Are our cities just too big to flood ?

Flood in BangkokThis was the question asked on the the Yale Environment 360 blog and I believe the timing is perfect as last year cities such as New York City, Manila and Bangkok got it by record floods. Now it is the turn of Jakarta.

The capital megacity of Indonesia now has water in its streets and people to evacuate because of another flood. Given that rising temperatures mean rising sea levels and more extreme weather, the threat is huge.

First in terms of people – as the majority of people will live in cities in 2050 and as 14 of the world’s 17 largest cities are located along coasts.

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Hurricane Sandy, aka the Frankenstorm

Sandy hitting the United StatesUnless you have spent the week remote from civilization, you must have heard of THE event of the week : Disney bought the Star Wars franchise. Ooops, sorry, I meant : Hurricane Sandy, also known as the Frankenstorm.

All joking aside, the matter is tremendously serious as dozens died in the Caribbean and the United States. Billion of Dollars of damages will probably be recorded as New York and many other cities were flooded.

This hurricane broke the deafening climate silence of the US presidential election, or at least in the collective mind (but not for candidate Romney).

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Bad climate news from the Amazon and the Arctic

I recently wrote about positive feedback mechanisms that would increase climate change as temperatures increase. It seems we are already seeing the very first tragic examples.

The first one comes from Peru, where climate change led to a warming Atlantic Ocean, which itself led to a drying Amazon rainforest, which in their turn led to massive wildfires.

To The Daily Climate this took place in a part of the Amazon rainforest which was previously thought as to wet to burn. But this is not the only horrifying prospect.

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Russia is warming at double the world pace

According to RIA Novosti – the Russian state-owned news agency – quoting the local emergencies ministry : ” Temperatures in Russia in the past century rose at twice the rate of warming in the rest of the world “ The article goes further : ” (…) In addition, as compared to the 100-year trend, the … Read more

Ongoing floods in Thailand to cost billion

It seems global weirding is indeed taking place. While there are huge droughts in Texas, Thailand and its capital city, Bangkok are witnessing their largest floods in decades. As the Guardian reports : ” Thailand is used to floods in monsoon season, but this year’s are the worst for more than half a century. They … Read more

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