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Showing posts from August, 2021


  Forget massive seawalls, coastal wetlands offer the best storm protection money can buy shutterstock. Robert Costanza , Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University Coastal communities around the world are facing increasing threats from tropical cyclones. Climate change is causing rising sea levels and bigger, more frequent storms. Many coastal communities are pondering what to do. Should they build massive seawalls in a bid to protect existing infrastructure? Do they give up on their current coastal locations and retreat inland? Or is there another way? In the US, the US Army Corps of Engineers has proposed building a 20-foot high giant seawall to protect Miami, the third most populous metropolis on the US east coast. The US$6 billion proposal is tentative and at least five years off, but sure to be among many proposals in the coming years to protect coastal communities from storms. Read more
  You may have heard the ‘moon wobble’ will intensify coastal floods. Well, here’s what that means for Australia Shutterstock Mark Gibbs , Australian Institute of Marine Science Extreme floods this month have been crippling cities worldwide. This week in China’s Henan province , a year’s worth of rain fell in just three days. Last week, catastrophic floods swept across western Germany and parts of Belgium. And at home, rain fell in Perth for 17 days straight, making it the city’s wettest July in 20 years. But torrential rain isn’t the only cause of floods. Many coastal towns and cities in Australia would already be familiar with what are known as “nuisance” floods, which occur during some high tides. A recent study from NASA and the University of Hawaii suggests even nuisance floods are set to get worse in the mid-2030s as the moon’s orbit begins another phase, combined with rising sea levels from climate change. The study was

Let’s talk about Elephants

  An African Elephant from the Ndutu region which adjoins the Serengeti Plain -Thanks to the unknown photographer Thought we needed a break from climate and weather related phenomena, so yesterday being World Elephant Day, perhaps we should talk a bit about these (mostly) gentle giants. Sadly, as with most other species we've been talking about elephants have also been experiencing rapid decline. A huge survey in 2016 found that there were less than 400,000 African Elephants left and they had declined by 30% in just seven years. The Asian Elephant has fared even worse with only 30,000 remaining and the smaller, more elusive Forest Elephant which lives in South East Asia now has such low numbers that it's considered critically endangered. According to the World Wildlife Fund, 96 elephants a day are being killed by poachers and usually only for their tusks. Besides being the biggest mammals in the world – with the African Bush Elephant standing around 3.96 m (13 ft) high
Europe’s catastrophic flooding was forecast well in advance – what went so wrong? Hannah Cloke , University of Reading   Rescue workers in Paris during recent floods   This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC   Almost 200 people dead and many others still missing. Billions of euros’ worth of damage. Communities devastated. Thousands of homes destroyed and their occupants traumatised. I am a flood forecaster who helped to set up the forecasting system that was used to predict the recent floods in Germany and surrounding countries. I saw days in advance that they were coming. I read reports of rainfall and river levels rising. And then I watched with growing horror as the death toll surged. The European Flood Awareness System (EFAS), which I helped to set up, is part of the EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service. It provides early information on flooding to national and local authorities across Europe. I work closely with people there in my role as an indepen

Say Thanks to a Ranger today

    Say a big Hi and a Thank You to all our Rangers today   I was going   to cover write  more about the animals  – e.g. Marine creatures such as Whales and Sharks, The Elephants, Primates and Reptiles, who’ve all had special days recently, but iwhereever you look the story is much the same, extinction is happening before your eyes, not that there aren’t heroic efforts underway around the world to prevent it. We shall take these up again from time to time, but let’s celebrate World Ranger Day today, if you are east of the international dateline, yesterday if  to the west, and give a big shout out to those at the front lines. Being a ranger is even deadlier than being a journalist these days. One thousand one hundred and twelve have died in the line of duty since 2009. While those who challenge poachers in Africa and Asia have been most at risk, others have died through encounters with wild animals, through drowning, motor vehicle accidents and fire. Over the past year Covid 19 h