Coral Reefs Provide Flood Protection Worth $1.8 Billion Annually — Another Key Reason to Protect Them
By Michael Beck
The news is grim: According to a report compiled by hundreds of scientists from 50 countries, Earth is losing species faster than at any other time in human history. Thanks to climate change, coastal development and the impacts of activities such as logging, farming and fishing, roughly 1 million plants and animals are facing extinction.
Map showing the 100-year floodplains on south Maui, Hawai'i. They show the flooding in a 1 in 100 year flood event with reefs at present (blue) and the extra flooding predicted (red) if we lost the topmost 1m (3 ft) of reef. The people and property under the red zone are those predicted to benefit by keeping reefs intact. USGS
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jeff Turrentine
First off: Bangkok Wakes to Rain, the intricately wrought, elegantly crafted debut novel by the Thai-American author Pitchaya Sudbanthad, isn't really about climate change. This tale set in the sprawling subtropical Thai capital is ultimately a kind of family saga — although its interconnected characters aren't necessarily linked by a bloodline. What binds them is their relationship to a small parcel of urban land on which has variously stood a Christian mission, an upper-class family house, and a towering condominium. All of the characters have either called this place home or had some other significant connection to it.
Hurricane Michael Recovery Efforts Point to the Power of Local Generosity After Overlooked Disasters
By David Berlan
When Hurricane Michael made landfall on Florida's Panhandle on Oct. 10, 2018, as a Category 5 storm it was only the fourth on record to have ever hit the U.S. mainland. The storm surge it brought about, along with 160-mile-per-hour winds, leveled coastal communities from Panama City to the town of Mexico Beach.
Chart: The Conversation, CC-BY-ND
Source: NOAA Office for Coastal Management
Table: The Conversation, CC-BY-ND
Data collected between Oct. 10, 2018, when the storm hit, through Sept. 5, 2019.
- Survivors of Hurricane Michael in the Florida Panhandle fear they ... ›
- Hurricane Michael recovery has a big problem: People aren't donating ›
- Housing, workforce issues slow Hurricane Michael recovery ›
- FEMA Eyewitness Report: Hurricane Michael Recovery Efforts ›
- Hurricane Michael Recovery Still Has A Long Way To Go : NPR ›
By Jennifer Weeks
World Wetlands Day on Feb. 2 marks the date when 18 nations signed the Convention on Wetlands in 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Since that time, scientists have shown that wetlands provide many valuable services, from buffering coasts against floods to filtering water and storing carbon. These five articles from our archive highlight wetlands' diversity and the potential payoffs from conserving and restoring them.
- Saving the World's Largest Tropical Wetland - EcoWatch ›
- Fires Restore Wetlands for Desert Fish - EcoWatch ›
Hurricane Florence: Four Things You Should Know That Your Meteorologist Is Truly Too Busy to Tell You
By Kristy Dahl
Hurricane Florence is currently making its way as a Category 4 storm toward the southeast coast and is expected to make landfall sometime on Thursday, most likely in North Carolina. Our hearts are with those who are looking at the storm's predicted path and wondering what this means for their homes, families and communities.
As millions of residents in the storm's path make preparations to stay safe, our hearts are also with the thousands of people who have faced similar risks in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico in the past year. If you are in the Carolinas, please do take care to heed local warnings and evacuation orders—and know that we are all hoping for your safety.
- World's Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund Raises Standards for ... ›
- Mayors of 12 Major Global Cities Pledge Fossil Fuel Divestment - EcoWatch ›
Monday marks the start of the 10th annual Climate Week NYC. From Sept. 24 to the 30, non-profit The Climate Group has invited businesses, governments, nonprofit organizations, universities and art and music organizations to host a wide variety of affiliated events devoted to raising awareness and prompting action around climate change.
By Jennifer Weeks
June 1 marks the start of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, with some communities still rebuilding after last year's largest storms.
Groups of citizens have been organizing worldwide to fight against fossil fuel industry's negative impacts on their lives. These impacts are either direct—through expropriations of land and development of infrastructure against the will of the population—or indirect—through their role in the sharp increase of climate-altering emissions threatening health and livelihoods worldwide.
- New Zealand Bans New Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration ›
- Seattle County Files 11th U.S. Climate Liability Lawsuit Against Big Oil ›
Five years ago Sunday, Hurricane Sandy slammed into the Northeast U.S., killing dozens of people and swamping parts of New York City under as much as 9 feet of water. The storm caused more than $70 billion in damage.
Saturday, a broad coalition of local, state, national and global organizations marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Superstorm Sandy and demand bold powerful action from state and local officials.
Summer is a time for escape reading. But that designation need not be limited to fiction; books written for the general reader on topics outside one's area of expertise can also provide passage to exciting new places. This month's bookshelf includes six non-fiction titles, five novels and one collection of short stories. The last three titles are now in paperback, suitable for a vacation or some beach time. Good reading to you!
By Cameron Wake
The year 2017 painted a grim picture of coastal storms in the eastern U.S. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria were deadly and destructive harbingers of how climate change contributes to bigger storms with stronger winds, greater extreme precipitation, and higher storm surge due to rising seas.
Unfortunately, there's a long-standing cultural divide around climate change. On a political level, this has made it difficult for coastal states to act on—or even acknowledge—the growing risk of coastal flooding from climate change.
- 'Catastrophic' Climate Threat: Global Sea Levels Could Rise 174 ... ›
- States Are Doing What Big Government Won’t to Stop Climate Change - EcoWatch ›
By Rob Moore
Five years after Hurricane Sandy, our nation's leadership is willfully ignoring all the lessons we paid dearly to learn. Instead the nation is now charting a very dangerous course given the powerful storms we will face in the future.
Marking the fifth anniversary of one of the most destructive storms to ever strike the U.S., we see a very different response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate than we saw to Hurricane Sandy five years ago.
After Sandy, there was a recognition that we needed to take action to decrease our vulnerability to the extreme weather events that climate change makes more likely and there was a renewed emphasis to combat the root causes of climate change.