Tennessee floods represent worldwide climate crisis

August 26, 2021 by  
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At least 21 people have been reported dead and more still missing following heavy flash floods in Tennessee . The floods occurred last weekend as a result of a heavy downpour in Middle Tennessee. Some parts of the state witnessed up to 17 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. As a result, streets turned into rivers, leading to massive property destruction and loss of lives. The floods witnessed over the weekend were the second major flooding event in the state this year alone. Early in the year, torrential floods in Nashville killed at least four people. As is the case with this latest flooding, property damage also occurred. Related: Will Lagos be submerged by 2100? The extreme weather events witnessed in Tennessee are not isolated. For a long time, scientists have been raising alarms over the effects of climate change. In recent years, the cost of climate change has started manifesting in an unprecedented manner. Flash floods, famine, and forest fires have become the order of the day in many parts of the world.  As Earth warms up, more people are at risk of flash floods. Hot air holds more moisture and dries out the soil , making it less absorbent. When torrential rainfall happens in such an environment, the result is flash floods. The water overwhelms dams and pipes and can destroy other drainage infrastructure systems. These flash floods aren’t limited to Tennessee. This summer, about 180 people were killed in flash floods in Germany and Belgium. In central China, 25 people were reported dead after being trapped by rising water. In western India, over 100 people died following a landslide after heavy rains. These events have cumulatively claimed over 300 lives in less than a year.  Global leaders have been reluctant to adopt critical measures to prevent global warming. The  Paris Climate Accord  of 2015 required the world to keep global warming from rising over 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Failure to achieve this would cause irreversible environmental damage. Scientists predict this would mean more diseases, severe weather events and loss of lives.  Currently, the situation does not seem to be getting better. Early this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA ) released data showing that  July 2021 was the hottest month in history . Via NPR Lead image via Pixabay

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Tennessee floods represent worldwide climate crisis

Moon wobble could lead to massive flooding

July 16, 2021 by  
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Considering retiring on the coast one day? Better rethink your plans. A new NASA study explains that a cute-sounding phenomenon called a “ moon wobble” could lead to devastating coastal floods in the next decade. “In the mid-2030s, every U.S. coast will experience rapidly increasing high-tide floods, when a lunar cycle will amplify rising sea levels caused by climate change ,” the report warned. Related: Severe coastal floods could affect 287 million people by 2100 But don’t expect to look up and catch a glimpse of a jumpy moon. The wobble refers to an 18.6-year cycle that sharp-eyed astronomers first noted in 1728. During the cycle, the moon wobbles a little in one direction, then the other. One way means lower tides, the other, higher. As you can imagine, higher tides coupled with rising seas will mean some very wet and ruined  coastal  cities that could put humans at risk. “We’re going to have sort of a double-whammy,” William Sweet,  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  (NOAA) oceanographer and one of the study’s authors, told The Washington Post. “It means that coastal communities — unless they adapt and fortify — are likely to expect even greater flooding than they might otherwise.” In 2019 alone, NOAA tracked 600  floods  caused by high tides on the Gulf and East Coasts. Once the moon wobbles, this number could shoot up. NASA said some clusters of floods could last over a month. Not only could we have flooding, but also public health disasters like stinking cesspools. The moon is now amping up for the flood-prone half of its cycle. And if the human race survives for another 18.6-year cycle, the next one will be worse, thanks to rising  oceans . In the 2030s, Hawaii and Guam will be in trouble, along with just about every piece of U.S. coastline, except perhaps Alaska. For the study,  researchers  examined 89 coastal locations in U.S. states and territories. They studied astronomical cycles and predicted the likelihood of how the moon will affect tides and flooding up to the year 2080. NASA’s  Sea Level Portal  helps citizens better understand what might be in store. Via HuffPost , AlJazeera Lead image via Pixabay

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Moon wobble could lead to massive flooding

