__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

Lost To The Waves


Lost To The Waves

Designed and illustrated by: Rosie Bond

Typefaces used: Circular STD, Adobe Caslon Pro

Featuring: Ai Wei Wei, Atti Worku, Boris Maas, Dan Majka, Deborah Ribas, Esmee Turlej, Jashim Salam, Julia Watson, Kwan Suh, Luka Ball, Nicholas Bennett, Oceanix City, Olafur Eliason, Shang Hung Lee, Tom Hegen, Tredj Natur, Victoria Vejna, Wan Kee Lee, Yara Said

Data and info sourced from: NASA, UNHCR, C40 Cities, Dezeen, Wikipedia

Copyright © 2020 by Rosie Bond


Contents

02

Introduction

83

Life Jackets: A Symbol Of Hope

03

The Facts

91

Refugee Cities

07

Lost Lands

93

The Future

17

Modern History

98

LOW-TEK Design VS Floating Cities

25

Testimony Of Truth

103

Flood Defences

39

The Present

105

Everyday Products

43

In Conversation With: Tom Hegen

107

The Paris Agreement

51

In Conversation With: Jashim Salam

108

Named and Shamed

59

Fairbourne

109

Cities at Risk

71

Defining: Climate Refugee

111

Individual Responsibilities

77

Gender Equality

113

Summary

79

Ecological Migration

115

Useful Resources


01

Lost To The Waves


For me, our planet’s rising seas are the scariest aspect of climate change. Where will the people go? I had the idea to create this book after learning about ‘the UK’s first climate refugees’ and waking up to the realisation that rising sea levels are displacing people, right now, just a few hours drive away from my home. I later found out that in the first half of 2019, 7 million people were displaced by climate change. This is a record and the number is 2 times bigger than the amount displaced by violence and conflicts. Why is nobody talking about this? I wanted to use my voice in the form of a designed book, with the hope to spark the realisation in others, or even just to trigger a thought, a conversation, a response. Because this involves you, me, your uncle, your second cousin, your kids and your cat. There is a lot that is unknown but we do need to take action now and the best action we can take is to make sure that we are thinking and planning as a collective. Lost To The Waves is an exploration of rising sea levels due to the Earth’s changing climate and the consequences this has, or will have, on living beings. The contents of this book combines science and art to piece together this complex phenomena. It is a challenge for anyone to comprehend the extent of the issues at stake - but by learning from the past and reflecting on what is happening in the present, we are able to acknowledge the crisis we are in, breathe, then move forward in the right direction.

02

Introduction


Chapter I

THE FACTS


The change in sea levels is linked to three primary factors, all induced by ongoing global climate change: 1 / Thermal expansion: When water heats up, it expands. About half of the sea-level rise over the past 25 years is attributable to warmer oceans simply occupying more space. 2 / Melting glaciers: Large ice formations such as mountain glaciers naturally melt a bit each summer. In the winter, snows, primarily from evaporated seawater, are generally sufficient to balance out the melting. Recently, though, persistently higher temperatures caused by global warming have led to greater-than-average summer melting as well as diminished snowfall due to later winters and earlier springs. That creates an imbalance between runoff and ocean evaporation, causing sea levels to rise. 3 / Loss of Greenland and Antarctica’s ice sheets: As with mountain glaciers, increased heat is causing the massive ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica to melt more quickly. Scientists also believe that meltwater from above and seawater from below is seeping beneath Greenland's ice sheets, effectively lubricating ice streams and causing them to move more quickly into the sea.

04

The Facts


Sea Level Rise summed up in 6 facts Rising seas is a result of climate change.

As humans continue to pour greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, oceans have tempered the effect. The world’s seas have absorbed more than 90 percent of the heat from these gases, but it’s taking a toll on our oceans. Average sea levels have swelled over 8 inches since 1880, with about three of those inches gained in the last 25 years. Every year, the sea rises another .13 inches.

Sea-level rise can contaminate water used for drinking and irrigation.

Sea-level rise can both push up the freshwater table and contaminate it with seawater, a phenomenon known as saltwater intrusion. Many coastal areas rely on aquifers for drinking water and irrigation, and once they’re tainted by saltwater they may be unsafe for humans as well as crops.

Sea-level rise can also threaten coastal plant and animal life.

Humans aren’t the only ones who’ll suffer as sea levels rise. Any coastal plants or animals that can’t quickly move to new, less flood-prone habitats could face dire consequences. Sea turtles have a long-established habit of laying eggs on beaches, which need to stay relatively dry for their babies to hatch. Other beach life may also be at risk, including plants. Some salt marshes can adapt, both by growing vertically and by moving inland, but not all flora will be so fortunate. Trees have to work harder to pull water out of salty soil; as a result, their growth can be stunted — and if the soil is salty enough, they will die, a common sign of sea-level rise. Even trees that are especially suited to salty soil can’t survive repeated flooding by seawater.

05

Lost To The Waves


Global flood damage for large coastal cities could cost $1 trillion a year if cities don’t take steps to adapt.

The average global losses from flooding in 2005 were about $6 billion, but the World Bank estimates they’ll rise to $52 billion per year by 2050 based on socioeconomic changes alone. (That means things like increasing coastal populations and property value.) If you add the effects of sea-level rise and sinking land — which is happening even faster in some places — the cost could surge to $1 trillion per year.

Up to 216 million people currently live on land that will be below sea level or regular flood levels by 2100.

Of the estimated 147 million to 216 million people in harm’s way, between 41 million and 63 million live in China. Twelve nations have more than 10 million people living on land at risk from sea-level rise, including China as well as India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and Japan. Bangladesh is especially vulnerable, identified by the U.N. as the country most in danger from rising seas. The situation is also urgent for low-lying island nations like Kiribati, the Maldives, the Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands, where land is already so close to sea level that a few inches make a world of difference. Some are even considering mass relocations — the government of Kiribati, has a web page outlining its strategy for “migration with dignity.”

Sea levels could rise another 1.3 meters in the next 80 years.

In its September 2019 report, the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) raised its upper projection for sea levels at the end of this century, warning the ocean could rise by 1.1 meters before 2100. Sea levels are projected to rise 20 to 60 cm by 2100. Taken with the longer-term effects from melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, that means any strategy to endure sea-level rise must involve adaptation plans as well as efforts to slow the trend.

06

The Facts


Chapter II

LOST LANDS


Global sea level has fluctuated significantly over the Earth’s history. The main factors affecting sea level are the amount and volume of available water and the shape and volume of the ocean basins. The primary influences on water volume are the temperature of the seawater, which affects density, and the amounts of water retained in other reservoirs like rivers, aquifers, lakes, glaciers, polar ice caps and sea ice. Over geological timescales, changes in the shape of the oceanic basins and in land/sea distribution affect sea level. In addition to eustatic changes, local changes in sea level are caused by tectonic uplift and subsidence. Over geologic time sea level has fluctuated by more than 300 metres, possibly more than 400 metres. The main reason for sea level fluctuations in the last 15 million years is the Antarctic ice sheet and Antarctic post-glacial rebound during warm periods. The current sea level is about 130 metres higher than the historical minimum. Historically low levels were reached during the Last Glacial Maximum, about 20,000 years ago. The last time the sea level was higher than today was during the Eemian, about 130,000 years ago.

08

Lost Lands


Russia

Alaska

Beringia

09

Lost To The Waves


Beringia was once a vast super-continental region, connecting Siberia and the Yukon. For perhaps 80% of the last million years, Alaska has been joined to Siberia by this land bridge. The land bridge did more than link the two continents. It also ushered in a new climatic regime to the entire Beringian region by blocking Pacific moisture from entering the interior regions of both Alaska and north-eastern Siberia. These regions became much drier than they are today. In fact they became so dry that their lowlands remained ice-free, even during the coldest climatic episodes of the ice ages. While virtually all of the rest of Canada, parts of western Siberia, and much of northern Europe were buried ice during glaciations, Beringia remained ice-free, except for the mountain regions that managed to catch enough moisture to build up a heavy snowpack. Beringia had a unique landscape and climate that could serve as a refuge for arctic plants and animals, and in fact many Arctic species did survive the ice ages in this refuge.

