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Category: climate adaptation

NYC Storm Barrier proposal, Image Arcadis, via AP
Charlie Petit
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  The twin-barrelled strategy for dealing with global warming has for decades not only included mitigation, as in not emitting nearly so much greenhouse gas, but also adaptation by armoring, retreating, economizing, and broadly learning to live on an increasingly unfit planet. For most of that time mitigation...

  The twin-barrelled strategy for dealing with global warming has for decades not only included mitigation, as in not emitting nearly so much greenhouse gas, but also adaptation by armoring, retreating, economizing, and broadly learning to live on an increasingly unfit planet. For most of that time mitigation got top billing from technical experts and the general media. Many  have felt that a spotlight on adaptation is a perilous step toward resignation, surrender, and steep decline for our species along with many of the rest of them here with us.

   But it gives the trend toward adaptation a big stamp of approval when a leading science writer at the world's most dominant news agency presents a reflective piece on the slow pivot of recent years to it as the only thing that national governments seem willing to endorse. The message: with so many nations too paralyzed to take tough, low-carbon paths, the best bet for a quick and sane response is welter...

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I'm wondering how long it will be before those of us who ramble (or run) along the Hudson River will lose the dreamy view of the Emerald Cities of New Jersey, to be replaced by megalithic walls of concrete holding back the sea.

Jeff Tollefson has...

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I'm wondering how long it will be before those of us who ramble (or run) along the Hudson River will lose the dreamy view of the Emerald Cities of New Jersey, to be replaced by megalithic walls of concrete holding back the sea.

Jeff Tollefson has a nice piece in this week's Nature exploring the possibility of a massive engineering project to protect New York from hurricanes "that are demonstrably increasing in power," he reports. He begins with a disturbing accounting of whether the disaster predictions of Malcolm Bowman of Stony Brook University came true with Sandy:

As Hurricane Sandy drove a 4.2-metre-high wall of salt water into the heart of New York city and the surrounding coast late on the evening of 29 October, scientists and engineers ticked through a nightmare...