Moon wobble could lead to massive flooding

July 16, 2021 by  
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Considering retiring on the coast one day? Better rethink your plans. A new NASA study explains that a cute-sounding phenomenon called a “ moon wobble” could lead to devastating coastal floods in the next decade. “In the mid-2030s, every U.S. coast will experience rapidly increasing high-tide floods, when a lunar cycle will amplify rising sea levels caused by climate change ,” the report warned. Related: Severe coastal floods could affect 287 million people by 2100 But don’t expect to look up and catch a glimpse of a jumpy moon. The wobble refers to an 18.6-year cycle that sharp-eyed astronomers first noted in 1728. During the cycle, the moon wobbles a little in one direction, then the other. One way means lower tides, the other, higher. As you can imagine, higher tides coupled with rising seas will mean some very wet and ruined  coastal  cities that could put humans at risk. “We’re going to have sort of a double-whammy,” William Sweet,  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  (NOAA) oceanographer and one of the study’s authors, told The Washington Post. “It means that coastal communities — unless they adapt and fortify — are likely to expect even greater flooding than they might otherwise.” In 2019 alone, NOAA tracked 600  floods  caused by high tides on the Gulf and East Coasts. Once the moon wobbles, this number could shoot up. NASA said some clusters of floods could last over a month. Not only could we have flooding, but also public health disasters like stinking cesspools. The moon is now amping up for the flood-prone half of its cycle. And if the human race survives for another 18.6-year cycle, the next one will be worse, thanks to rising  oceans . In the 2030s, Hawaii and Guam will be in trouble, along with just about every piece of U.S. coastline, except perhaps Alaska. For the study,  researchers  examined 89 coastal locations in U.S. states and territories. They studied astronomical cycles and predicted the likelihood of how the moon will affect tides and flooding up to the year 2080. NASA’s  Sea Level Portal  helps citizens better understand what might be in store. Via HuffPost , AlJazeera Lead image via Pixabay

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Moon wobble could lead to massive flooding

These prefabricated tiny homes are earthquake- and fire-resistant

July 16, 2021 by  
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What began as a mission to provide a stable housing option in Papua New Guinea turned into a business model that now sees plug-and-live housing being shipped everywhere in the world. The founders of what became Nestron were met with many obstacles in completing that initial commitment following their visit to Papua New Guinea in 2013. Learning from the process, they launched the Nestron company in 2017. Four years later, they are setting a standard for tiny houses of the future. Nestron’s tiny homes have been called futuristic with their otherworldly look contoured out of a steel frame. Thee company currently offers four models of tiny homes , each of which is 100% prefabricated and equipped with smart features and green technology. The designers found it was most efficient to prefabricate the homes to avoid issues with contractors and supplies on the receiving end. While the pipeline production maximizes accuracy in manufacturing, it also minimizes material waste. Related: Tiny Topanga builds steel-framed tiny homes with artisan touches The houses are customizable with a variety of color and style options. Customers can even select their favorite furniture, because each tiny house arrives fully furnished and ready to live in. Once on location, the tiny house leaves a minimal site impact thanks to its ability to sit directly on flat land without a foundation. The compact designs require little installation with the exception of plugging into electrical and plumbing systems. As part of the customization process, customers can add on green features such as solar panels and a composting toilet. “We take our efforts in caring for the environment seriously because we believe that everything starts at home, hence we equip our houses to make a living in them clearly environmentally friendly and enable people to live a sustainable lifestyle without additional effort,” Nestron said.  Along with the home’s steel frame, 90% of the materials used in the construction process are recyclable and produce very low emissions . The exterior coating and interior insulation offer a high level of soundproofing, but the houses are also rated to endure level-7 earthquakes and level-10 typhoons. The exterior wall material is fire-resistant for two hours or more, and the interior walls are fire-resistant for at least one hour. In addition to the 14.5-square-meter Cube One, and 26-square-meter Cube Two, the company offers more traditional models with the Legend One and Legend Two. All models come with a 50-year material and construction guarantee. The company ships anywhere in the world. + Nestron Images via Nestron

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These prefabricated tiny homes are earthquake- and fire-resistant

These prefabricated tiny homes are earthquake- and fire-resistant

July 16, 2021 by  
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What began as a mission to provide a stable housing option in Papua New Guinea turned into a business model that now sees plug-and-live housing being shipped everywhere in the world. The founders of what became Nestron were met with many obstacles in completing that initial commitment following their visit to Papua New Guinea in 2013. Learning from the process, they launched the Nestron company in 2017. Four years later, they are setting a standard for tiny houses of the future. Nestron’s tiny homes have been called futuristic with their otherworldly look contoured out of a steel frame. Thee company currently offers four models of tiny homes , each of which is 100% prefabricated and equipped with smart features and green technology. The designers found it was most efficient to prefabricate the homes to avoid issues with contractors and supplies on the receiving end. While the pipeline production maximizes accuracy in manufacturing, it also minimizes material waste. Related: Tiny Topanga builds steel-framed tiny homes with artisan touches The houses are customizable with a variety of color and style options. Customers can even select their favorite furniture, because each tiny house arrives fully furnished and ready to live in. Once on location, the tiny house leaves a minimal site impact thanks to its ability to sit directly on flat land without a foundation. The compact designs require little installation with the exception of plugging into electrical and plumbing systems. As part of the customization process, customers can add on green features such as solar panels and a composting toilet. “We take our efforts in caring for the environment seriously because we believe that everything starts at home, hence we equip our houses to make a living in them clearly environmentally friendly and enable people to live a sustainable lifestyle without additional effort,” Nestron said.  Along with the home’s steel frame, 90% of the materials used in the construction process are recyclable and produce very low emissions . The exterior coating and interior insulation offer a high level of soundproofing, but the houses are also rated to endure level-7 earthquakes and level-10 typhoons. The exterior wall material is fire-resistant for two hours or more, and the interior walls are fire-resistant for at least one hour. In addition to the 14.5-square-meter Cube One, and 26-square-meter Cube Two, the company offers more traditional models with the Legend One and Legend Two. All models come with a 50-year material and construction guarantee. The company ships anywhere in the world. + Nestron Images via Nestron

