Tampa Bay's coming storm
Darryl Fears
The Washington Post
July 28, 2017

If a hurricane hits Tampa Bay directly, the cost of damage will exceed that of Hurricane Sandy. It's been named one of the top 10 most at-risk places in the world. Yet like many other vulnerable coastal cities across the U.S., residents aren’t planning to move, development continues and most area leaders have done little to prepare for the effects of sea-level rise. However, one initiative started in Pinellas County could serve as a model for other at-risk communities. The Climate Science Advisory Panel established a network of scientists to help local governments develop projects that integrate climate change projections. The article discusses the importance of such measures and is accompanied by two videos.


The floating islands of south Louisiana? Could be an option as sea rises
Tristan Baurick
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
July 26, 2017

A team of Dutch engineers is developing floating islands that could serve as relocation sites for communities that need to retreat from the shore. The model islands are composed of linked triangles engineered to absorb wave, tidal or wind energy. The article discusses their potential uses as well as their pros and cons.


This could be the next big strategy for suing over climate change
Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis
The Washington Post
July 20, 2017

A city and two counties on California’s coast are suing a number of the world’s largest fossil-fuel companies for expected damages due to the impact of sea level rise. This lawsuit is a first-of-its kind in that the plaintiffs are suing the firms under state rather than federal law for violating the public nuisance legal doctrine. They argue that companies such as BP, ExxonMobil and Chevron should be held accountable for knowingly contributing to climate change and injuring the public. “This lawsuit is a natural next step in how we address the expense we’ve already had in planning for and trying to remediate the impacts of sea level rise, but also in addressing the impacts we expect in the future,” says Marin County Supervisor Kate Sears.


This could be the next big strategy for suing over climate change
Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis
The Washington Post
July 20, 2017

A city and two counties on California’s coast are suing a number of the world’s largest fossil-fuel companies for expected damages due to the impact of sea level rise. This lawsuit is a first-of-its kind in that the plaintiffs are suing the firms under state rather than federal law for violating the public nuisance legal doctrine. They argue that companies such as BP, ExxonMobil and Chevron should be held accountable for knowingly contributing to climate change and injuring the public. “This lawsuit is a natural next step in how we address the expense we’ve already had in planning for and trying to remediate the impacts of sea level rise, but also in addressing the impacts we expect in the future,” says Marin County Supervisor Kate Sears.


Sea Level Rise Will Flood Hundreds of Cities in the Near Future
Laura Parker
National Geographic
July 12, 2017

A new study from the Union of Concerned Scientists forecasts - under different scenarios of global warming - the rate of sea level rise and the extent to which communities will be inundated in the next decades. These effects are visualized in an interactive online tool through a series of maps. The report also dives into the political and economic options available to affected communities.


Fight, flee or wait and see? Locals face hard choices as Louisiana coast recedes
Ellen Wulfhorst
Thomson Reuters Foundation
July 5, 2017

Louisiana is losing thousands of acres of wetland to the sea and is subsiding at a rate faster than previously calculated, making it one of the most vulnerable coasts in the world. LA SAFE (Louisiana's Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments), a $40 million government funded project, is working with threatened communities to contemplate the options they have to adapting to climate change. The article discusses the reasons for the residents' varying opinions.


Climate Adaptation Efforts Must Start with Listening – Experts
Zoe Tabary
GMA News Online
June 27, 2017

While many governments and organizations seek to assist the people most vulnerable to climate change, few actively involve those the programs are meant to benefit. The article highlights the need to design development programs to meet the needs of the community, particularly those generally excluded from these processes.


Climate Change Could Threaten up to 2 Billion Refugees by 2100
Alexander Kaufman
June 26, 2017

By the year 2100, rising sea levels could force up to 2 billion people inland, creating a refugee crisis among one-fifth of the world’s population. Worse yet, there won’t be many places for those migrants to go. Limited ideas of “adaptation” could leave humanity woefully unprepared for a mass migration that could dwarf the current refugee crisis in Europe.



Sea Level Rise isn’t Just Happening, it’s getting Faster
Chris Mooney
The Washington Post
June 26, 2017

A new study finds that the rate of sea level rise is increasing each year.



What Happens to Island Nations that are Lost to Rising Sea Levels?
Jacqueline Ronson
Inverse Science  
June 22, 2017

While some island nations, like Kiribati, have purchased land on larger islands for future relocation, most islanders will be forced to leave in unplanned moments of crisis, and it is unclear where they will be able to relocate. There is no international legal framework that specifies what happens to a country’s exclusive economic zone once the land no longer exists.