10

Lost Lands


sia lay Ma

Sundaland

Borneo

ra at

m Su Java

11

Lost To The Waves


Sundaland is a biogeographical region of Southeastern Asia corresponding to a larger landmass that was exposed throughout the last 2.6 million years during periods when sea levels were lower. It includes the Malay Pensinsula on the Asian mainland as well as the large island of Borneo, Java and Sumatra and their surrounding small islands. When sea levels decreased be 30-40 metres or more, land bridges connected the islands. During the last glacial period, sea levels were lower and all of Sundaland was an extension of the Asian continent. As a result, the modern islands of Sundaland are home to many Asian mammals including elephants, monkeys, apes, tigers, tapirs and rhinoceros. The flooding of Sundaland separated species that had once shared the same environment. One example is the river threadfin, which once thrived in a river system now called “North Sunda River�. The fish is now found in the Kapuas River on the island of Borneo, and in the Musi and Batanghari rivers in Sumatra. The population migrations were most likely to have been driven by climate change - the effects of the drowning of an ancient continent. Rising sea levels in three massive pulses may have caused flooding and the submerging of the Sunda continent, creating the Java and South China Seas and the thousands of islands that make up Indonesia and the Philippines today. The changing sea levels would have caused these humans to move away from their coastal homes and culture. This forced migration would have caused these humans to adapt to the new forest and mountainous environments, developing farms and domestications and becoming the predecessors to future human populations in these regions.

12

Lost Lands


Scotland

Doggerland

Ireland ds

Wales

England

he

et

N

Belgium

France

13

n rla

Germany


Doggerland was an area of land, now submerged beneath the southern North Sea, that connected Britain to mainland Europe. It was flooded by rising sea levels around 6500–6200 BC. Geological surveys have suggested that it stretched from where Britain’s east coast now is to the present-day Netherlands, western coast of Germany, and peninsula of Jutland. It was probably a rich habitat with human habitation in the Mesolithic period, although rising sea levels gradually reduced it to low-lying islands before its final submergence, possibly following a tsunami. Archeologists believe it was a vast land of lush undulating hills, rich with animals and stone-age humans. Ancient animal bones and stone and bone tools have been pulled from the sea over the decades, and more remains have been found on shore, but the evidence is relatively scant. Yet, deep beneath the waves, unknown reminders of these lost cultures lie entombed in metres of seafloor sediment, waiting to be discovered.

14

Lost Lands


Molokai

Lanai

Maui

Maui Nui

15

Kahoolawe

Lost To The Waves


Maui is the biggest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, but it hasn’t always been that way. The four modern islands of Maui, Moloka’i, Lana’i and Kaho’olawe once were all connected in one gigantic land mass that scientists have dubbed Maui Nui (which in the Hawaiian language means “big Maui”). At its peak size 1.2 million years ago, Maui Nui stretched for 5,640 square miles, making it about 50 percent bigger than the island of Hawaii is today. Maui Nui was a land of multiple volcanoes, created by spewing vast amounts of lava from Earth’s upper mantle. But what made the island so big also contributed to its demise. As the volcanoes gradually stopped building up the land, the weight of all that lava eventually caused the oceanic crust to buckle and subside. That caused the connections, or saddles, between the volcanoes eventually to sink beneath the water, which gradually split the volcanoes into separate islands. But even though Maui Nui no longer exists as a single island, its presence is still felt. Species spread across its land mass before it separated, so the four islands that resulted have very similar flora and fauna.

16

Lost Lands


Chapter II, Part II

MODERN HISTORY


Since the start of the 20th century, the average global sea level has been rising. Between 1900 and 2016, the sea level rose by 1621cm. Understanding past sea level is important for the analysis of current and future changes. In the recent geological past, changes in land ice and thermal expansion from increased temperatures are the main reasons for sea level rise. The last time the Earth was 2 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial temperatures, sea levels were at least 5 metres higher than now. The warming was sustained over a period of thousands of years and the magnitude of the rise in sea level implies a large contribution from Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. Over the last 50 years more than 90% of the excess heat excess accumulated in the climate system because of greenhouse gas emissions has been stored in the ocean. The rest has been warming the atmosphere and continents, and melting sea and land ice. Sea level rise is one of the most severe consequences of climate change from human activities, with potential major impacts on coastal societies. Determining the magnitude and importance of each component is crucial, though some are better known and easier to calculate than others. RATE OF CHANGE

3.3

Millimeters per year

SEA HEIGHT VARIATION (mm)

80

60

40 20 0 1995

2000

2005 YEAR

Data Source: NASA’s Satellite Sea Level Observatory

18

Modern History

2010

2015

2020


Glacial Melting

19

1980

1985

2000

2005

Lost To The Waves


Climate change

1990

1995

we are 2010

20

2015

Modern History


An El Niño, which is a reoccurring natural phenomenon, happens when sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean warm up. The increased ocean surface temperatures influence air and moisture movement around the globe. 15 years of observations by NASA's fleet of Earth-observing satellites show how El Niños affect multiple interconnected Earth systems. El Niño’s elevated sea surface temperatures shift rain patterns by affecting the temperature of the air above the ocean, which alters how winds and air masses circulate air around the planet. During a large El Niño, like the 2015-16 event, a huge area where sea levels are more than a foot higher than normal. The high sea level is caused by a thick layer of warm water in the upper several hundred feet of the ocean. Such large El Niño events affect weather and climate across the globe, particularly in the western United States. In California, El Niños usually mean above-average winter rainfall, while Oregon and Washington typically see drier-than-normal winters. El Niños can also impact forest fires. Central America and the southern Amazon had very high fire rates in 2016. El Niño tends to reduce rainfall in their wet seasons, and less rain means drier vegetation and drier air, which make forests vulnerable to dry season burning.

21

Lost To The Waves


El NiĂąo

EL NINO

22

Modern History


The Antarctic Circumpolar Current flows in a loop around Antarctica, connecting the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. It is one of the most significant ocean currents in our climate system because it facilitates the exchange of heat among the oceans it links. But how the current transfers heat is still not fully understood. This current is very turbulent, swirling sections of water similar to storms in the atmosphere that are between 30 to 125 miles in diameter. It also spans 13,000 miles through an especially remote and inhospitable part of the world, making it one of the most difficult currents for scientists — as least those of the human variety — to observe and measure. In 2019, scientists from the US Space Agency recruited an elephant seal to dive into the deep to acquire new data. The seal was tagged and monitored temperature changes as it swam more than 3,000 miles in the Antarctic Ocean. Previously scientists believed that heat from global warming was being sucked down from the surface into the deep ocean, and feared that temperatures could rise substantially when the process became exhausted. But the results showed that there are other currents that move the warm water back up again, from where it can evaporate. It collected a continuous stream of data that has provided new insight into how heat moves vertically between ocean layers in this volatile region — insight that brings us one step closer to understanding how much heat from the Sun the ocean there is able to absorb.

23

Lost To The Waves


Into The Deep


Chapter II, Part III

TESTIMONY OF TRUTH


Photos speak louder than words

26

Testimony Of Truth


Carved Ice

Top - Jan 24, 2017 Bottom - Jan 26, 2017

Antarctica’s Amery ice shelf calves giant iceberg

These images show D28, an iceberg estimated to weigh 315 billion tons, before and after it broke free from Antarctica’s Amery Ice Shelf and drifted into the Southern Ocean. Roughly the side of thee Hawaiian island of Oahu, D28 is the largest iceberg to calve from the ice shelf since the 1960s.

