Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Climate change: "There is a 65% greater risk of flooding." >>> "We need to make sure businesses and communities are more resilient."

Climate Week in Sidmouth will be looking at how the local environment and the local economy are linked - and how this effects coastal communities, and what we can do about it:
Futures Forum: Climate Week in Sidmouth ... The New Economics Foundation and systems change >>> "Coastal Communities and their Local Economies" >>> Saturday 7th March at 4.30pm

There is the issue of public perceptions of climate change - and how this can be addressed:
Futures Forum: Climate Week in Sidmouth ... “Someone must do something" >>> Dr Ewan Woodley of Exeter University >>> 'Climate change, natural hazards and public understandings of risk and resilience.' >>> Wednesday 4th March at 7.30pm

Nevertheless, there are projects currently under way to create vibrant local economies in the face of climate change:
Futures Forum: Climate Week in Sidmouth ... Rob Hopkins and the Atmos Project ... Thursday 5th March at 1pm

Following the storms a year ago
Futures Forum: Flooding in the West Country... and coastal communities
... there are questions about how to build resilience for coastal communities:
Futures Forum: Flooding in the West Country... "to become normal"... but questions asked over preparations...

But perhaps spending millions on 'infrastructure' in the wrong place is not the answer:
Futures Forum: Climate change: "Britain's crumbling rail network is at risk of a repeat of the severe disruption of last winter."

Prof Gerhard Masselink, professor of coastal geomorphology at the University of Plymouth, and Dr Steven Wade, head of scientific consultancy at the Met Office, addressed the Institute of Directors in Plymouth last night:

IoD - Institute of Directors

IoD South West Weather, Climate Change and the South West

Location:Plymouth Arts Centre Date:09 February 2015

The weather can have a devastating impact on our lives and businesses: the collapse of the railway at Dawlish; the flooding in the Somerset Levels; the damage to beaches and harbours.

We know that storms and extreme weather are likely to become more common due to climate change. But how will this affect the South West? What should businesses be doing now to plan for this? What is the effect on people and communities?

To debate and discuss these issues we have brought together:

- Professor Gerhard Masselink, Professor of Coastal Geomorphology, University of Plymouth, who leads a team examining coastal erosion and the impact of storms on coastal communities

- Steven Ward, Head of Scientific Consultancy, the Met Office, who specialises in flood and drought risk and climate change; his team in the Met Office work with businesses and have advised on a number of major infrastructure projects.

You will have the opportunity to question them on recent developments and to express your own views.

Guests will also have the chance to view images by renowned documentary artist Gideon Mendel. Since 2007, Mendel has been working on the series Drowning World, which illustrates socio-environmental issues of a warming planet.

IoD South West Weather, Climate Change and the South West | IoD

We must learn to adapt over threat to our coastline, warn experts

By WMNJBayley | Posted: February 10, 2015

By Olivier Vergnault, WMN Business Editor, Twitter: @OliVergnault

The Cove House Inn at Chiswell in Dorset took a battering during the storms
Comments (4)

Beaches will be stripped bare of all sand, coastlines will change and seaside communities and transport infrastructure will have to move inland if the Westcountry is to be resilient to climate change.

Two of the region’s experts on climate change have warned that while last winter’s storms may have been the worst in 60 years, the frequency of such dramatic weather events mean coastal communities, businesses and authorities have to plan for the future and adapt to climate change.

Addressing an Institute of Directors’ debate at the Plymouth Arts Centre, Prof Gerhard Masselink, a professor of coastal geomorphology at the University of Plymouth and Dr Steven Wade, head of scientific consultancy at the Exeter-based Met Office, warned that coastal zones “may need to be rethought” as the cost of repairing weather damage becomes too great.

Prof Masselink told the conference: “Last year we had 15 to 20 storms with a wave height exceeding the 1% rare high wave events. What we saw last year had not happened in 60 years.

"With the rise in sea levels and possibly greater intensity and frequency of storms we may need to rethink our coastal zones because we can’t economically sustain the repairs."

Prof Masselink said it made perfect financial sense to reroute the train line inland even at a cost of £100m or £200m because of the cost to the Westcountry’s economy in lost business, estimated between £60m and £1.2bn, including £135m for tourism alone. He added: “It would be madness not to move the rail line.”

Dr Wade said the science ought to worry governments and businesses into action. He said temperatures were likely to rise by between 2C and 4C by the 2080s depending on amount of global carbon emissions.

While he said climate change may bring bigger crop yields for farmers so long as it rains enough, and bring more tourists to the region attracted by the balmy summer weather (so long as it does not rain too much during the summer months), not doing anything about climate change was no longer an option.

He said: “There is a 65% greater risk of flooding. Climate change is happening and it is a global phenomenon affecting everyone. Floods in Asia may affect food imports to the UK or manufacturing supply chains.

“We have to look for resilience and to become more adaptable. We need to take the long term view – especially in term of infrastructure. We need to make a case study for adaptation. We can’t adapt to everything but we need to make sure businesses and communities are more resilient.”

Prof Masselink said it was important to explain to some coastal communities that while their villages, their homes, may still be there in 20 years’ time, they probably won’t be in 50 years’ time. He said: “With rising sea levels there will come a point when coastal developments will no longer be sustainable. We need to find ways to sell the idea of adaptation to people. They need to accept that this is the reality.”

Prof Masselink also said that each stretch of coastline will have a long term planning framework in place about climate change. He added: “I have no doubt that Plymouth’s plan is to hold the line against rising sea levels for the next 100 years. But in places like Beesands or Slapton Sands, a coastal roll back or managed re-alignment will probably happen. The key question is how we re-align communities.”

