Facebook Twitter Gplus RSS
magnify
formats

CITY BY CITY: Cities on the Move to Adapt to Climate Change by ClimateYou Editor Abby Luby

They came from cities all over the world in a galvanized effort to take on climate change and affect a plan for low-carbon, resilient urban growth. This incredible summit happened last week at the Cities and Climate Change Science Conference (Cities IPCC, #CitiesIPCC) in Edmonton, Canada. This summit was the first of its kind where 750 delegates hailed from 75 countries across the globe including mayors, city planners, scientists and researchers focused on adapting predicted climate change impacts. Delegates were encouraged to share effective action plans that were bolstered by new research aimed to create more resilient cities in this era of global warming.

Half the earth’s population lives in cities that produce 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Mayors and city managers are working to lessen emissions that come from basic, daily goods and services by implementing a circular economy where waste is used for energy, and many forms of recycling is a large part of a city’s regenerative system. Strengthening resiliency also means embracing new technologies, smart city designs and upgrading existing infrastructures that are locked-in to inefficient design modalities. Many of these strategies were laid out in the newly released Second Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3.2), a report authored by more than 350 scientists from around the world as part of the Earth Institute-based Urban Climate Change Research Network. Some of the report’s main strategies include mitigation and adaptation initiatives; linking of disaster and adaptation planning; generation of climate action plans in partnership with non-governmental stakeholders; attention to the needs of the disadvantaged and most vulnerable; and the advancement of good governance, partnership networks, and solutions to gaps in financing.

 

https://www.environmental-finance.com/content/analysis/cities-and-climate-change-the-funding-gap.html

 

 

Many cities have already taken steps to prepare for climate change. Some cities in Minnesota threatened by flash flooding, such as Duluth, has stopped building in floodplains that absorb excess flood water and stricter building standards have been enforced, especially for bridges and culverts. Rather than having developments sprawl over more porous, water-absorbing land, the city is now investing in shoring up existing housing stock, a move that will ultimately to strengthen current infrastructure which has never weathered a 100- or 500-year flood. Other cities such as Bridgeport, Connecticut have an agenda listing design resilience measures that will minimize flood risk and take into account sea level rise that affects Bridgeport’s South End businesses and residents. The future looks toward powering cities with 100 per cent renewable electricity by using energy sources such as wind, solar or hydro, with battery storage and microgrids (energy sources that can connect or disconnect from major power grids independently). Coastal cities are developing an urban living infrastructure, with its nature-based solutions as the threat of rising sea levels becomes a regular occurring reality. Efforts to replant mangroves and coastal vegetation will provide softer barriers between land and sea; removing dams and man-made canal systems to restore natural waterways can reduce the urban heat island effect and mitigate its negative impacts on human health.

In December, 2015, leaders from 195 countries announced a the landmark Paris Agreement at the COP21,the first time nations of the world came to reduce man’s reliance on fossil fuels and to reduce the devastating effects of climate change. Although cities were represented, it was more notable that nations agreed to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and given the grave risks, to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius. Last week’s Cities and Climate Change Science Conference empowered cities and urban communities to take on climate change themselves while addressing the goals of the Paris Agreement.

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn
No Comments  comments 
formats

What can we as students do to help to solve climate change? by City Tech Blogger Marko Cibic

I feel that we as students could help spread the word on how important climate change is and that it should not be taken lightly. If we were to continue to spread the word and grow into a movement of people who are more aware of this problem, we could make an enormous change by finding an alternative solution to the burning of fossil fuels that radiate heat energy/waves towards the upper atmosphere, creating the greenhouse effect. This is the process where gases trap heat energy which is said to be harmful to the environment. As we see the drastic changes in our planet, the ozone layer is also depleting which is causing more radiation to enter into our atmosphere. We need to realize that we are the ones who are responsible for the immediate outcomes that our planet is experiencing. The sooner we act the better chance we have of protecting the environment we live in. If we stay at the pace, we might not be looking at a habitable planet to live on anymore. Many people today focus on acquiring sustainable wealth which can secure an ideal life, and they are willing to go to extreme measures to make that possible. Regardless if those measures may leave many people homeless, starving, and oppressed.

We see all these large-scale corporations and business conglomerates that are fully aware of all these natural disasters that occur due to their own actions, but since they are reaping the benefits, they are willing to continue harming the environment they themselves live in. I would have to say that they do not seem to care very much about the environment. They are more concerned with their investment making them a quick buck. The only way I see us making a change is if we stand united behind a mutual cause, helping our planet and standing up against the big corporations and corrupt politicians, who are more focused on themselves instead of the voice of the people. It is sad to see all the data and information that was collected over the years be scrutinized by people who are willing to sacrifice their lives to make those who are unaware aware. In the midst of it all, people still do not take these matters seriously enough for them to act on their own. They continue to live a carefree life believing that the earth shall protect them forever. I truly believe the earth is like a person and our entire population is like a bacteria. So naturally for a person to feel better, the body must reject the bacteria  so the body can reach its peak performance again. The entire world needs to work hand in hand since we are the ones slowly destroying the planet. The only way to fix the problem is for us to minimize the population, so the earth would have enough time to heal itself back to its original state before civilizations started and industrial expansion began. If we are lucky, we will be blessed enough to continue living on this beautiful planet. We have already reached a point of no return. In my opinion, it seems ironic, we have been living on this planet since it all started only to reach a point where we soon will face a cataclysmic catastrophe. And my question is why?