27

Lost To The Waves


Source: NASA’s Earth Obserevatory

Top - Jan 24, 2017 Bottom - Jan 26, 2017

Antarctica’s Pine Island glacier calves iceberg

A block of ice, roughly a mile long, has broken off Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier and floated into the adjacent bay. The glacier is estimated to deliver 19 cubic miles of ice to the bay each year. This is one of the principal means by which ice moves from the interior of thee West Antarctic Ice sheet to the ocean, where it melts and contributes to sea-level rise.

28

Testimony Of Truth


Breaking Ice

Top - April 13, 2015 Bottom - April 15, 2016

Early sea-ice breakup in Beaufort Sea, Arctic

Ice in the Beaufort Sea, off the Arctic Ocean, suffered significant fracturing and breakup by mid-April in 2016, considerably earlier than the late May period when this usually happens. NASA ice specialists attribute the change to unusually warm air temperatures and strong winds during the first months of the year. The thicker, multi-year ice that once covered the region has largely given way to seasonal, first-year ice that is thinner, weaker and more easily broken up by strong winds.

29

Lost To The Waves


Source: NASA’s Earth Obserevatory

Top - June 10, 2014 Bottom - June 15, 2016

Early ice melt in Greenland

Meltwater streams, rivers and lakes form in the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet every spring or early summer, but melting began exceptionally early in 2016. Melting encourages further melting when ponds of water develop, since they darken the surface and absorb more sunlight than ice does. Surface melt contributes to sea-level rise when the water runs off into the ocean and when it flows through crevasses to the base of a glacier and temporarily speeds up the ice flow.

30

Testimony Of Truth


Glacial Melting

Top - July 1, 2013 Bottom - June 24, 2018

Vavilov Ice Cap Glacier accelerates

A glacier at the western edge of the Vavilov Ice Cap in the high Russian Arctic had been creeping into the Kara Sea at a rate of a couple of inches per day. It started to speed up in 2010 and shifted into overdrive in 2014, travelling as much as 82 feet peer day by late 2015. It advances more than 3 miles in just one-year period from April 2015 to April 2016. Faster movement of land-based ice to the ocean could significantly speed up sea-level rise.

31

Lost To The Waves


Source: NASA’s Earth Obserevatory

Top - Sept 28, 1987 Bottom - Sept 30, 2017

Greenland’s Tracy and Heilprin glaciers melt

Tracy (top) and Heilprin (bottom) are the two largest glaciers that drain into Inglesfield Bredning, a fjord on Greenland’s northwestern coast. They receded at similar rates in the 1980s and 1990s, about 125 feet and 118 feet per year, respectively. But between 2000 and 2014, Tracey’s loss rate zoomed to about 1,194 feet per year. Thee likely reason for the difference is that Tracy flows into a much deeper channel of seawater, making it more vulnerable to melting from below as the seawater warms.

32

Testimony Of Truth


Invading Waters

Top - March 20, 2018 Bottom - March 16, 2019

Flooding in Nebraska

These images show flooding of the Platte, Missouri and Elkhourn Rivers, near Omaha, Nebraska, in March 2019, compared to a year earlier. Intense downpours and rapidly melting snow had produced enormous run off while, in some areas, river ice created blockages that further drove water over the banks. Communities west of Omaha flooded or became temporary islands as water encroached from both sides.

33

Lost To The Waves


Source: NASA’s Earth Obserevatory

Top - June 15, 1986 Bottom - July 20, 2016

Beach erosion near Freeport, Texas

These images show an area just south of Freeeport, Texas, where beach is being lost at a rate of nearly 49 feet per year along an 11-mile stretch. It is one of the largest erosive hotspots in the world.

34

Testimony Of Truth


Disappearing Land

Top - Sept 11, 2018 Bottom - Oct 13, 2018

Hawaiian Island disappears

Until Hurricane Walk struck in October 2018, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands included East Island, shown in the September image. But the storm washed away most of the 11 acres of sand and gravel that constituted the island, leaving only two silvers of land, visible in the October image.

35

Lost To The Waves


Source: NASA’s Earth Obserevatory

Top - April 17, 2013 Bottom - April 27, 2019

Rise and fall of Earthquake Mountain

A tiny island (white dot in the left half of the 2013 image) near the port city of Gwadar, Pakistan, is no longer above water. It appeared suddenly following a magnitude 7.7 earthquake in September 2013 as the top of a mud volcano. Unlike the type of volcano that erupts lava, this was a pile of mud, sand and rock, which pressurised gas propelled upward from the sea floor as a result of the quake. The structure’s above-water crown formed an island about 300 feet in the longest dimension. Over the years, the island fell due to the gradual collapse of the mud pile and to erosion from the Arabian Sea. By the time of the 2019 image, it was fully submerged. 36

Testimony Of Truth


Olafur Elliason

37

The glacier melt series 1999/2019, Iceland

Lost To The Waves


Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

In 1999, Olafur Eliasson photographed several dozen glaciers in Iceland as part of his on-going project to document the natural phenomena of the country; this particular series of photographs formed a work called The glacier series. Twenty years later, Eliasson decided to return to Iceland to photograph the glaciers again. A new work, The glacier melt series 1999/2019, brings together thirty pairs of images from 1999 and 2019 to reveal the dramatic impact that global warming is having on our world.

38

Testimony Of Truth


Chapter III

THE PRESENT


Fluctuations within sea levels are a natural occurence, but our recent history of excessive fossil fuel consumption has led us into climate chaos. The ‘pipeline’ is a term used to describe the slow reaction of the oceans to heating. Even if we were to stop emitting greenhouse gases tomorrow, the oceans would continue to rise, driven by the heat already stored. (90% of all the sun’s energy falling on the surface of Earth is absorbed by the oceans as heat). This sea level rise is said to be ‘in the pipeline’. Higher sea levels are coinciding with more dangerous hurricanes and typhoons that move more slowly and drop more rain, contributing to more powerful storm surges that can strip away everything in their path. Already, flooding in low-lying coastal areas is forcing people to migrate to higher ground, and millions more are vulnerable from flood risk and other climate change effects. At present, sea level rise is causing a devastating impact on coastal habitats - causing suffering for people, wildlife and animals. The severity of these impacts is inextricably linked to economics, health, inequality and gender. Certain populations are especially vulnerable - including the young, the elderly and women. Working towards mitigating these effects is a highly complex task, though one we must confront.

40

The Present


A short story by Déborah Ribas

What if all the ice melts? Jacob was eight the first time he saw the white giants. He laid relaxed on the couch, zapping from channel to channel. A white block caught his attention, and he quickly returned to it. It was a documentary about ice, set in Iceland. In it, the narrator explained the abysmal phenomenon of the disappearance of the ice, ‘…I never imagined you could see glaciers this big, disappearing in such a short time, there’s a powerful piece of history that is unfolding in these…’ He could hear him, but he wasn’t paying attention, Jacob’s eyes were glued to the screen, hypnotized by the white giants diving into oblivion. That was the first time a thought came to Jacob’s mind: It was 2018 and Jacob was eleven. He arrived home from basketball practice and sat in front of the Tv. He was on his phone, not paying attention to what was happening. On the news, an angry reporter debated with a politician. The politician laughed, unbothered, dismissing everything the young man said. On the headline: Greenland ice melt is accelerating. Six million people are brought into a flood situation every centimetre of sea-level rise. Jacob’s eyes focused on the screen, now showing flooded houses and streets. A thought came to his mind:

The moment had arrived. It was time to choose which course he wanted to do at University. Sure, being a lawyer sounded fun, going from court to court, fighting for vulnerable people. But being an athlete, well, that was really amazing! The international opportunities of NBA, who knew? Jacob wanted to fight for the ones who don’t have a voice, to go on adventures and have his breath taken away. He wanted to fight for the white giants. And a thought came to his mind: Jacob arrived in the Arctic. He could not feel his nose, and his bump was numb, maybe because of the cold, possibly because of the long trip. With his camera on his hand, he was ready to capture every inch of that land. But nothing could have prepared Jacob for what he saw, on a sheet of melting ice, dozens of dead walruses. The lack of fish in the area has been a problem for some time, but no one could anticipate how bad the situation was, or could they? With tears in his eyes, Jacob moved the camera up to his face and zoomed. He focused on the ship, with the logo of an oil company on its side. Jacob couldn’t hold the tears any longer, and at that moment a thought came to his mind:

41

Lost To The Waves

What if all the ice melts, What if, I don’t know how to swim?

