Day: July 15, 2021

‘The water is coming’: Florida Keys faces stark reality as seas rise

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Officials prepare to elevate streets despite financial shortfalls, amid recognition that not every home can be saved.

Luxury brand repairs its and other brands’ handbags in sustainability push

Read the full story from Springwise.

A luxury leather goods company reduces fashion waste by offering lifetime maintenance on both its bags and other brands.

Plastic waste can be transformed into vanilla flavoring

Read the full story in Smithsonian Magazine.

Scientists have found an innovative approach to combat the global plastic waste crisis and make something sweeter in the process.

To meet the demands for vanillin, the primary component of vanilla bean extract, and reduce plastic waste, researchers are converting plastic into vanilla flavoring using genetically engineered bacteria, according to a new study published in Green Chemistry. This study marks the first time researchers brewed up a “valuable” chemical compound from plastic waste, reports Damian Carrington for the Guardian.

What’s the best way to help the climate and people, too? Home improvement

Read the full story at NPR.

Workmen have invaded Flora Dillard’s house on the east side of Cleveland. There’s plastic over everything and no place to sit, but Dillard doesn’t seem to mind. “A couple of days of inconvenience is nothing, compared to the results that you get,” she says.

She’ll benefit, and so might the climate. The workers have plugged cracks around the foundation and rerouted an air vent to reduce the risk that mold will form. They’re insulating the drafty upstairs bedroom, which was so cold that Dillard had resorted to multiple electric space heaters this past winter. They also discovered and fixed a gas leak. “I could have blew up,” Dillard says. “Me and my grandbabies and my brother who’s here visiting.”

She didn’t pay for any of this. She can’t afford to. But thanks to government and utility help, her house soon should be more comfortable, safer and cheaper to heat. She’ll burn less fuel, cutting down on the amount of greenhouse gases she sends into the air.

Vegetation of planet Earth: Researchers publish unique database as open access

Read the full story at Phys.org.

It’s a treasure trove of data: The global geodatabase of vegetation plots “sPlotOpen” is now freely accessible. It contains data on vegetation from 114 countries and from all climate zones on Earth. The database was compiled by an international team of researchers led by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). Researchers around the world finally have a balanced, representative dataset of the Earth’s vegetation at their disposal, as the team reports in the journal Global Ecology & Biogeography.

“One tonne of olivine sand can take in up to one tonne of CO2” says Teresa van Dongen

Read the full story at dezeen.

Dutch designer Teresa van Dongen has launched Aireal, an online library showcasing materials that can capture atmospheric carbon.

The fledgling library contains images and descriptions of materials developed by companies and institutes around the world that store carbon in a useful way via a process known as carbon capture and utilisation (CCU).

Materials featured include olivine, an abundant mineral that can absorb its own mass of carbon dioxide when crushed and scattered on the ground.

Climate change is destroying my country. The nations causing it must help.

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Islands like the Bahamas are paying the price for wealthier nations’ emissions — an injustice crying out for a global remedy.

Before condo collapse, rising seas long pressured Miami coastal properties

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The 12-story condominium tower that crashed down early Thursday near Miami Beach was built on reclaimed wetlands and is perched on a barrier island facing an ocean that has risen about a foot in the past century because of climate change.

Underneath its foundation is sand and organic fill — over a plateau of porous limestone — brought in from the bay after the mangroves were deforested. The fill sinks naturally, and the subsidence worsens as the water table rises.

Investigators are just beginning to try to unravel what caused the Champlain Towers South to collapse into a heap of rubble, leaving at least 159 people missing as of Friday. Experts on sea-level rise and climate change caution that it is too soon to speculate whether rising seas helped destabilize the oceanfront structure. The 40-year-old building was relatively new compared with others on its stretch of beach in the town of Surfside.

But it is already clear that South Florida has been on the front lines of sea-level rise and that the effects of climate change on the infrastructure of the region — from septic systems to aquifers to shoreline erosion — will be a management problem for years.

Manufacturers use games to save energy; Summer Study speaker explains how

Read the full post at ACEEE.

What’s an innovative way to save energy? In recent years, as ACEEE has found, utilities have developed all sorts of games and competitions that motivate homeowners and other people to reduce their energy use. An upcoming analysis highlights how manufacturers are also using gamification as one way to crowdsource energy savings.

Climate Change Library Lab

The Climate Change Library Lab provides information and advice specific to libraries to help them prepare for climate-related disasters or deal with post-disaster recovery within their communities. It includes links to books, videos, articles, and case studies, as well as information about environmental justice and climate literacy.

%d bloggers like this: