Since the 1980s, as rising seas and storm surges started pushing saltwater through the banks of tidal rivers and ruining their crops, rice farmers in Bangladesh, backed by the government, began shifting to shrimp farming. As Stephen Robert Miller writes in FERN’s latest story, published with The Guardian, “It was a way to adapt, and for a while it worked. Commercial shrimp, known as ‘white gold,’ has become one of the country’s most valuable export commodities.” (No paywall)
As Rowan Jacobsen reports in FERN's latest story, published with Scientific American, research done over the last decade has made clear that "living shorelines" are far better at protecting the coastline from the devastating floods and tidal surges caused by the huge storms of the climate-change era than seawalls and other "armored" shorelines. (No paywall)
With temperatures approximately 1 degree Fahrenheit hotter than the average temperature from 1981 to 2010, 2016 was the hottest year on record, according to a report published by the American Meteorological Society. Last year was the third year in a row for record heat in the U.S.
At least the third study in a year has found that the rate of sea level rise is increasing. A recent report in Nature Climate Change said that the rate of sea level rise had grown from 2.2 millimeters per year in 1993 to a 3.3-millimeter annual rise in 2014.
In Louisiana, rising sea levels are threatening the traditional foodways of tribes that for hundreds of years have found their sustenance on the land and in the water, says Barry Yeoman in FERN’s latest story, "Reclaiming Native Ground," in partnership with The Lens and Gravy, the podcast of the Southern Foodways Alliance.
Under a worst-case scenario, climate change could raise ocean levels an average of more than eight feet by 2100, about 20 inches more than was indicated by the last federal report, published in 2012, according to scientists from universities and multiple federal agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A best-case scenario puts the rise at one foot by 2100, but the scientists say that a 1.5-foot increase is the most realistic.