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Increased High Tide Flooding Threatens Coastal Security in the US


Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard move floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Zachary West)

By Dr. Marc Kodack

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently published its latest outlook for high tide flooding in the United States, which covers the period May 2020-to-April 2021. According to the report, the increases in coastal flooding described in last year’s report will continue with even greater frequency as sea levels rise. U.S. Department of Defense coastal installations will continue to be affected, such as those in San Diego and Norfolk. High tide flooding is non-linearly accelerating along the east and Gulf coasts, whereas it is linearly increasing elsewhere. For all these coastal locations the extent and frequency of high tide flooding is projected to continue to increase over the coming decades. (more…)

Thomas Friedman Cites the Center for Climate and Security on Extreme Weather in the Middle East and South Asia

Iraqis displaced by conflict collect water at al-Takia refugee camp in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, July 30, 2015. Scorching temperatures are normal this time of year, but an unprecedented heat wave prompted Iraqi authorities to declare a mandatory four-day holiday beginning Thursday. The government has urged residents to stay out of the sun and drink plenty of water. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

Iraqis displaced by conflict collect water at al-Takia refugee camp in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, July 30, 2015. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman published an Op-ed today, “The World’s Hot Spot,” about the extreme heat waves plaguing the Middle East and South Asia, including Iran (citing AccuWeather’s Anthony Sagliani who stated that a July 31 reading in the Iranian city of Bandar Mahshahr was ‘…one of the most incredible temperature observations I have ever seen, and it is one of the most extreme readings ever in the world.’) The column explores political protests and sweeping changes in government, particularly in Iraq, which followed from the perceived inadequate response to the heat wave, and asks questions about whether or not enough attention is being paid to climatic events by the region’s political leaders.

Friedman cited the Center for Climate and Security’s Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell, regarding how climate stresses are measured against other security risks, as well as how such extreme events can place significant strains on the social contract between governments and their respective publics. The full citation: (more…)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: One in Three Coastal Projects Vulnerable to Climate Risks

800px-Corps_improves_Savannah_harbors_largest_dredge_disposal_area_(9689197168)The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has just released preliminary results of an Initial Vulnerability Assessment (IVA) of its coastal projects to sea level changes. The results show that roughly one third of projects are vulnerable. Specifically, the USACE project notes: (more…)

The Atlantic Cities: Climate Change and Water Scarcity

Watering_her_sheep,_Dead_Cities_region,_NW_SyriaAtlantic Cities’ John Metcalfe recently ran a piece arguing that water scarcity – with an emphasis on more severe drought – is the most immediate threat emanating from a changing climate. While we would add “water variability” to that assessment (as too much water, or too much or too little water when you’re expecting something different, are consequences of climate change that are also problematic factors that compound scarcity), it’s important to highlight this issue in the mainstream media, which tends to primarily focus on sea level rise and extreme storms. Given the IPCC’s assessment that we’re already seeing extended droughts that are likely linked to climate change, and recent studies such as NOAA’s 2011 report which linked climate change to the decrease in winter precipitation in the Mediterranean littoral and the Mashreq since the 1970s, its a prescient warning.

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