What if all the ice melts, What if, I am asleep, and I don’t have time to take a deep breath?

What if all the ice melts, What will I do, then?

If all the ice melts, I would be able to swim. I am sure I could hold my breath on time. I would photograph other parts of nature. But, what if all the ice melts? Who would think about the planet?


A poem by Esmee Turlej

The Next Phase

Calling for support Ice caps melt like the tears she begs, Pleads, asks repeatedly. There’s not much time left. Parasites We are Parasites to our host. This planet we impose upon Big enough for all Greed and unjust sparking the fall. The fall of the system, of kindness and love For you and I, yes, And for the beauty of Earth. Hear diminished birds call rejoice As CV19 makes its way through the race Holding us captive, keeping us safe She benefits now. After years and years, Finally the humans are put in their place. Maybe now more see, All this pain we cause externally It’s time for a change, Let's arrange a new phase Bring balance back for the new Earth today.

42

The Present

Written at the time of Covid-19


In Conversation With:

TOM HEGEN Munich-based photographer and designer focussing on projects that show the impact of human presence on Earth

43

Lost To The Waves


Tom Hegen

RB: Please can you tell me a bit about your background. TH: I am a photographer and designer from Germany. I focus on aerial photography projects that show the interventions of man in natural environments. It all started when I visited an exhibition back in 2015 to the Anthropocene. It’s a proposed term by a board of scientists for a new human area. Scientists around the world recognize that we as humans have such a strong impact on the geological, ecological and atmospheric processes on earth that we became the most impacting force on our planet. I wanted to access this topic with my own visual language and to start drawing attention to environmental relevant issues to hopefully inspire people and to make a difference to our planet. I also started to question the term landscape as known from landscape photography. Land is actually a word of Germanic origin and the roots of the suffix -scape, in German -schaffen refers to the verb shaping. So landscape in the sense of landscaping refers to an activity that modifies the visible features of an area. As a consequence of that, I started seeing landscape photography of documenting places influenced by human rather than landscape photography as showing pure, unspoiled nature.

RB: What do you do and why do you do it? TH: I document the impact of humans on our natural world by fine art aerial photography. I use abstraction and aestheticization as a visual language to inspire people and to give them access to environmental issues. With my aerial photography projects, I aim to get the viewers attention to issues; they usually would not pay attention to. By this, I try to help people have a better relationship with our planet. I believe that the power of creativity and visual storytelling can help to tackle the challenges and opportunities we are facing in the 21st century. I want to raise peoples awareness of environmentally relevant issues and to inspire them to take responsibility, striking a path towards more sustainable development.

RB: In your opinion, why is aerial photography perhaps more effective than landscape photography at ground level? TH: Two reasons. First of all – you just see more. The elevated perspective provides an overview of a subject that wouldn’t be really visible from the ground. Second, I like the fact that I can create proximity by stepping away from the object. It’s a very strong contrast.

45

Lost To The Waves


46

The Present


Finish the sentence: Sea level rise is...

49

Coming slow but with an unexpected impact.


RB: Would you say you have seen the effects of climate change whilst on your expeditions? TH: My work is not only centred around climate change but more on the whole relationship between human and nature. I look at all sorts of subjects where we have an effect in our environment and that’s not only reduced to climate change. It’s also terraforming due to mining or agriculture and the loss of biodiversity due to our acting. For all those things, I can say that I have witnessed the tremendous impact that we have on our planet. We are the most powerful force on earth.

RB: From experience, what are the most memorable or shocking landscapes you have photographed, that have been transformed by human intervention?

TH: It’s probably The Coal Mining Series and The Toxic Water Series. Both projects were photographed in a coal mine in eastern Germany. Those open pit mines are incredibly huge. You can even see them from space. It’s shocking to see such places and know that they only exist for economic reasons and to keep our highlife-standards going.

RB: Can you tell me a bit more about your series’ from The Arctic – what is the story behind it, and when/why/how was it created? TH: In 2018, I travelled to western Greenland to document the effects of global warming on the Arctic Ice Sheet. The Arctic is the fastest-warming place on this planet, providing the first indication of how climate change is having an impact on the earth eco-system. The Greenland Ice Sheet covers approximately 82 percent of Greenland’s surface. Melting ice in the Arctic is one of the most obvious examples of global climate change. The surface of the Arctic Ice Sheet is not a seamless plain of ice, it’s more like Swiss cheese, covered with thousands of seasonal rivers and lakes on the surface through which meltwater is able to flow over the ice, enter into the ice and then flowing downstream into the ocean. Surface melting also affects how much of the Sun’s energy the ice sheet reflects – known as the albedo effect: The bright white surface reflects most of the suns energy. Whereby melting ice uncovers darker land, water or ocean underneath, which then absorbs more sunlight, causing more heating and therefore a faster melting process. A vicious circle with serious effects for Weather and Eco-Systems. Global sea levels are likely to raise up to more than 60 centimeter by the end of this century, which results in a risk of displacing for one-fifth of the world‘s population. The Two Degrees Series explores the effects of global warming, primarily caused by human activities on earth. 50

The Present


In Conversation With:

JASHIM SALAM Bangladeshi documentary photographer, journalist and educator who focusses his subject on floods within his country.

51

Lost To The Waves


RB: Please can you tell me a bit about your background? JS: I am a documentary photographer, photo-journalist, photo editor and educator from Chittagong, Bangladesh. I graduated from my degree in photography in Pathshala. I studied a post graduate diploma in Visual Journalism in Manila, in the Philippines. I have been teaching photography workshops and seminars for aspiring young photographers regularly and I am also a mentor to many photographers in Bangladesh.

RB: What do you do and why do you do it? JS: I am primarily a documentary photo journalist. Like most parents, mine wanted me to become an engineer or businesses graduate and get a ‘proper job’ or look after my family business. But mind you, I came from a very average middle class family that you would find in Chittagong. Despite that, I always had a compelling curiosity for creative forms of expression, be it music or painting, I was enthralled by the arts. During my childhood, I tried to become a cricket player and a guitarist, but failed. After a basic photography course in 2005, this was when I first realised that my true passion lay with photography and I can pursue my artistic quest with this medium.

RB: Please can you explain about your photo series Water World?

JS: For the past 10 years, I’ve been documenting the flooding around Chittagong and other coastal areas of Bangladesh. It started very slowly. At that time, the water flooded the houses for the first time and stayed a few days. I, myself am a victim of this tidal flood which occurs regularly every year. The water is rising year by year. These images are very important and act as a documentation of the floods. With my ongoing personal project, I can relate how climate change is effecting us every year. Each year, more people and more places are effected by climate change than the previous year. The subjects of my photos are my family, my neighbours and the people greatly effected by the floods. I am documenting whats around me not only as a photojournalist but also as a victim.

