Damaged Oroville spillway in California prompts mass evacuations

February 13, 2017 by  
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Winter storms continue to drench California , and over the weekend people living near Oroville in Northern California faced a crisis. After officials noticed a hole in the emergency spillway at the United States’ tallest dam , around 180,000 residents were ordered to evacuate , some given just one hour to flee their homes. Flooding in the area had been a threat for around a week as the reservoir behind Oroville Dam reached capacity. When the main spillway started eroding, officials opened an emergency spillway that’s never been used since the dam was built in the 1960’s. But then officials noticed the hole, and ordered evacuations on Sunday. Some residents had just one hour’s notice before officials feared the auxiliary spillway could fail, which could precipitate “an uncontrolled release of flood waters from Lake Oroville,” according to the National Weather Service . Related: Record winter storm pounds California Late Sunday reservoir water levels finally lowered, providing a bit of a respite. But officials said evacuations should continue, and conditions are still perilous. Governor Jerry Brown proclaimed a state of emergency on Sunday for three counties , saying in a statement, “I’ve been in close contact with emergency personnel managing the situation in Oroville throughout the weekend and it’s clear the circumstances are complex and rapidly changing.” During the night evacuation shelters were still being outfitted with blankets and beds, according to NPR. Gizmodo reports residents of Oroville, Wheatland, Marysville, Plumas Lake, Hallwood, and Olivehurst were told to evacuate. According to the Los Angeles Times, if the emergency spillway failed, large amounts of water could gush into the Feather River, which travels through downtown Oroville. Flooding and levee failures would likely follow in the wake of a spillway failure for miles south of the Oroville Dam. Many communities could be flooded if that were to happen. Via NPR , the Los Angeles Times , and Gizmodo Images via California Department of Water Resources Facebook and Wikimedia Commons

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Damaged Oroville spillway in California prompts mass evacuations

Historic tram depot reborn as chic co-working space and restaurant in Amsterdam

February 13, 2017 by  
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As if charming canals and beautiful bicycle paths weren’t reasons enough to visit Amsterdam, the cosmopolitan city just welcomed another beautiful landmark with a gorgeous multipurpose space for both work and play. Converted from a former tram depot in Amsterdam west by design firm Studio Modijefsky , the cavernous Kanarie Club is a stunning example of adaptive reuse that’s refreshingly modern without compromising the building’s historic integrity. Although Amsterdam is better known for its canals, the city also prides itself on its extensive tram network still in use today. To pay tribute to the old trams, the architects carefully preserved elements of the De Hallen tram depot, formerly used to service broken trams, during the restoration process. The new interior pays homage to the materials and color palette of the 19th century tram depot, from the custom-made furniture that mimics the vintage design of old electric tram seats to the tram signage and language adopted for the restaurant signage. The architects bring greater attention to the old trams with light-integrated arches and enclaves aligned with the tram rails in the ground. Tall vaulted ceilings, skylights, and large windows fill the venue with natural light, while the open layout adds to the sense of spaciousness. Exposed brick, industrial lighting, and multiple references to the tram depot’s history give the space an industrial chic vibe, while the bold colors, strings of light, and tropical plants gives it a playful edge. The centrally located bar placed atop a platform forms the focal point of the venue. Level changes help delineate different spaces. During the day the Kanarie Club functions more as co-working space and is outfitted with lockers, charging points, and built-in USBs. The space also has restaurant amenities and a kitchen. Related: Old potato barns come back to life as a pair of modern and stylish homes The most playful space in the Kanarie Club is the Pool Bar, a lounge area with a blue-painted pool that has no water. Studio Modijefsky writes: “The concept is taken from the squatters who used to live in the old tram depot before its renovation, they used the leaking water from the ceiling to create an inside pool for themselves. The new pool however will not be filled with water. With round comfy cushions and a splash of blue everywhere, it’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a cocktail. Made out of blue rubber with a stroke of matching tiles, the pool is complimented with a typical pool railing and a wavy mirror element on the bar lift. Pool signs and graphics with a direct reference to swimming pool rules have been used in the space to emphasize the identity of this part of the interior.” + Studio Modijefsky Images by Maarten Willemstein

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Historic tram depot reborn as chic co-working space and restaurant in Amsterdam

