400 ppm and Rising

by Alison Lueders, Great Green Editing

In keeping with the relaxed spirit of the soon-to-be-here summer season, today’s post is short.  Just a couple of points to mention.

First, the New York Times reported last month that the Earth passed the 400 parts per million threshold of CO2 in the atmosphere on May 9. According to the Times, “the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.”

Florida sea level rise

Second, Mayor Bloomberg this week announced a $20 billion storm protection plan for New York City. He lays out the specifics in a 438-page report that focuses on strengthening infrastructure like the power grid and protecting the shore.

Third, it’s interesting to note that New York City’s plan covers 520 miles of coastline.  Florida’s coastline is 1,197 miles. I’d love to see a storm protection plan for Florida.

Speaking of which, next week in Fort Lauderdale, the Association of Climate Change Officers is hosting the 2013 Rising Seas Summit. The Summit invites people from government, business, academia and the NGO sector to meet to “understand, anticipate and adapt to water related threats”, which are pretty much a sure thing in light of the first point above.

So if you’re headed to the beach this summer, enjoy! But think about what needs to be done to ensure those beaches are around for the next generation.