RB: Would you say you have felt the effects of climate change in Chittagong? JS: My family and I are greatly affected by the tidal flood from the last several years. Our lush green home at Chaktai, which is situated in the heart of the city, often goes under tidal water. The port of Chittagong is an important driver of the Bangladeshi economy, handling over 90% of the country’s international trade. The effects of climate change (rising sea levels and carbon emissions by first world countries, deforestation and global warming) have brought a sudden vulnerability to the lives of people living in Chittagong and other coastal areas of Bangladesh. 52

The Present


Chittagong, Bangladesh

53

Lost To The Waves


Water World

54

The Present


55

Lost To The Waves


56

The Present


Chittagong, Bangladesh

57

Lost To The Waves


Water World

58

The Present


A Visual Archive Of: Fairbourne The Welsh seaside town home to ‘the UK’s first climate refugees’

59

Lost To The Waves


On 12th February 2020, I went to visit Fairbourne in Wales with my boyfriend Kwan. We went in the hope of gathering as much information about the town as possible, through interviews and photographs. We had heard that the town was to be ‘decommissioned’ causing ‘the UK’s first climate refugees’. What does decommission mean? What will happen to the residents and their houses? News reports left me curious as to what the future holds for Fairbourne, I wanted to talk to the residents to find out the answers to my questions. When we arrived it became quickly apparent that the people living in Fairbourne did not want to talk about this issue. It was as though the residents of the small village had been bombarded with news reporters so much that it had left them frustrated and saddenned by the whole situation (rightfully so). I can only imagine that the uncertainty of the evacuation had resulted in silence towards outsiders. A sensitive topic that is disheartening to talk about. Reflecting on this, I decided, instead of getting a personal insight from people, the best way forward would be to visually document Fairbourne. Kwan and I spent the day walking through the village taking photographs of the characteristics that stood out to us and what we felt represented Fairbourne. Whilst we walked around, we felt the community spirit of the village a peaceful neighbourhood bordered by mountains, wilderness and the ocean. A place where everyone knows everyone - where you can feel safe and at ease. It seems heartbreaking to abandon such a beautiful place. Though, as sea levels increasingly rise and storms become more frequent, this may be the first of many British towns to be lost to the ocean.

60

Fairbourne


61

Lost To The Waves


65

Lost To The Waves


67

Lost To The Waves


68

Fairbourne


The complex task of defining the term:

‘eco migrant’ ‘climate refugee’ ‘disaster refugee’ ‘climate migrant’ ‘environmental migrant’ ‘environmental refugee’ ‘environmental displacee’ ‘ecological displaced person’ ‘internationally displaced person’ ‘environmentally motivated migrant’ ‘forced environmental migrant’ ‘environmental-refugee-to-be’ How are climate refugees defined? Climate change will cause people to move, but can we ever define who counts as a climate refugee?

71

Lost To The Waves


‘People who have been forced to leave their traditional habitat, temporarily or permanently, because of marked environmental disruption (natural and/or triggered by people) that jeopardised their existence and/or seriously affected the quality of their life'. ‘A person who has been forced to leave their home as a result of the effects of climate change on their environment.’ ‘Climate refugees are people who are forced to leave their home region due to sudden or long-term changes to their local environment.’ ‘Climate refugees are a subset of environmental migrants who were forced to flee due to sudden or gradual alterations in the natural environment related to one of three impacts of climate change: sea-level rise, extreme weather events, and drought and water scarcity.’ ‘People displaced across borders in the context of climate change and disasters that may, in some circumstances, need international protection.’

72

Climate Refugee?

A Complex Definition


Climate refugees, also known by dozens of other names, including environmental refugees, eco-migrants, environmental migrants and environmental displacees. Recently, climate refugees who leave their home but stay in their own country have been called internally displaced persons who experience environmentally induced population movements. The notion of human displacement occurring as a result of climate change is a relatively recent conceptualisation compared to the more traditional ideas associated with refugees, such as persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. According to statistics published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, every year since 2008, an average of 26.4 million people around the world have been forcibly displaced by floods, windstorms, earthquakes or droughts. This is equivalent to one person being displaced every second. Depending on the frequency and scale of the major natural disasters occurring, there are significant fluctuations in the total number of displaced people from one year to the next, yet the trend over recent decades has been on the rise. Many find refuge within their own country, but some are forced to go abroad. With climate change, the number of ‘climate refugees’ will rise in the future. We are living through a time when states are increasingly paranoid about borders and threats to their national security. At the same time, displacement associated with climate change could make current borders superfluous. Both severe weather events and slow onset events such as sea level rise can give rise to displacement. Inhabitants of small island states will be the hardest hit. From islands in the Caribbean to those in the Pacific are all affected by severe weather events as well as sea level rise. These populations will have to be relocated eventually and some have already moved to safer grounds. Low-lying and coastal cities are also affected. Sadly, many people will lose their homes permanently.

73

Lost To The Waves


There are a growing number of communities that are on the “frontlines of climate change,� including Native Alaskans and the low-lying island nations of Oceania. These communities are already facing the impacts of climate change, and their unique locations and more traditional livelihoods make them particularly vulnerable to the consequences of a warming world.

74

Tuvalu, South Pacific


Research indicates that the Earth’s climate is changing at a rate that has exceeded most scientific forecasts. Some families and communities have already started to suffer from disasters and the consequences of climate change, which has forced them to leave their homes in search of a new beginning. Crops and livestock struggle to survive in climate change ‘hotspots’ where conditions become too hot and dry, or too cold and wet, threatening livelihoods and exacerbating food insecurity. New displacement patterns, and competition over depleted natural resources can spark conflict between communities or compound pre-existing vulnerabilities. Climate change and natural disasters can add to and worsen the threats that force people to flee across international borders. The interplay between climate, conflict, poverty and persecution greatly increases the complexity of refugee emergencies. “Forced displacement across borders can stem from the interaction between climate change and disasters with conflict and violence, or it can arise from natural or man-made disasters alone. Either situation can trigger international protection needs,” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

75

Lost To The Waves


Perspectives of refugees from Africa

“Rainfall has been decreasing since the year before liberation - I noticed a very big difference in the height of grass. In the early days it was like savannah grass, now it is short and thin.” — Tigrinya pastoralist from Eritrea, My Ayni Camp, Ethiopia

“The weather has become odder and odder. There used to be floods but today there are no floods. People suffer from famine during the droughts. If there is an absence of rain, nobody can do anything – it is a decision of God.” — Elderly farmer from Eritrea, My Ayni Camp, Ethiopia

“After the rains became less, we changed our cultivation system – we changed cropping to a short-term cultivation system. We selected grains that could be produced with less rain. Short-term grains only needed 30 days of water. The short-term crop was successful for a while but not as successful as the seeds we used before.” — Eritrean family, My Ayni Camp

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) interviewed refugees to find out their experiences and understanding of the relationship between climate change, conflict, livelihoods and displacement. Conducted in three Ethiopian camps – Shedr, My Ayni and in Fugnido, those interviewed came mainly from Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan. 76

Climate Refugee?


Gender Equality & Climate Change

Written by Atti Worku An extract from Why Women Will Save The Planet

The impact of climate disasters is disproportionally worse for women. The idea is simple - gender equality is key to a sustainable future. And educating our girls is key to gender equality. So educating our girls is an investment in a sustainable future for all of us. The first step towards this future is investing in educating our girls. Here’s why. Picture a little girl growing up in a village with no running water or electricity, she did not have an opportunity to go to school and she was married off at the age of fifteen. Today, because of the lack of education, encouragement and access, she’s a subsistence farmer in the Horn of Africa, a region suffering from one of the worst drought-fuelled famines in decades, exasperated by the impacts of climate change. Now picture that same girl, growing up with parents who invested in her education and made sure she went to school, did not marry her off at fifteen, and encouraged her to do anything she could dream of. This girl is me. My grandfather was a subsistence farmer; he lived in a small village outside my home town of Adama, Ethiopia. My mother and father were both the first generation in their families to go to school and attend college. I often think about how different my life would have been if my father had not left his village to go to school or if my mother had been illiterate. I believe educating girls is essential for a sustainable future because I have seen first-hand how critical an education is. If I had not received an education, my reality would have been similar to the realities of millions of women around the world, especially those who live in poor and marginalised communities that are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate 77

change. UNICEF is clear that girls’ education is both an intrinsic right and a critical lever to reaching other development objectives. Providing girls with an education helps break the chronic cycle of poverty. That’s because educated women are less likely to marry early and against their will, less likely to die in childbirth, more likely to have healthy babies and more likely to send their children to school. When all children have access to a quality education rooted in human rights and gender equality, it creates a ripple effect of opportunity that influences generations to come, making it key to creating a sustainable future. There are several areas that illustrate gender-based vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change, especially in poor and marginalised communities. Women are hardest hit because they depend on climate-sensitive livelihoods such as agriculture, as they are often tasked with securing water, food and fuel for their families. These resources become scarcer during climate change-related natural disasters, and this scarcity places girls and women at increased risk. The lack of resources diminishes their ability to adapt, making them more vulnerable and forcing them to continue to depend on unsustainable practices to support their families. The impact of climate disasters is disproportionally worse for women than for men. The reasons are varied, but women often escape last, because they try to make sure everyone is safe and may stay behind to take care of the elderly and children, which makes their death toll higher. To make matters worse, women often do not receive life-saving information about natural disasters. And even if they survive, they may lose their wealth and livelihood as their community tries to recover from a disaster because women still have less political and economic power than men in these regions. In short, women are less able to cope with the adverse effects of climate change.