Designers float plan to cover Toronto’s CN Tower with clip-on condos

February 13, 2017 by  
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CN Tower in Toronto , Canada once held the title of world’s tallest freestanding structure until China’s Canton Tower and the Burj Khalifa overtook it. Now design firm Quadrangle has come up with a new vision for the 1970’s building: to cover it in modular Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) condominiums . The wooden residential pods would cling to the outside of the tower between wind-shielding wings. Once a broadcasting tower, the CN Tower today is mainly a tourist attraction, with a restaurant and hands-free walk on a ledge 116 stories above ground. Honoring what Quadrangle calls Toronto’s “tradition of reinvention and exploration,” the design team dreamed up a new use for the tower. Instead of just visiting occasionally, people could call the CN Tower home, enjoying life in condominiums featuring breathtaking views of the Canadian metropolis. Related: Taiwan’s first CLT building paves way to greener alternatives to concrete and steel Quadrangle says the condominiums could be offered in several sizes so people could pick the layout best for them. Supports drilled into the concrete tower would allow the pods to taper as they crept up the side of the building. In their press release Quadrangle said, “Dynamic shapes will evolve from the varying sizes of the units, with staircases creating sharp diagonal incisions in the otherwise cube-like structures.” The studio settled on CLT for the building material , saying it is sustainable, beautiful, and versatile. Using CLT, the condominiums could be snapped together onsite, making for quick construction that wouldn’t disrupt tourist activities too much. The design has its critics. Treehugger pointed out while the tower could probably hold the pods, and the idea very well could revitalize the old building as intended, CLT may not be the best material for the job since it weighs around 31 pounds per cubic foot and would require cladding and insulation. + Quadrangle Via Dezeen and Treehugger Images courtesy of Quadrangle

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Record winter storm pounds California

January 24, 2017 by  
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California is battling one of the strongest winter storms the state has seen in years, prompting Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in 50 counties. After a brutal five-year drought , the state needs rain but the severe weather has also led to mudslides, flooding, and evacuations. Southern California in particular has been hit with a deluge of rain , breaking records in some areas. Los Angeles County coastal areas received most of the brunt of the storm. Long Beach Airport actually saw a new rainfall record of 3.87 inches. National Weather Service meteorologist Brett Albright said some parts of southern California received up to four inches. He told the Los Angeles Times, “Today was very intense. It’s not a normal event…It’s not often we see higher rainfall totals on the coast than in the mountains.” Related: California storms could herald the end of punishing historical drought The storms continue the trend of more rain than usual in California. Since October 1, 2016, downtown Los Angeles has received over 13 inches of rain, which is 216 percent more than normal for this time period, or around 6.26 inches according to the National Weather Service. Swaths of southern California experienced extreme events connected to the storm. Rockslides in Malibu closed roads. In Isla Vista, close to Santa Barbara, a patio and a cliff crashed into the ocean. Residents were told to evacuate in Duarte, Glendora, and parts of Santa Barbara County and Orange County, where 2016 wildfires left behind burned areas that are more susceptible to mudslides. One death in Pomona has been likely connected to the storm; a driver lost control of their car and crashed while driving in heavy rain in the afternoon. Rainfall is supposed to continue into this week, and some areas could see four to six inches of rain during the next couple of days. The state of emergency will help secure state and federal funds to help those struggling with what Gov. Brown called “conditions of extreme peril.” Via the Los Angeles Times Images via Flickinpicks on Flickr and nosha on Flickr

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Record winter storm pounds California

California storms could herald the end of punishing historic drought

January 13, 2017 by  
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Californians may finally receive some relief from the drought they’ve grappled with for five brutal years. Recent storms drenching the state with rain and snow could enable at least Northern California to leave the drought in the past. National Weather Service specialist Tom Fisher said Southern California is seeing the highest rainfall “in at least five years,” while Northern California experiences their highest rainfall “in at least 10 years.” The United States Drought Monitor said Northern California has at last escaped the drought, but Southern California is still grappling with dry conditions. About 30 percent of that region is still experiencing extreme or exceptional drought. Other officials warned it may be too early to claim a full victory over the drought, as California weather conditions can change. Los Angeles Department of Water Resources spokesperson Ted Thomas said the state sometimes begins with a wet winter, only to see dry conditions prevail later on in the season. According to the US Drought Monitor, over 26 million people are estimated to live in areas still dealing with drought. Related: 713 trillion gallons of water discovered under drought-stricken California The extreme conditions have inspired California farmers to come up with creative ways to store water . Terranova Ranch general manager Don Cameron flooded the ranch’s vineyards during the winter, allowing all that water to seep underground to replenish aquifers. As it rarely rains during California summers, and during the drought farmers couldn’t obtain the water they needed from surface reservoirs, they often had to pump water out of the earth to water their crops. But as the drought persisted, wells dried up, and aquifers were depleted. Cameron’s idea worked – the water sank into the ground and didn’t harm the crops on the way down. Other farmers are working with University of California, Davis groundwater hydrologist Helen Dahlke to apply the innovative yet simple method of water management as storms dump water on the state. Cameron told NPR, “This is going to be the future for California. If we don’t store the water during flood periods, we’re not going to make it through the droughts.” Via Phys.org and NPR Images via James Daisa on Flickr and Bob Dass on Flickr

