Questions to consider
STAGE 1 Understanding Climate Change
Research what climate change is and how it affects your community
Over 600 million people live in coastal areas globally that are less than 10 meters above sea level, and two-thirds of the world’s cities that have populations over five million are located in these at-risk areas.
ACTIONS • Research the science of climate change • Consider the local impacts of severe weather events, as well as the global impacts
Eve Mosher researched the Climate Change 2007 Fourth Assessment and spoke with a climate expert to develop her HighWaterLine project in Lower Manhattan. She wanted to find a way to visualize the very complex phenomenon of climate
What does climate change mean for your community?
Where do greenhouse gases or C02 come from and how does C02 affect the JetStream?
What weather impacts have you noticed from climate change?
What causes sea levels to rise?
What local adaptation plans are in place?
Why is sea level not the same everywhere?
What emergency preparedness plans are in place?
What are other affects of climate change besides sea level rise?
IPCC Fourth Assessment 2007
In 2007 when Mosher set out to research climate change the United Nations Environment Programme and World Meteorological Organization was preparing to publish a “Fourth Assessment” on climate change researched by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This document has been the official guide for cities nationwide in preparation for climate change and confirmed that, “warming of the climate system is unequivocal and is largely due to human activities.” However, the report was also highly critiqued for being both too conservative and too optimistic. The Fifth Assessment will be forthcoming in 2014.
What is the difference between Global Warming and Climate Change?
change and how both changing weather patterns and ocean currents contribute to rising sea levels and how this would impact communities in her own backyard. With increased frequency and intensity of storms, it was projected that the coastal areas could become devastatingly inundated as often as once every 4 years, rendering entire neighborhoods uninhabitable. Mosher decided that to mark the 10-feet above sea level line around Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan would direct citizens to a widely accepted measurement of the 100-year flood line, which in New York City is 9.7 feet. Another piece of research from 2001 directed Mosher to understand the likelihood of the 100 year flood could become as frequent as once in every 43 years by 2020; once every 19 years by 2050; and once every four years by 2080; on average, in the most extreme case.
NOTE: Projected and actual storm surge levels, as well as frequency, are constantly being revised and updated. Actual numbers from Hurricane Sandy are currently being analyzed. Surveying the Destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2012/1120-sandy/survey-of-the-flooding-in-new-york-afterthe-hurricane.html
ACTION STEPS 1. Define and characterize climate change – what is it, how does it work and what’s involved? Investigate ways humans contribute to climate change – industrial pollution, increased carbon dioxide emissions, and the release of greenhouse gases, etc. Read local and regional reports outlined in the RESOURCES section, or visit climatecentral.org to get started. To organize your research, start with one or two central questions. Then create a diagram that draws connections to local places, people and contexts. 2. Visit your county or city department of records online or ask in person for old and current flood maps, 25, 50 and 100-year storm management plans and other information about emergency preparedness and disaster relief plans. Use a camera to capture waterways and important infrastructure digitally, make printed copies, and
compare/contrast historical records to current maps and weather predictions in your community. 3. Search the Internet, library and other sources for stories of people affected by extreme weather and climate change in your local community. Create an archive of these stories as source material to share with your community when you go out and mark your line. 4. Seek a local expert on climate change and learn about local impacts. Research the data and find a reputable representative of the local climate science community Recommended Resource: Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Sciences (download PDF) climatescience.gov
In the mean time: “Heat waves are longer and hotter than they used to be and some regions are suffering from catastrophic drought. Heavy rains are more frequent and can be more intense, and rainfall records have been smashed. These events fit a pattern that climate scientists have long expected to appear as the result of increased greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. That doesn’t mean global warming is the only culprit: extreme weather was happening before global warming began. But there’s general scientific agreement that global warming has contributed to a trend toward more intense extremes of heat and precipitation around the world, is partly to blame for specific extreme weather events over the last decade and will continue to influence both in the future.” (Source: Climate Central. (2011). Extreme Weather and Climate Change. http://www.climatecentral.org/features/extreme-weather-of-2011)
ecoartspace presents Eve Mosher's HighWaterLine ACTION GUIDE, the first in a series of ten art and ecology learning guides presenting replic...