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Entries in climate (2)


Climate Change: A Crisis and an Opportunity

The Beacon at The Tower at PNC Plaza visualizes how the building maximizes its use of natural resources. Image © Chris Leonard.

Last year was a rough year for climate action advocates, particularly in the United States. We witnessed one of the three warmest years recorded; historic lows in Arctic sea ice; devastating hurricanes and flooding in Texas, the Caribbean, and Florida; and record-breaking wild fires throughout California. A report released in June by scientists from 13 federal agencies concluded that barring drastic action to reduce carbon emissions, we would likely see a 5 degree Celsius or more increase in temperature by end of the century, which would result in crop yields plunging, electricity consumption spikes, and untold damage to coastal cities.

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Who’ll Stop the Rain: Urban Design with Nature

Marines patrol past flooded Houston home. Photo by Lance Cpl. Niles Lee.

“Long as I remember, the rain been comin' down.

Clouds of mystery pourin', confusion on the ground.

Good men through the ages, tryin' to find the sun.

And I wonder, still I wonder, who'll stop the rain?”

John Fogerty’s lyrics from 1970’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain” became a devastating reality in 2017 when catastrophic storms hit the Texas Gulf Coast, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Millions of people were impacted with record amounts of rainfall – in some cases, a year’s worth in a few days! Flooding is a necessary natural phenomenon for a healthy ecosystem, but too much and in the wrong place is a deadly combination. But just how much flooding are we talking about?

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