 

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn
2 Comments  comments 
formats

Roof Over Our Head by City Tech Blogger Yudheer Manandhar

Snow and Ice are Nature’s way of regulating temperature and its water supply. In the winter, snow and ice will accumulate on the top of the mountains because of the higher altitudes. Once the snow and ice melt, it will drift downstream during the dry months. The Himalayas are the source for 5 major rivers that flow through most Asian countries. Also known as the “Roof of Asia,” the Himalayan glaciers will release fresh melt water before and after the monsoon season allowing the rivers to irrigate and feed millions of people living in the lower altitude areas. Also the steady flow of the rivers will continuously fill up lakes and reservoirs throughout the year for consumption and hydropower use.

http://www.icimod.org/?q=20533

The recent surge in global warming due to the greenhouse gasses and partly due to the ‘soot’ created by diesel fuel, coal and wood burning stoves in the Indian subcontinent has caused the surface of the glaciers to absorb heat rather than reflecting it. “Over the past century, heat-trapping greenhouse gases have caused an average rise in global temperature of 0.74 degrees C. But many scientists contend that, unless current emission rates are radically curbed, it is possible that future average temperatures could rise by as much as 4.3 degrees C.” This rapid increase in temperature due to climate change means the glaciers are receding at a faster pace which has never happened before and will have a multitude of adverse effects to region. First, the decrease in snowmelt means an increase in severe droughts in the off-monsoon season for the low-lying countries, leading to less water and food security. Secondly, the melting of the glaciers also means that the high-altitude lakes and reservoirs will overflow, downstream, and potentially flood the nearby cities. And third, other concerns include irregular rainfall, changes in the monsoon season and the greater risks of catastrophes such as avalanches and landslides.

Climate change is real and is affecting the biodiversity. It will have an effect on almost 1/6th of the world’s population that lives in the snow-melt fed river basins. If we are to continue in this trend of warming our planet, we will soon have no roof over our head.

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn
1 Comment  comments 
formats

Seeing Climate Change in my Balkan Home by city Tech Blogger Marko Cibic

Even though I was born in the United States to acquire citizenship so I could travel the world freely, I still consider myself to be full Yugoslavian. Both sides of my family come from the Balkan region of the world, which include countries like Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to be exact. As of late, I would have to say that climate change is taking quite a toll on the European countries, including the Balkan region. The constant burning of fossil fuels is increasing greenhouse gases resulting in a heat-trapping effect that could be detrimental for years to come. We began seeing the serious effects of global warming back in the summer of 2003 when record breaking heat waves were documented killing roughly around 70,000 people. Later it was stated by Bob Berwyn author of the article Europe’s Hot, Fiery Summer Linked to Global Warming, Study Shows that  a landmark climate attribution study in 2004 determined that the buildup of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels made the extreme temperatures of 2003 at least twice as likely as they would have been a world with no human-caused greenhouse gases”. He has also said, “The scientists from universities and research institutions in Europe and the United States, said they are more certain than ever that human-caused global warming is a key driver of the extreme heat”.

The image shown above represents a map of the precipitation patterns engulfing the Balkan region of Europe. As you can see the percentages vary between zero and let’s say 500 to be exact, we can point out that the Balkan region received a record-breaking percentage of precipitation during the month of April back in 2014. This map gives us an idea of how great this impact was and how it actually affected that region of Europe

I would have to agree with this gentleman, there is not enough awareness on this issue so as a result, people are willing to continue destroying the land which they live upon and not worry about the consequences that may arise later on in their lives. It is sad to see all the data and information that was collected over the years be scrutinized especially when researchers and scientists are willing to sacrifice their lives to make those who are unaware aware. In the midst of it all, people still do not find these matters serious enough for them to act on their own. They continue to live a carefree life believing that the earth shall protect them forever. As far as the Balkan region is concerned, where most of my family lives, climate change is expected to result in an increase in severity and frequency of droughts and heat waves, which may cause significant impacts on several areas in the West Balkan region. Agriculture and fisheries are the main resources for food production and are also among the most vulnerable areas to the climatic changes in the Balkan region with their huge water demand and narrow climatic position. Not only have droughts and heat waves affected the Balkan region but major flooding back in the early months of 2014 have left people in disarray. Leaving many people homeless and taking their livelihoods away from them. People do not understand that these natural disasters take quite a toll on a person’s mental health. Forget about physical health which can be cured in a hospital, it would be much harder for a psychologist to cure a person’s mental health after living through such a catastrophe. It is hard to start life again after something like this has consumed you. Many people cannot relate because they were not put in the same position, so instead of trying to relating to them, we should find a better solution –  like raising awareness of the worldly situations instead of voicing their tragedies to the public. More action needs to take place and fast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn
No Comments  comments 
formats

Can you survive under water? by City Tech Blogger Christopher Barros

We all view water as being one of the most essential factors for survival, the reason for this is because we can only sustain being without it for about two weeks. However what if this same water was surrounding you and little by little gaining height and potentially threatening your ability to breath? One way to escape from this would be to tread water, but for how long? We are living in a world where this is happening and no, it is not a hoax made up by the Chinese. Rising sea levels are threatening coastal areas with devastating floods, destructive erosion, and massive agricultural soil contamination, not to mention the loss of habitat for fish, birds, and plants.

https://cdn.zmescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2301813128.jpg

 

The cause of this is what we call Global warming. The continuous burning of fossil fuel and the interaction of humans disrupting Mother Nature has accelerated the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere trapping heat and causing the temperature of the earth’s surface to rise. The worst part is that the earth’s ocean absorbs 80% of the heat that is trapped and causes the melting of glaciers around the earth. At this rate, we are allowing the ocean to rise, and we can predict that within a century Greenland’s ice-sheet will be completely melted and London completely submerged under the most essential element we need for survival.  Although our federal government may not support the Paris agreement, many states have pledged to keep their promise and reach their accord. NYC my current place of residence, is in one of those states, (New York State) and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is making agencies take action on recycling, energy consumption, waste management, and carbon neutrality.

 
 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn
No Comments  comments