Lost To The Waves


Words by Victoria Vesna

“Everything in nature is about balance and diversity. In turn everything that is happening in our society and the environment is a direct reflection of our world being out of balance. When you have a group of men deciding what a woman’s right is in relation to her body, you know that chances are high that they would be equally inconsiderate of the Earth we all live in.”

78

Gender Equality


Climate Change Impacts on Eco Systems, Animals & Wildlife. Persistently rising temperatures are having multiple effects on marine life. Warmer waters cause coral bleaching, which in turn impacts coral reef ecosystems that are home to most of the ocean’s biodiversity — and provide crucial sources of food for people. As well as this, warmer waters cause mass migration of marine species in search of the right conditions for feeding and spawning. A change in water temperatures can directly affect the development and growth of most fish and cephalopods (such as octopus and squid). For the 3 billion people worldwide who rely on fish as their chief source of protein, the prospect of fewer and smaller fish in the sea is bad news. Wintertime Arctic sea ice continues to dip to new lows as the oceans warm. Meanwhile, Antarctica is shrinking from underneath, as submerged ice is rapidly melting, according to recent studies. The effects of this warming on polar bears reduces the areas available for the species to live comfortably and to find sufficient food. The production of algae — the foundation of the Arctic food web — depends on the presence of sea ice. As sea ice diminishes, algae diminishes, which has ripple effects on species from Arctic cod to seals, whales and bears. Diminished sea ice results in the loss of vital habitat for seals, walruses, penguins, whales and other megafauna. Sea ice is a critical habitat for Antarctic krill, the food source for many seabirds and mammals in the Southern Ocean. In recent years, as sea ice has diminished, Antarctic krill populations have declined, resulting in declines in the species dependent on the krill. What does this mean for us? Impacts to the Arctic cod fishery is having cascading effects, culminating in human-wildlife conflict. A dramatic decrease in sea ice — and seafood — pushes polar bears

79

toward coastal communities and hunting camps to find food, a nuisance and danger to people living there. The effects of sea-level rise on wildlife is less explored in comparison to the impacts on humans, despite being no less important. The survival of coral reefs, mangroves, sea grasses and other critical habitat-forming species hinges on their ability to move into shallower waters. Slow-growing species are most unlikely to be able to keep pace with the rising sea level. Critical coastal habitats — for instance, sea turtle nesting beaches — are lost as the sea level rises. Natural and man-made barriers such as cliffs, sea walls, and coastal developments stand in the way of migrating further inland. Nearly 3,000 species of animals in the Western Hemisphere alone will have to find new habitats with more preferable climate conditions by the end of this century. In a study, McRae and his colleagues looked at the effect of man-made barriers like roads, farms, and urban infrastructure on the the fragmentation of natural landscapes in the U.S., and how that affects animal migration. They found that overall, only 41% of natural lands in the U.S. connected enough for animals to move through. On the East Coast in particular, just 2% of natural lands are sufficiently connected. Cities are a lot more sustainable in many ways than having population spread out on the landscape. There are a lot of efficiencies to be gained in transportation and energy use and just the footprint that an individual household leaves behind. The Nature Conservancy is looking at ways that underpasses and overpasses, as well as green spaces on rooftops, can help animals move through a city. We need conservation efforts—not just preserving habitats in isolation, but keeping everything connected.

Lost To The Waves


Animal Migration in Canada

Map by Dan Majka

This map shows the average direction mammals, birds, and amphibians need to move to track hospitable climates as they shift across the landscape. There are a number of ways that conservationists and land managers can re-build or maintain connectivity to improve species’ ability to adapt to warmer temperatures. Removing fencing, adding wildlife overpasses (or underpasses) to major roadways, and better routing of infrastructure like pipelines and powerlines can all help re-connect areas fragmented by human development.

80

Ecological Impacts


82

Ecological Impacts


Life Jackets:

From

A symbol of desperation...


To

A symbol of hope.


“Black and Orange is a symbol of solidarity with all these brave souls that had to wear life-vests to cross the sea to look for safety in a new country. Since I had to wear one I have a personal engagement with these life-vests, and these two colours.” — Yara Said, Refugee artist

The official flag for The Refugee Nation, a team of ten refugees who competed in the Rio Olympics, draws its colour scheme and design from life jackets. Designed by Syrian artist and refugee Yara Said, the flag is a vivid orange with a single black stripe. Using the colours of life vests is “a symbol of solidarity for all those who crossed the sea in search for a new country”, says Yara, who now lives in Amsterdam. “I myself wore one, which is why I so identify with these colours and these people.”

85

Lost To The Waves


86

A Symbol Of Hope


They come from different countries. T They speak different languages. But o er: the will of finding a place to call ho hope. And now, they are also united b inspired by the life vests many brother search for a safer land to live. An oran and solidarity. An orange and black fla port refugees. Because they exist. The

www.therefugeenation.org 87

Lost To The Waves


They are raised in different cultures. one thing still brings them all togethome. Refugees are united by one by one flag. An orange and black flag rs and sisters had to wear in their nge and black flag as a symbol of hope ag to bring the world together to supey are millions. And they matter.

88

A Symbol Of Hope


Ai Weiwei

Life Jackets was a public installation created by well-known and revered Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei. Ai Weiwei has been a harsh critic of Europe’s response to the refugee crisis. He set up a studio on the Greek island of Lesbos, the main entry point for tens of thousands of refugees who make the dangerous sea crossing from Turkey. He created several projects that highlight the refugees’ plight. Ai gathered more than 14,000 life jackets, which he tied together before wrapping them up and down the pillars of thee Berlin Konzerthaus. The jackets had been collected from Lesbos, which is a Greek island that is often used by Syrian refugees travelling to various parts of Europe as the middle point. This middle point is where most refugees are often forced to make the decision to either jump ship or proceed with their long and challenging trip. As such, Lesbos acts as both a beacon of hope and a sign of instability for all the refugees that are involved.

89

Lost To The Waves


90

A Symbol Of Hope


Refugee Camps


Refugee Cities


Refugee Cities

Governments should stop thinking about refugee camps as temporary places, says Kilian Kleinschmidt, one of the world’s leading authorities on humanitarian aid. “These are the cities of tomorrow,” said Kleinschmidt of Europe’s rapidly expanding refugee camps. “The average stay today in a camp is 17 years. That’s a generation.” “In the Middle East, we were building camps: storage facilities for people. But the refugees were building a city,” Refugee camps should be rebadged as cities and turned into enterprise zones so inhabitants can set up businesses and build their own infrastructure, according to a new report. Called Refugee Cities, the report argues that existing aid strategies have failed, with refugees preferring to avoid the camps due to the lack of opportunities they offer. Instead, by modelling them on special enterprise zones elsewhere in the world, they could benefit both the refugee and the host populations, as well as giving inhabitants useful skills for their eventual return to their homelands. "Modelled after the most successful special economic zones in the world, refugee cities work within political realities to create jobs for refugees and their neighbours, while achieving a return for investors," says the report. "Surrounding communities would enjoy new investment and infrastructure, and governments would welcome refugees as a benefit rather than a burden." Refugee Cities aim “to provide a model under which host countries can benefit from refugees’ presence; to deliver a financial return for investors; to make international assistance more effective and self sustaining; and to provide refugees with the material, knowledge, and psychological resources to rebuild their home countries when they are able to return.”

