10°C). That’s chilly by winter standards for most regions of the globe, but is significantly warmer than the minus-22°F (minus-30°C) temperatures that are the norm for the Arctic in winter. They also looked at other extremes up to 32°F (0°C).

“In recent years, the frequency of these events and their duration have increased, together with the peak temperature recorded during these events,” said Robert Graham, a researcher at the Norwegian Polar Institute who led the study.

Graham and his colleagues also looked at the Pacific side of the region and found an uptick in warm winter days and events, albeit at a lower magnitude than the North Pole.

Julienne Stroeve, a sea ice expert at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said the change is an important one to note and could help further research on changes in winter ice pack.

Read the rest of this entry »

Washington Post:

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, a blind Aboriginal musician renowned for singing in his native Yolngu language with a heart-rending voice, died July 25 in Darwin, Australia. He was 46.

His recording label, Darwin-based Skinnyfish Music, announced the death but did not disclose the cause.

Mr. Yunupingu is now referred to by local media as Dr. G. Yunupingu because of cultural sensitivities among northern Australian Aborigines for naming the dead.

“Yunupingu is remembered today as one of the most important figures in Australian music history, blind from birth and emerging from the remote Galiwin’ku community on Elcho Island off the coast of Arnhem Land to sell over half a million copies of his albums across the world, singing in his native Yolngu language,” the statement said.

 

Vladimir Romanovsky, of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, is one of my go-to experts on permafrost. What he says in this recent talk is worth your consideration.

When a series of unusual storms battered the UK in 2014, I profiled it here.

New research looking at that year’s events suggests it was not a one-off, but part of the new changed-climate normal for the UK.

Above, look for Sara Penrhyn Jones interview footage with her neighbor, Glaciologist Alun Hubbard, who had had his own roof blown off just the night before by a storm.

BBC:

There’s an increased risk of “unprecedented” winter downpours such as those that caused extensive flooding in 2014, the UK Met Office says.

Their study suggests there’s now a one in three chance of monthly rainfall records being broken in England and Wales in winter.

The estimate reflects natural variability plus changes in the UK climate as a result of global warming.

But a supercomputer was needed to understand the scale of increased risk.

Across the winter of 2013-14, a series of storms hit the UK leading to extensive flooding in many parts. The amount of rain that fell in much of southern England and the Midlands was the heaviest in 100 years. Cleaning up from the resulting floods took time and money – the bill for the Thames valley alone was over £1bn.

Met Office researchers say that there was nothing in the observational record to indicate that such an unprecedented amount of rainfall was possible.

However, by using a climate model that takes the current climate period from 1981-2015 as its base, and running it hundreds of times on the Met Office supercomputer, researchers were able to find many modelled months with similar or greater rainfall to January 2014.

Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t mind the funky intro above – I’m still looking for the original BBC piece, but this will do.

BBC correspondent and camera were recent visitors to the Black and Bloom camp, which I documented in a video a few months back.  It’s at a place called S-6, same place where I camped with Dark Snow in 2014, and in fact I passed close by in a chopper just a few days ago when I road along (just in and out) with another team going in not far away.

I went on to spend another week at a place called point 660, near the ice edge – more on that later – as I’m back in Kangerlussuaq now, and ready to fly out tomorrow. After rest, and a lot of sorting, a wealth of newly acquired imagery and interviews to come.

The first BBC piece (top) talks about the science, and the second focuses on life on the ice, which is fair enough. For a more detailed reminder of what the team is about, see my piece below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Al Franken and David Letterman: droll discussion of climate change and democracy.

There are several more in this series, see below. Read the rest of this entry »