Not Your Mother’s Jersey Shore
Jill Capuzzo
The New York Times
June 16, 2017

Hurricane Sandy cleared many of the Jersey Shore’s existing lots and forced out their residents, opening space for extensive redevelopment. Reinvestment and new infrastructure in these coastal communities has led to revival, but many wealthy residents from New York City are replacing the former blue collar occupants and building larger, much more expensive second homes.



An Island is Disappearing, but Residents Don't See it
Scott Waldman
E&E News
June 15, 2017

Deal Island, MD is threatened by both erosion and rising sea levels. Despite the threats, most residents reject the idea of climate change and are determined to preserve the unique lifestyle afforded to them by life on the island. However, a group of climate skeptics, anthropologists, crabbers, pastors, and scientists are looking for common ground.



Mainland Miami Ponders Returning Neighborhoods to Nature in order to Survive Rising Seas
David Smiley
Miami Herald
June 9, 2017

Increased flooding and sea level rise pose serious threats to Miami. The Shorecrest neighborhood is particularly impacted, now flooding for days at a time during the King Tide. A cross-sectoral group developed a hypothetical plan that focuses on redesigning, rather than simply reinforcing, the area and includes relocation of the most vulnerable houses.



There are Climate Change Refugees in the U.S. Right Now
Jan Lee
Triple Pundit
June 9, 2017

This article describes the 400 villagers of Kivalina, AK as U.S. climate refugees. While residents want to move inland, they do not have the financial resources to make the move and also cannot secure federal funds. Each year of delay increases the cost of the move, with some estimating that the relocation effort will cost between $100-400 million (up to $1 million per villager).



Maryland’s Smith Island, Home to a Vanishing Dialect and Rising Sea Levels
Rob Kunzig
Atlas Obscura
June 8, 2017

The people of Smith Island, MD have a unique and place-based way of life. However, deteriorating economic conditions, coastal erosion, and sea level rise all threaten the community. After Hurricane Sandy, the town rejected a $1 million buyout offer and instead worked with planners to create a, yet unimplemented, protection and revitalization plan. 



This Film Shows What NYC Might Look like if Global Temperatures Increased by 2˚C
The Inertia Editorial Staff
The Inertia
June 6, 2017

Sea level rise will pose a particular threat to coastal cities, such as New York. The video imagines a flooded New York City in a world where global temperatures have risen by 2-4 degrees Celsius. 


Get in the Sea – Should we allow Coastal Heritage Sites to Fall to Ruin?
Chitra Ramaswamy
The Guardian
June 5, 2017

The U.K.’s National Trust is adopting a policy of “continuous ruination” for many of its coastal landmarks due to climate change, rising sea levels, increasing numbers of storms, and shrinking budgets. Under this policy, certain landmarks will be allowed to return to nature over time. 



A Tale of Two Towns: The US is Relocating an Entire Town because of Climate Change. And this is just the Beginning
Neha Thirani Bagri
June 5, 2017

Two highly vulnerable U.S. coastal communities, Isle de Jean Charles, LA and Newtok, AK, applied for National Disaster Resiliency Competition funding to relocate. Due to financial constraints, Louisiana received federal funding, with $48 million directed towards the relocation of Isle de Jean Charles, while Newtok received no money for its relocation plan.



New Official Advice on Sea Levels - No Consents to Build until Two Meters above High Tide
David Fischer
New Zealand Herald
June 4, 2017

A draft report by the government of New Zealand to local councils proposes banning them from approving or building within 1.9 meters of the high tide mark. Some councils have questioned the feasibility of retreat without substantial financial support from the federal government.



Imagining a New York City Ravaged by Climate Change
Nathan Kensinger
Curbed New York
May 18, 2017

“Cli-fi,” or climate fiction, focuses on an imagined New York City after experiencing severe sea level rise and flooding. While full of fantastical elements, the author focuses on how some of this writing is grounded in reality.


The Jersey Shore Would Rather Fight Flooding with Walls than Retreat
Christopher Flavelle
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 4, 2017

This article discusses the difficulties faced by some local officials who are convincing coastal New Jersey residents to embrace retreat.