91

(Right) A city of the displaced: The Kutupalong camp contains about 600,000 people, and efforts are now underway to create more permanent structures for them.

Lost To The Waves

Source: Deezeen


কুতুপালং শরনার্থী শিবির


Chapter IV

THE FUTURE


Future sea level rises depend on a number of factors. The amount of CO2 emitted will determine how much global warming takes place. The amount of ice that melts will vary according to the amount of global warming. The same is true of thermal expansion. Sea level could creep to anywhere between about one metre, or three feet, up to three metres, or nearly 10 feet, by the year 2100, depending on CO2 concentrations in the air and the rate of melting that occurs in the Polar regions, among other factors. This means that the melting of ice sheets in West Antarctica and Greenland could lead to a potentially two-metre - six-foot - sea level rise in major cities such as New York. Increases in temperature could make places like Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar uninhabitable by 2071. And the list goes on. These anticipated environmental changes will have enormous effects on many populations, especially those in coastal and low-lying areas like Vietnam, the Netherlands and certain parts of the US. Already, people are now twice as likely to be displaced than they were in the 1970s. This is due to the combined effect of rapid population growth, urbanisation and exposure to natural disasters. The reason is pretty simple. There are more people on the planet today living in hazard prone areas, vulnerable to natural hazards than there were in the 1970s. There is a lot that is unknown but we do need to take action now and the best action we can take is to make sure that our thinking and planning is adaptive.

94

The Future


The Future Of Sea Level Rise summed up in 6 facts

95

1.

By 2050, over 570 low-lying coastal cities will face projected sea level rise by at least 0.5 metres.

2.

This puts over 800 million people at risk from the impacts of rising seas and storm surges.

3.

The global economic costs to cities, from rising seas and flooding, could amount to $1 trillion by mid-century.

4.

Local factors mean that cities will experience sea level rise at different paces. Cities on the east coast of the United States, along with major cities in Asia, are particularly vulnerable.

5.

Sea level rise and flooding will impact essential services such as energy, transport, and health.

6.

Resilience strategies, strengthened coastal protection, upgrades to existing buildings and infrastructure, relocation from the most at-risk areas as well as community engagement and preparedness can help cities adapt to sea level rise and coastal flooding.

Lost To The Waves

Source: C40 Cities


But;

Humans are clever. They can solve problems. There is hope.

96

Hope in Adaptation


Sea level rise is a massive threat to our planet and all living species. The best way to prevent such damage would be to avoid climate change altogether, or to mitigate the effects by reducing emission levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But since we are already realising the effects of climate change, cities will need to adapt to challenges such as sea level rise. As cities build more flood-management infrastructure to adapt to the effects of a changing climate, they must go beyond short-term flood protection and consider the long-term effects on the community, its environment, economy, and relationship with the water. After learning about the inevitable fate of rising seas, floods and more extreme weather events, the future may seem daunting. Luckily, our planet has a plethora of talented designers and scientists who have been planning for these occurances for decades. Reading these ideas and plans from individuals and companies may illiminate the intimidating prospect of our planet’s future and bring new hope. The following pages display potential long-term adaptations to sea level rise within urban landscapes.

97

Lost To The Waves


Adapting: LOW-TEK Design

Julia Watson is a designer and environmentalist who believes indigenous communities are pioneers of technologies that offer solutions to climate change. Watson argues that tribal communities are highly advanced when it comes to creating systems in symbiosis with the natural world. Watson belives that the tech industry is more limited than people realise due to the fact it is based on a concept of high-tech that developed after the industrial revolution, therefore is outdated. She calls for the industry to adopt some of the principles of indigenous design, many of which are thousands of years old, to help cities around the world to mitigate the impact of climate change as well as to be resilient for the future. Watson says that LO–TEK will reframe our view of what technology is, what it means to build it in our environment, and how we can do it differently, to synthesise the millennia of knowledge that still exists. This is about symbiotic relationships, which are the fundamental building blocks of nature. These LO–TEK technologies are born of symbiotic relationships with our environment, humans living in symbiosis with natural systems. Watson believes that, with global awareness of the climate crisis growing, and youths around the world active against climate change, the time has come to reassess our approach to sustainability and innovation. She says, this is a huge step in the right direction towards shifting, elevating and reframing how we build and how we urbanise.

98

Hope in Adaptation


Learning from LOW-TEK design

Left) The Khasi tribe use a ‘living root bridge’ ladder – an ancient bridge as a ladder and walkway created down the side of a steep cliff face made from the living roots of the banyan tree.

100

(Right) The Uros islands are a group of 70 man-made totora reed islands floating on Peru's Lake Titicaca.

Hope in Adaptation


Adapting: Floating Cities Floating architecture has the ability to provide two big advantages. First, it creates “land� that moves with the waves and is resilient in the face of flooding. Second, it allows cities to expand their pressurised coastal urban spaces.

Oceanix City is intended to be developed in sub-tropical and tropical areas that are most at risk of flooding first, but could soon offer a more attractive living environment. This is simply another form of human habitat that can be a seed, that essentially can grow with its success as it turns out to be socially and environmentally desirable to chose this lifestyle.

Architecture firm BIG has designed a concept for a floating city of 10,000 people that could help populations threatened by extreme weather events and rising sea levels. Called Oceanix City, the concept consists of buoyant islands clustered together in groups of six to form villages. These clusters would then be repeated in multiples of six to form a 12-hectare village for 1,650 residents, and then again to form an archipelago home to 10,000 citizens. Oceanix City is intended to provide a habitable, off-shore environment in the event of rising sea levels, which are expected to affect 90 per cent of the world’s coastal cities by 2050. Each of the modules would be built on land and then towed to sea, where they would be anchored in place. The miniature islands are also designed to survive a category-five hurricane. Arrangements would be flexible so that the cities could be moved if water levels became too low. BIG intends the buildings atop to be constructed from locally sourced replenishable materials such as wood and fast-growing bamboo, which also offer warmth and softness to touch. A number of renewable energy resources, such as wind and water turbines and solar panels are also incorporated. Food production and farming would be integrated and follow a zero-waste policy. Every island has 3,000 square metres of outdoor agriculture that will also be designed so that it can be enjoyed as free space. Each mini-village will include a community framework for living, including water baths, markets, spiritual and cultural hubs, but BIG intends the Oceanix City to be adaptable to any culture, any architecture.

101

Lost To The Waves

Source: Deezeen


102

Hope in Adaptation


Adapting: flood defences

TetraPOT is created as a hybrid between artificial defences and mangrove forests – which are rapidly disappearing as sea levels rise – TetraPOT’s concrete shell protects a pre-seeded container, made from compostable material. They are designed to prevent soil erosion and promote plant growth.

103

Lost To The Waves

Created by Sheng-Hung Lee & Wan Kee Lee


A new type of modular tile promises to help reduce flooding in cities hit by increased rainfall due to climate change. They are designed to be used alongside or instead of existing sidewalks. The tiles are contructed with a system of holes, tunnels and ridges. These collect and manage rainwater, funnelling it away from sidewalks to a preferred use like irrigating nearby plantings.

104

Hope in Adaptation

Created by Tredj Natur


Adapting: every day products

105

This chair aims to tackle the "stupidity of the unawareness of the upcoming disaster" of climate change for countries where water levels could threaten everyday life.