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These prefabricated tiny homes are earthquake- and fire-resistant

La Poste du Louvre turns the page from 1888 to 2022

July 16, 2021 by  
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The story of la Poste du Louvre is both historic and modern. Originally built as a post office (la Poste) on du Louvre street in a central area of Paris , France, the building is now undergoing a transformation into a multipurpose space that has earned several environmental certifications.  It’s an example of honoring a classic building, constructed from 1888 to 1898 following the design by Julien Guadet. La Poste du Louvre has long served as a post office in a changing industry that has resulted in endless renovations over the century-and-a-half of its history. Updates took place during the 1960s through the 1980s, with intensive reconstruction following a fire in 1975. But the building, under the ownership of la Poste du Louvre’s real estate subsidiary Poste Immo, is receiving a comprehensive and modern conversion guided by architect Dominique Perrault, whose vision includes a hotel, restaurant , shops, offices and social housing. Plus, the post office remains intact. Related: Ranch Dressing house sets example for modernization with minimal impact Perrault placed a special focus on going beyond the outlined criteria required to earn certifications related to sustainable architecture. As a result, the building achieves triple certification from NF HQE Rénovation (Excellent level), LEED Core & Shell Gold and BREEAM (Very Good level).  While working to keep the framework of the original building, secondary structures were built inside for additional support. In this way, the new design kept the building’s original stone and metal as well as original decorative elements like painted ceilings and heritage clocks. Even in keeping with the existing architecture, the space received extensive upgrades in regards to thermal insulation. Updates to air treatment systems and controllable facades keep interior temperatures at a comfortable level with high energy-efficiency . Long-term living spaces feature strategically placed windows to maximize views and natural lighting. Furthermore, the roof is equipped with solar panels to supplement energy usage. The roof doubles as a garden with a selection of plants. The building is equipped to recover rainwater , which will be reused for cleaning and watering the plants. Even the basement is upgraded, with the bottom two levels of the building equipped for parking, including charging ports for electric or hybrid vehicles. La Poste du Louvre is expected to open to the public in 2022. + Dominique Perrault Architecture Photography by Michel Denance via Dominique Perrault Architecture

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La Poste du Louvre turns the page from 1888 to 2022

Houston Bike Share offers free bicycles to people who lost cars to Harvey

September 14, 2017 by  
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Houston Bike Share is distributing free bicycles to those who lost their vehicles in Hurricane Harvey . When the powerful storm dumped a record amount of rain on the Houston area, damaging at least 100,000 homes and killing more than 70 people, it also destroyed hundreds of thousands of cars. Many of those who lost their vehicles are still paying for them, which makes purchasing a new car difficult. Through its program Keep Houston Rolling , in partnership with  BikeHouston , Freewheels Houston and Rice Bikes , Houston Bike Share aims to provide access to alternative transportation to those who need it. Houston is a car city, as is clear in its infrastructure and its local culture. “I love driving my car, I’m never going to get rid of it,” admitted Carter Stern, executive director of  Houston Bike Share . “But I ride my bike to work three to four days a week, and that’s great. I [view] the mobility in a city less as a binary decision and more as giving people a healthy ecosystem of options.” In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, access to bikes could make a difference for those who currently are immobile without their vehicles. “It’s a way for us to put a dent in some of the issues that are going to be facing Houston in the aftermath of the storm,” said Stern. Related: China’s largest bike share launches air-purifying bicycles for 20 million citizens Although Keep Houston Rolling is serving an immediate need in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, it may have a sustained impact on how the city views and supports biking as a transportation mode going forward.  “When I go to city meetings or talk with the community, there’s a lot of skepticism around using a bike for utilitarian purposes, not just for fun,” said Stern. “But once you start using it to go to the store or go to work, you realize it’s healthy, it’s easy, it’s good, it’s relaxing.” Via Fast Company Lead image via Pixabay , others via Houston Bike Share and Brandon Navarro

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NASA researchers says Harvey flooding pushed Houston down two centimeters