Supreme Court to Decide Who Wins Beach Protection as Tide Rises
Anne C. Mulkern
May 2, 2017

This piece details the current California Supreme Court case that will likely set a statewide precedent on homeowners’ ability to construct sea walls and the state’s ability to regulate them. The California Coastal Commission granted a permit in 2011 for a replacement sea wall on a property in Encinitas, but it limited the timeframe of the permit to 20 years in order to protect the beach as the shoreline erodes. Homeowners are fighting the Commission’s authority to do this, claiming this amounts to a financial taking of their properties.


The Effects of Climate Change Will Force Millions to Migrate. Here's What This Means for Human Security
Kelly M. McFarland and Vanessa Lide
Washington Post
April 23, 2017

This article outlines key findings from a report by a working group convened at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. Findings include:

  • Environmental migration poses significant human security challenges.
  • Extreme weather events are likely to displace more people.
  • Many displaced people head to nearby cities, which can be a problem.
  • We do not adequately define “environmental migrants.”
  • “Planned relocations” will become more frequent.


The Nightmare Scenario for Florida’s Coastal Homeowners
Christopher Flavelle
Bloomberg-- Climate Changed
April 19, 2017

This article describes how demand and financing for coastal homes in Florida could breakdown before sea level rise really begins to take its toll directly on houses. Climate-related factors other than direct home flooding could also cause real estate prices to decline, such as rising seas preventing boats from going beneath bridges and real estate brokers being required to disclose flood risks.


Where Will U.S. Climate Migrants Go?
Sarah DeWeerdt
April 18, 2017

This article discusses a study by Mathew Hauer recently published in Nature Climate Change that is the first to predict where climate migrants might move. The study uses data from the Internal Revenue Service to track county-to-county migration. Hauer found that Florida could lose up to 2.5 million residents due to sea-level rise. Popular destinations for climate migrants are predicted to include Austin, Texas; Orlando, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; and Houston, Texas.


When Rising Seas Transform Risk Into Certainty
Brooke Jarvis
New York Times Magazine
April 18, 2017

This is one in a series of articles on climate in the NYT Magazine. This piece tackles tough questions in Norfolk, Virginia (but applicable elsewhere) related to flood insurance, both federal through the National Flood Insurance Program and a new burgeoning private market.


'Disaster Alley': Australia Could Be Set to Receive New Wave of Climate Refugees
Ben Doherty
The Guardian
April 5, 2017

This article looks at the intersection of climigration and conflict. According to the author: “Sherri Goodman, a former US deputy undersecretary of defence, argues the impact of climate change – rising seas, extreme weather, prolonged droughts – will be a 'threat multiplier' for security challenges, and could be the spark that ignites conflict and drives new waves of mass forced migration.”


State Looks to Help Communities Adapt to Land Loss
Garrett Ohlmeyer
Houma Today
April 4, 2017

This piece describes efforts of Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptation for Future Environments (LA SAFE), a policy framework designed to complement Louisiana’s $50 billion coastal master plan. While the master plan focuses on restoration and structural protection, LA SAFE will seek resident input in six parishes to ask what is most important to improve and protect in the face of inevitable land loss in their communities and create plans that respond to these priorities.


RADIO: Climate Change Threats, Managed Retreats
Tom Ashbrook
On Point, WBUR
March 30, 2017

In this episode of On Point, Tom Ashbrook interviews Miyuki Hino, doctoral student at Stanford University and lead author of the paper in Nature Climate Change outlined in the New Yorker article above; Robin Bronen, senior research scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and co-founder and executive director of the Alaska Institute for Justice; and Ben Strauss, ecologist, evolutionary biologist, and vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central.

LISTEN: http://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2017/03/30/climate-change-managed-retreat  

When Is It Time to Retreat from Climate Change?
Michelle Nijhuis
The New Yorker
March 27, 2017

This article discusses a recent paper published in Nature Climate Change that looked at 27 cases of managed retreat in 22 countries. The researchers found that relocation is most likely to happen when government and communities agree on this approach and work together.


Less Than 10% of Climate Aid Reaching Poorest: Researchers
Laurie Goering
March 3, 2017

Why do less than 10 percent of funds spent to help poor communities adapt to climate change actually reach these areas? Finance researchers claim it is partly because international climate funds mostly work with development banks and big international agencies that can quickly mobilize rather than with local communities with less capacity to quickly spend funds.


Climate Change Threatens to Wash Away Couple's History
Anne Lagamayo
March 2, 2017

Isle de Jean Charles, 80 miles from New Orleans, has what many sinking towns around the U.S. would love: money to relocate. But even now that over half of the families have moved, many of those remaining are reluctant to leave, having put roots in the land over generations. With a September 2022 deadline to spend the $48 million, these residents will have to make a choice soon.


