Venice floods: Climate change behind highest tide in 50 years, says mayor
The British Broadcasting Corporation
The highest water levels in the region in more than 50 years will leave “a permanent mark”, Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro tweeted.
“Now the government must listen,” he added. “These are the effects of climate change… the costs will be high.”
Florida’s building code doesn’t take sea rise into account. That could change this year
Alex Harris, Miami Herald
The last time the Florida building code changed, it required any new construction along the coast to elevate buildings a whole foot. Just three years later, that doesn’t look like enough. There’s a call to go up yet another foot.
The rising base elevations of homes are a clear sign that — despite waffling political rhetoric from the federal and state level — the people who plan and build in coastal Florida consider the threat of sea rise very real.
“If we’re going to build a resilient Florida, the hurricanes aren’t going away. Climate change isn’t going to stop,” said Craig Fugate, Florida’s former director of emergency management and FEMA head under Barack Obama. “We cannot keep building the way we always have and expect a different outcome in future disasters.”
Miami-Dade Aims to Expand PACE Program to Help Protect Against Sea Level Rise
Josephine Fuller, Miami Beach Times
Last month, Miami-Dade County Commission Vice-Chair Woman, Rebeca Sosa, advanced two legislative items that would help further protections for property owners against sea level rise. The items will expand the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, also known as PACE.
PACE is a financing program that allows property owners to voluntarily opt into a special assessment district in order to finance improvements on their property. The new items were passed unanimously by County Commissioners and will move on the Florida Legislature for consideration.
“The PACE program has been greatly successful and is already helping many families make their homes energy efficient and safer against hurricanes,” Commissioner Sosa said. “Expanding the program will provide our residents with a greater opportunity to make their homes more resilient and give them the assistance they need.”
For Florida, dangerous climate change has arrived
While it is too late to stop global warming, we can prevent it from getting worse, two scientists write.
Tampa Bay Times
The Florida peninsula bravely occupies the space between the warm, salty Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Stream. On one hand, the warm waters offshore are responsible for the humid and verdant environment that Florida enjoys (it sits at latitudes more commonly associated with deserts). On the other hand, Florida’s geography leaves it vulnerable to attack by hurricanes from either side.
In October 2018 Hurricane Michael veered north of Tampa Bay but left a swath of devastation through the Florida panhandle, becoming the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the United States in decades and the latest ever in the season to landfall as a Cat 5. Earlier this year, Florida fell squarely in the uncertainty cone of Dorian, tied for the strongest-ever Atlantic hurricane to make landfall. Fortunately for Florida, the storm missed the peninsula once again. Another bullet dodged.
Florida’s soldiers face more heat risk from climate change than any other state
Alex Harris, Miami Herald
On a military base, a black flag is bad news. That means it’s too hot outside to do anything strenuous, so training and missions are put off until conditions improve.
As the climate changes, there could be plenty more black flag days ahead, especially in Florida, a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists found. America’s military bases could see an average of an extra month of dangerously hot days by mid-century. In Florida, they could quadruple.
Pentagon data shows heat-related illnesses and injuries are on the rise in every branch of the military. Last year, nearly 2,800 soldiers suffered heatstroke or heat exhaustion, a roughly 50 percent jump from 2014.