Lost To The Waves

Created by Boris Maas


Waterproof footwear designed for commuters, that can be integrated into a suit to protect it from the floods that might become our daily reality due to climate change.

106

Hope in Adaptation

Created by Nicholas Bennett


Climate targets for future: The Paris Agreement In 2015, leaders from 195 countries gathered in Paris to sort out an international strategy for addressing climate change. At the meeting they agreed to aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions enough to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius over temperatures in the 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution. In the 2015 Agreement (which went into effect in 2016), countries agreed to aim to cut their emissions by some self-determined amount by either 2025 or 2030, and to keep revising those goals every five years until then. A report by IPCC found that if global temperatures rise 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial levels—the ideal temperature limit set by the Paris agreement—global sea levels will rise by more than 40 centimeters by 2100. If temperatures top 2 degrees Celsius, sea level rise will be more than 50 centimeters by century’s end. This could be devastating to coastal cities around the world that are already vulnerable to storms and flooding because of geological or urban planning factors. Despite the 2015 agreement, global carbon emissions increased 1.7 percent in 2017 and a further 2.7 percent in 2018; then the rate of increase in 2019 was among the highest on record. The last four years have been the hottest on record.

107

Lost To The Waves


Named and shamed: Climate Action Tracker Top of the class:

MOROCCO THE GAMBIA INDIA COSTA RICA

Show some promise:

NORWAY CHINA THE UK

Barely trying:

THE USA RUSSIA SAUDI ARABIA TURKEY

The best VS the worst Morocco and The Gambia are the only two countries with a 1.5 degrees C emissions reduction strategy involving a dramatic increase in renewable energy sources. Another country leading the way is India, who has emerged as a global leader in renewable energy, and in fact it is investing more in them than it is in fossil fuels. Impressively, Costa Rica aims for its electricity production to be 100 percent renewable by 2021.

108

Saudi Arabia seems to be going backwards in their efforts to cut emissions as the Paris Agreement places an ‘abnormal burden on the economy’ by reducing their income from fossil fuels. Turkey is undertaking a massive expansion in coalfired power plants. Fully 80 new plants are in the pipeline, equivalent to the capacity of the United Kingdom’s entire energy sector. Finally, The USA’s efforts have now been cate as “critically insufficient”, with Trump denying climate change altogether and actively sensoring climate science to the country. Green house gases in the USA are predicted to rise more than any other country.


8 cities that could be underwater as oceans rise

Source: Eco Watch

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok faces a similar problem of skyscrapers pushing down on water-depleted soils. A study released by the city government in 2015 predicted it could be underwater within 15 years.

Jakarta, Indonesia

At a rate of 25.4 centimeters per year, Jakarta is the world’s fastest sinking city. Much of this sinking is due to the digging of illegal wells to access groundwater, since surface drinking water options are too polluted to be safe. In addition, natural flood barriers like mangroves have been cut down to clear space for housing.

Manila, Philippines

Manila is also sinking due to groundwater extraction at a rate of 10 centimeters per year, 10 times the rate of climate-caused sea level rise. Another problem is its extensive rice fields, which consume more water than other crops and increase flood risk when illegal fish ponds are built in tidal channels.

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dhaka is sinking at a rate of 1.4 centimeters per year, and sea level rise in the Bay of Bengal is apparently around 10 times the global average. About 1.5 million people have already migrated from coastal villages to the city’s slums. Dhaka’s issues are worsened by groundwater extraction.

109

Lost To The Waves


"These global metropolises may look strong and stable, but it is a mirage. As sea levels rise, they are increasingly under threat and under water," Quote from report author, Kat Kramer

Shanghai, China

Shanghai is another major city sinking under the weight of its own development as groundwater extraction and increased building cause it to subside. It is also losing sediment that would naturally protect it because its rivers are dammed or because it is used for building materials.

London, England

During the last ice age, glaciers pressed down on Scotland, causing the south of UK land mass to rise. Now that the glaciers have melted, Scotland is rising at a rate of 1 millimeter per year, and the south of England, including London, is sinking.

Houstan, Texas, USA

Houston sits on the Buffalo Bayou and is naturally flood prone for that reason, but it also is sinking due to groundwater extraction and, ironically, from the extraction of oil and natural gas from the ground beneath it.

Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos is built on the coast and incorporates a series of islands. Poor drainage worsened the impact of devastating floods in 2011, and some estimates say that just 20 centimeters of sea level rise could render 740,000 people across Nigeria homeless. Lagos also faces the problem of excessive groundwater extraction.

110

Cities at Risk


Steps you can take to help mitigate climate change: 1. / Reduce your footprint. Calculate your carbon footprint at www.carbonfootprint.com to learn how to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases you produce each day and make a personal plan of how to lower your footprint. 2. / Push for a Climate Action Plan. Contact your local politician or prime minister and encourage them to take action now. 3. / Get out on the streets! Join an environmental activist group, campaign and use your voice to promote change. 4. / Share information. Don’t feel guilty about talking about the climate crisis. Keep talking about it to raise awareness. 5. / Plant more plants and save trees. Plants clean the air and soak up rain. Reduce paper use to prevent trees from being cut down. Set all computers and printers to double-sided printing and reuse one-sided copies as scrap paper. 6. / Vote wisely. Take climate change into account when you vote during elections. Think of elections as climate elections as political leaders in power have the ability to change our CO2 emissions for the better or for worse. 7. / Use public transport, cycle or walk. Vehicles are a leading source of carbon dioxide production. Reduce the number of cars on the road by carpooling, walking, biking, or using public transport. 8. / Know your flood zone. Knowing your risk for flooding before a storm strikes will help you be much better prepared for high storm surge. Contact your local government or go to www. msc.fema.gov to view your local flood map.

111

Lost To The Waves


Words by Sir David Attenborough

“We are at a unique stage in our history. Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet, and never before have we had the power to do something about that. Surely we all have a responsibility to care for our Blue Planet. The future of humanity and indeed, all life on earth, now depends on us.�

112

Individual Responsibiliies


Everyone has a part to play in mitigating climate change, and in turn, sea level rise. To have a chance of securing a liveable future, we need to ensure we control and avoid the impacts of global heating before it becomes unstoppable. The poles are melting at an increasing rate which is causing people, animals, towns, cities, and even whole countries to be impacted by the negative consequences. For example, islands are sinking, causing people to be forceably removed from their home. Unfortunately, often, the nations suffering from the gravest consequences of climate change are those who have done little to contribute towards it. Developing nations are the main victims of climate change who have a much bigger stake in dealing with these challenges. They are, in fact, doing much more than most developed countries, to adopt energy frugal methods of growth, conserving energy, promoting renewable power and limiting waste within the limits of their own resources. As the window of time available for us to make a difference narrows, we must find ways to make lasting global change. The answer is Climate Justice. This term is used to frame global warming as an ethical and political issue, rather than one that is purely environmental or physical in nature. This is done by relating the effects of climate change to concepts of justice, particularly environmental justice and social justice and by examining issues such as equality, human rights, collective rights, and the historical responsibilities for climate change. To move forward in the right direction, as an individual, as well as citizens of society, we must take responsibility and stand up for our planet and for humanity.

113

Lost To The Waves


114


115


To find out more about rising sea levels, climate change and displacement, visit: www.climatecentral.org www.ipcc.ch www.sealevel.nasa.gov/understanding-sea-level/overview www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/sea-level-rise/ www.climate-refugees.org/why www.friendsoftheearth.uk/climate-change/climate-refugees www.un.org www.climatechangenews.com www.unhcr.org www.clientearth.org www.maps.tnc.org/migrations-in-motion www.greenpeace.org.uk/challenges/climate-change/ www.globalchange.gov/climate-change www.noaa.gov/education/resource-collections/climate/climate-change-impacts

116


A book by

Rosie Bond

Profile for Rosie Bond

Lost To The Waves  

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded