2016-NOV: Part 10: Timeline of
recent environmental concerns
U.S. Costal real estate threatened.
Rapid temperature rise in the Arctic.
Very large poll about climate change.
2016-NOV-24: Value of coastal properties in the U.S.:
Coastal properties have long been particularly valued real estate. But climate change is causing the ocean level to rise, threatening these properties. The threat comes from two sources:
- The general rise of temperatures worldwide are melting the glaciers. Glaciers in Greenland and the Antarctic are two major examples. Ice melting, and the runoff is raising the level of the oceans.
- Rising temperatures are also heating the oceans, causing them to expand in volume.
Ian Urbina, writing in the New York Times, said:
"Though demand remains strong and developers continue to build near the water in many coastal cities, homeowners across the nation are slowly growing wary of buying property in areas most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. ... The real estate industry, particularly along the vulnerable coastlines, is slowly awakening to the need to factor in the risks of catastrophic damage from climate change, including that wrought by rising seas and storm-driven flooding." 1
Jennifer Jurado, the chief resiliency officer in Broward County, Florida said that by the mid 2060's, the ocean level could rise two or three feet in the Ft. Lauderdale area.
Handling the problem is going to require an unprecidented level of cooperation among federal, state, and municipal politicians. Water pumps and drain backflow valves need to be installed; sea walls need to be raised; building codes will have to be rewritten; roads will have to be raised.
Dr. Muench, 82, who has lived in Miami-Dade County for over four decades noted that:
"There has been a definite, gradual increase [in flooding] since the onset of information about global warming. In my mind, there is no question about the relationship. The canal is rising because the ocean is rising."
2016-NOV-25: The average temperature at Svalbard, Norway may exceed freezing:
Svalbard is shown in dark green.
It is part of Norway, shown in light green.
The average annual temperature for 2016 at Longyearbyen -- the main settlement in Svalbard -- could be above 0º C (32º F) for the first time since temperature records were first kept. Svalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic located between Norway and Greenland. It has five main islands and many tiny islands, totalling about 24 square miles, or 62 km2.
Ketil Isaksen of the Norwegian Meterological Institute said that:
"This is a little bit shocking. If you had asked me five or 10 years ago, I could not have imagined such numbers in 2016. Svalbard is a very good spot to show what’s happening in the Arctic at the moment. ... There are still huge areas in the Barents Sea and Kara Sea to the east of Svalbard that are free of ice. They should normally be ice-covered."
The yearly average temperature has been about - 6.7º C (20º F) in recent years. Each of the past 6 years/73 months has been warmer than average. The warmest annual temperature to date was in 2006 when the average was - 1.8º C (29º F).
The temperature in the Arctic is part of a "positive feedback loop:"
- As the temperature warms, due to more greenhouse gasses being emitted into the atmosphere worldwide, the area covered by Northern sea ice dimminishes.
- More of the heat from the sun, which would normally be reflected back into space by the ice, is adsorbed by the water in the ocean.
- As the ocean heats up, it melts more sea ice.
The Stockholm Environment Institute issued a report on NOV-25. It noted several "regime shifts" occuring in the Arctic, including the reduction in sea ice and the thinning of the glaciers covering Greenland. Their report said:
"These regime shifts affect the stability of the climate and landscape, plant and animal species’ ability to survive, and indigenous peoples’ subsistence and ways of life." 2
2016-DEC-05: The "I Side With" web site conducted Internet poll about climate change:
The "I Side With" web site started a poll in the U.S. on 2014-NOV-10. 1 They asked the question:
"Should the government increase environmental regulations to prevent climate change?"
As of 2016-DEC-05, they had obtained 12.6 million reponses and were still accumulating votes. Results were:
- Yes: 56%
- Yes, and provide more incentives for alternative energy production: 6%.
- Total Yes: 62%
- No: 29%
- No; provide more incentives for alternative energy production instead: 6%.
- No, and global warming is a natural occurrence: 3%
- No, tax carbon emissions instead: 1%
- Total Yes: 38% 3
Unfortunately, although the number of persons responding is incredibly high for a poll, the accuracy of the results is suspect, because the responses do not come from a random selection of American adults. Only those visitors with an Internet connection, who are aware of the poll and its website, and a sufficient motivation to vote would have had their results included.
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
- Ian Urbina, "Perils of Climate Change Could Swamp Coastal Real Estate," New York Times, 2016-NOV-24, at: http://www.nytimes.com/
- Karl Ritter, "Svalbard could see above-zero average temperature for first time, scientists say," Toronto Star, 2016-NOV-25, at: https://www.thestar.com/
- "Should the government increase environmental regulations to prevent climate change?" ISideWith poll, at: https://www.isidewith.com/
Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2016-DEC-05
Latest update: 2016-DEC-11
Author: B.A. Robinson