Official Launch of Tonga's 'Climate Change Trust Fund'
Government of Tonga
February 27, 2017

Tonga has established an example of a new financing mechanism to help funnel much-needed funds for adaptation to local communities.


California Seawall Fight a Victory for Property Rights
Bob Unruh
World Net Daily
February 11, 2017

This article explores a recent court case in California that represents a stumbling block for managed retreat advocates that grants coastal homeowners the right to build seawalls to protect their property despite the Coastal Commission's attempt to create an incentive structure for retreat by denying such permits. 


Coastal Cities Could Flood Three Times a Week by 2045
John Upton
February 10, 2017

This piece highlights a recent study on coastal flooding, which differs from other such studies because of its focus on near-term time horizons: 2030 and 2045. The study finds that tidal flooding will increase in the 52 locations in the East and Gulf Coasts of the U.S. included in the study. The article also discusses the effects of this flooding on multiple coastal communities.


"Planned Retreat" Enters the Climate Dialogue
Erica Bolstad
ClimateWire via Scientific American
January 31, 2017

Addressing an audience at the National Press Club on January 30, 2017 President of the National Academy of Sciences, Marcia McNutt, identifies “coastal retreat” as an increasingly discussed concept. 


Climate Change and Mass Migration: A Growing Threat to Global Security
Jared Ferrie
January 19, 2017

This article focuses on the topic of climate change as a driver of mass migration and how this could contribute to global security problems. It highlights Bangladesh as a case study.


In Coastal Louisiana, Home Buyouts Raise Questions and Fears
Ryan Kailath
January 18, 2017

This is a conversation between two people, one from Staten Island who has already made the decision to accept a buyout post-Sandy and one from Slidell, Louisiana who may be faced with such a decision in the future.


Alaskan Village, Citing Climate Change, Seeks Disaster Relief in Order to Relocate
Rachel Waldholz
January 10, 2017

Newtok, Alaska is a town that has attempted to gather the resources it needs to relocate for many years. In a last ditch effort, the town asked the federal government to declare the compounding impacts of climate change on the area an official disaster in the hopes of unlocking federal funds.

Follow-up to article: The Obama Administration denied Newtok's request.


The Many Faces of Climate Change Migration in Asia
Alex Randall
The Diplomat
January 7, 2017

This article discusses planned relocation in Asia and the Pacific, emphasizing the need for community driven rather than government dictated efforts.


Environmental Journalists Have a New Beat: Coping with Climate Disaster
A. Adam Glenn
January 3, 2017

This piece describes the hot topic of climate change adaptation—from the perspective of the journalism field. The author claims that the new “resiliency” beat can be partly accredited to “shifting political winds in the nation’s capital” away from mitigation and toward adaptation.


A Wrenching Decision Where Black History and Floods Intertwine
Jess Bidgood
New York Times
December 9, 2016

Another installment in the “Carbon’s Casualties” series, this article elaborates on the repeated flood disasters in Princeville, North Carolina. The town's commissioners will vote on whether to allow residents to sell their homes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

See related Oct. 28 ClimateWire article below.


Red States in the Hot Seat
Alex Wagner
The Atlantic
December 7, 2016

The southeastern United States is extremely vulnerable to sea level rise and is on track to lose a significant amount of coastal real estate in the coming years. This means many of the same states that helped elect the climate change avoiding Trump Administration will be most at risk from its impacts.


Boomtown, Flood Town
Neena Satija for The Texas Tribune and Reveal; Kiah Collier for the Texas Tribune; and Al Shaw for ProPublica
December 7, 2016

This is one article in a series highlighting Houston's flood risk and detailing how unrestricted development in the city has increased this risk.


A Wrenching Choice for Alaska Towns in the Path of Climate Change
Erica Goode
New York Times
November 28, 2016

The sixth installment of the “Carbon’s Casualties” series, this article focuses on Alaska and its many villages vulnerable to climate change.


Perils of Climate Change Could Swamp Coastal Real Estate
Ian Urbina
New York Times
November 24, 2016

This article explores the recent decline in real estate sales in many flood prone areas and foreshadows a potential economic disaster if the waterfront property market collapses. 


Climate Change the 'The Biggest Disruptor for the Next 20 Years'
Jordan Lynn
Insurance Business Online
November 21, 2016