Dawlish: An example of human stubbornness

Spending £35 million on repairing Dawlish rail line after it was destroyed in last year’s storm was the biggest example of human stubbornness, a Westcountry coastal erosion expert has claimed.

Professor Gerhard Masselink, a professor of coastal geomorphology at the University of Plymouth, told a group of business figures attending last night’s Climate Change debate organised by the IoD, that while rebuilding the sea wall and railway in Dawlish after it collapsed during the January-February winter storms was the only option at the time because the link is the vital to the Westcountry’s economy.

Thinking it was mission accomplished in the fight against climate change was a mistake.

It comes as fellow debate keynote speaker Dr Steven Wade from the Met Office told the WMN that the frequency of ferocious storms will increase two fold over the next decade.

Prof Masselink said: “The railway is not sustainable. The status quo against climate change is not a good idea. The recognition that we need to adapt and change the way we do things is vital.”

Prof Masselink said he hoped he damage caused to the region’s coastline and infrastructure last year would be a wake-up call for businesses and national and local governments. However he said: “At the time there were talks of alternative routes but now that the railway line has been repaired and is up and running again, the issue has gone quiet again. If we don’t think that it will happen again, or that we have beaten climate change, then the Dawlish repairs will be the bigger and most expensive example of human stubbornness.”

Beesands: Sandy beach now a rocky one

Beauty spots such as Beesands in South Devon, where homes with commanding sea views can sell for £900,000, may have to content themselves with building massive seawalls or accept they will lose their sand and charm in the next storm.

The stark comment was made by Prof Gerhard Masselink, who told delegates at the IoD climate debate that trying to protect beaches at all costs from future storms may do more damage than a planned retreat. He said: “Beesands has no beach anymore. Just huge boulders trying to keep the sand in. Is that the future we want for our coastline? Just huge seawalls?”


toffer99 | February 10 2015, 4:03PM

http://tinyurl.com/yhsnaz8 I rest their case.

johndavies | February 10 2015, 3:30PM

toffer - The '97%' you quote also turned out to be false….. The REAL numbers of American Geophysical Union members agreeing on 'anthropogenic global warming' are - • 75 of 77 answering Question 2** is 97.4%... BUT _ • 75 of 3,146 respondents is only 2.38%. _ • 75 of 10,257 contacted is only 0.73%. _ • 75 of 61,000 possible is only 0.12%. _ So at best, the data states only 2.38 % AGU members agree Global Warming is manmade … …although the figures suggest it's less than 1%, hardly a consensus !! More on the Doran and Kendall Zimmerman, 2009 study here- Overwhelming 97-98% number of scientists that say there is a climate consensus… http://tinyurl.com/men9njz

toffer99 | February 10 2015, 12:36PM

97% of the world's scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but they're exposed by a plucky band of billionaires and oil companies. Oh, and Lord Monckton, Nigel Lawson and James Delingpole and other knuckle-draggers of our time. As for Christopher Booker? His wikipedia entry tells all: http://tinyurl.com/q52wsru

PAWB46 | February 10 2015, 11:59AM

This is complete nonsense. The climate has always changed and there is no scientific evidence (none) that humans are changing the climate. There is no evidence of increased extreme weather (in fact the evidence is to the contrary) and there is no evidence of any worsening of seal level rise. It is all scare-mongering by academics needing to keep the funding going and egged on by the green blob. Climate change is a gigantic scientific fraud (as Christopher Booker has pointed out in the Sunday Telegraph).

We must learn to adapt over threat to our coastline, warn experts | Western Morning News

Those references again:

In December 2009, Christopher Booker and Richard North had published an article in The Sunday Telegraph in which they questioned whether Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was using his position for personal gain,[27][28][29][30] with a follow-up Telegraph article in January 2010.[31] On 21 August 2010,The Daily Telegraph issued an apology,[28] and withdrew the December article from their website[29] having reportedly paid legal fees running into six figures.[29] Dr Pachauri described the statements against him as "another attempt by the climate sceptics to discredit the IPCC."[32]
Christopher Booker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change
Peter T. Doran
Maggie Kendall Zimmerman
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
Fifty-two percent of Americans think most climate scientists agree that the Earth has been warming in recent years, and 47% think climate scientists agree (i.e., that there is a scientific consensus) that human activities are a major cause of that warming, according to recent polling (see http://www.pollingreport.com/enviro.htm). However, attempts to quantify the scientific consensus on anthropogenic warming have met with criticism. For instance, Oreskes [2004] reviewed 928 abstracts from peer-reviewed research papers and found that more than 75% either explicitly or implicitly accepted the consensus view that Earth's climate is being affected by human activities. Yet Oreskes's approach has been criticized for overstating the level of consensus acceptance within the examined abstracts [Peiser, 2005] and for not capturing the full diversity of scientific opinion [Pielke, 2005]. A review of previous attempts at quantifying the consensus and criticisms is provided by Kendall Zimmerman [2008]. The objective of our study presented here is to assess the scientific consensus on climate change through an unbiased survey of a large and broad group of Earth scientists.
Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change - Doran - 2011 - Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union - Wiley Online Library

Climate change: How do we know?
This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct  measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO<sub>2</sub> has increased  since the Industrial Revolution.  (Source: [[LINK||http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/||NOAA]])
This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.)
The Earth's climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.
Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.1
Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. Studying these climate data collected over many years reveal the signals of a changing climate.
The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century.2 Their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the scientific basis of many instruments flown by NASA. There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response.

Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet: Evidence - NASA

With thanks to:
Coastal upheaval will cause major problems | East Devon Watch

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