September 11, 2017 by  
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Harvey unloaded around 33 trillion gallons of water in the United States, the weight of which is capable of bending the Earth’s crust . From satellite data , it looks like this is what happened in Houston . Scientist Chris Milliner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted a map with GPS data revealing Houston has been pushed down by around two centimeters (or about 0.8 inches). Milliner’s map included Nevada Geodetic Laboratory data revealing the area around Houston was actually pushed down because of the weight of all the water from the tropical storm . One gallon of water weighs around 8.34 pounds, so if Harvey dumped 33 trillion gallons of water, that’s about 275 trillion pounds. Related: Arctic warming likely turned Harvey into “an extreme killer storm” GPS data show #Harveyflood was so large it flexed Earth's crust, pushing #Houston down by ~2 cm! #EarthScience #HurricaneHarvey #txflood pic.twitter.com/88lNScJBq9 — Chris Milliner (@Geo_GIF) September 4, 2017 It’s not the first time scientists have documented how the weight of water can alter the land. The Altantic cited a 2012 study focusing on the Himalayas that found a seasonal flux in the mountains’ height as water fell and then made its way down the mountains into Asian rivers. They also noted a 2017 study found “vertical surface displacement [with] peak-to-peak amplitudes” of 0.5 to one centimeter in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Atlantic suggested the changes around Houston could be seen as a “fast-action version” of what takes place in mountain ranges during the seasons. The change could be due to soil beneath GPS stations compacting because of the weight of the water, Milliner said. But he thinks crust deformation was the main means of the change, since some of the GPS stations are on bedrock and also saw the depression. The ground has already been sinking in Houston, because we’ve pumped groundwater out of the city’s aquifers, according to The Atlantic. Milliner clarified the phenomenon he saw after Harvey is in addition to subsidence the city has experienced. Via The Atlantic Images via Chris Milliner on Twitter and U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wolf

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NASA researchers says Harvey flooding pushed Houston down two centimeters

1,200 dead, millions homeless due to flooding in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh

August 30, 2017 by  
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Monsoon rains have drenched India , Bangladesh , and Nepal in what some people are saying is the worst flooding disaster to hit the area in years. South Asia often battles flooding during monsoon season, which runs from around June to September, but authorities say the disaster has been worse this year. At least 1,200 people have died, and millions of people have been left homeless after the deluge. Floods have washed away tens of thousands of houses and led to landslides in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India. Electric towers and roads have been damaged, while farmland has filled with water. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said floods have impacted over 7.4 million people in Bangladesh, where over 697,000 homes have been demolished. Related: World is failing to prepare for increasing natural disasters, UN expert says In the state of Bihar in India, 17.1 million people have been impacted, with 514 killed. Disaster management official Anirudh Kumar of Patna, Bihar’s capital, said 2017’s farming has collapsed due to the waters, which will cause more unemployment in the area. In Uttar Pradesh, 2.5 million have been affected and 109 have died. Thousands of people in the country have sought shelter in relief camps. And landslides in Nepal have killed over 100 people, according to IFRC. According to international aid agencies, flooding has cut off thousands of villages, where people are suffering without clean water or food for days. In Mumbai , India, public transportation was halted and people were left stranded because of the floods. In some places, people waded through water up to their waists. Rescue missions were thwarted because of the rains; Mumbai joint police commissioner Amitesh Kumar said, “Even we are stranded.” The city is vulnerable to storms since buildings have been constructed on coastal areas and flood plains, and waterways and storm drains are often blocked by plastic garbage . Via The Independent and The Guardian Images via screenshot and screenshot

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1,200 dead, millions homeless due to flooding in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh

New Orleans doesn’t need a hurricane to be inundated with water

August 11, 2017 by  
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Almost $15 billion went towards flood protection in New Orleans in the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. But the city once again battled flooding this week – with no hurricane in sight. Several feet of water covered much of the city’s central area as the pump system was overwhelmed. The crisis prompted Governor John Bel Edwards to declare a state of emergency. A heavy storm battered New Orleans this past weekend: in four hours, around nine inches of rain fell, leaving parts of the city flooded. And the city’s drainage system failed to manage the deluge. According to CNN, 16 of the city’s 121 pumps failed, and the overworked system struggled to keep up. The situation worsened as the week went on as a Wednesday fire hit a turbine that powers pumping stations. The governor’s state of emergency declaration pointed to the malfunction of the New Orleans Sewage and Water Board’s power plant, which houses generators that power the pumps. Related: New Orleans’ $14.5 billion rebuilt levees won’t fight a Category 5 hurricane With more rain in the forecast in upcoming days, schools were closed Friday. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called for the resignation of four officials, including the municipal water utility’s director and top engineer, and the public works department’s director. It took 14 hours to drain several feet of water in areas of the city. City records reveal 200 “life-threatening” emergency calls. City residents watched the flood with worry. Local Ronald Williams – who told The Washington Post he finally returned home after Hurricane Katrina just seven months ago – said, “I came home because I believed what they said about the new system and that it was supposed to be the best in the world. But now it seems if we get hit by another Katrina, the city will be gone.” Via The Washington Post and CNN Images via David Fischer on Facebook and screenshot

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New Orleans doesn’t need a hurricane to be inundated with water

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