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South Miami Wants to Secede From Florida Due to the State’s Climate Change Apathy

October 23, 2014 by  
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What do you do if your state is ignoring the threat of climate change and putting your home and family in peril? Well, if you’re a group of officials from South Miami , you take matters into your own hands and pass a proposal to secede from northern Florida and attempt to make a difference on your own! Read the rest of South Miami Wants to Secede From Florida Due to the State’s Climate Change Apathy Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , flooding , florida , global warming , rising sea levels , south florida , south miami , South Miami wants to secede from Florida , storms , tornados

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Massive Waves Could Shut Down Arctic Shipping Lanes Even as They Open

July 31, 2014 by  
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Global warming has cleared away the ice that plagued potential Arctic shipping routes, opening them up for speedier and more reliable trade. But without ice to act as a breakwater, huge swells are developing, making the shipping lanes dangerous all over again. In addition, the increasingly large waves serve to destroy the remnant ice, and pose a storm surge threat to low-lying coastal communities. Read the rest of Massive Waves Could Shut Down Arctic Shipping Lanes Even as They Open Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: arctic ocean , beaufort sea , Bering Sea , coastal communities , extreme weather , global warming , north sea , rising sea levels , russia , shipping , storm surges , storms , university of washington

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UNICEF Study Warns Children Will be Hit Hardest by Climate Change

September 23, 2013 by  
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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has released a report that reveals the world’s children are most at risk from the effects of global warming . More than 600 million children who live in the 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change are at increased risk from malaria, diarrhea, malnutrition, hunger and displacement. A child born this year will be 17 in 2030 and 37 in 2050 when the worst effects of climate change are expected in the form of more extreme and frequent droughts, floods, storms, heat waves and wildfires. Read the rest of UNICEF Study Warns Children Will be Hit Hardest by Climate Change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Children , Climate Change , Drought , extreme weather , floods , food , global warming , hunger , Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , malnutrition , Oxfam , storms , unicef , young people        

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UNICEF Study Warns Children Will be Hit Hardest by Climate Change

UNICEF Study Warns Children Will be Hit Hardest by Climate Change

September 23, 2013 by  
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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has released a report that reveals the world’s children are most at risk from the effects of global warming . More than 600 million children who live in the 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change are at increased risk from malaria, diarrhea, malnutrition, hunger and displacement. A child born this year will be 17 in 2030 and 37 in 2050 when the worst effects of climate change are expected in the form of more extreme and frequent droughts, floods, storms, heat waves and wildfires. Read the rest of UNICEF Study Warns Children Will be Hit Hardest by Climate Change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Children , Climate Change , Drought , extreme weather , floods , food , global warming , hunger , Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , malnutrition , Oxfam , storms , unicef , young people        

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Hurricane Sandy Was So Strong it Registered 2.0 on Seismometers Across the US

April 22, 2013 by  
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Hurricane Sandy was so strong that the impact of waves it sent crashing into the eastern shore board of the United States reverberated all across the country, where it registered on seismometers positioned as far as the west coast. This is the first time in recorded history that a hurricane actually shook the earth, according to Oner Sufri, a geophysics doctoral student at the University of Utah , who is tracking the role of global warming and subsequent climate change on storm intensity. Read the rest of Hurricane Sandy Was So Strong it Registered 2.0 on Seismometers Across the US Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , earth , Environment , global warming , Hurricane , Hurricane Sandy , microseism , News , planet , rising temperatures , seismometers , shock waves , standing waves , storms , university of utah        

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