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MIT Solve Coastal Communities Challenge

by gmoke Fri Jun 8th, 2018 at 02:52:48 AM EST

How can coastal communities mitigate and adapt to climate change while developing and prospering?
Challenge deadline July 1, 2018

Challenge Overview
Over 30% of humanity lives near coasts, ranging from massive cities to key ports and naval bases to small islands. The effects of climate change - including sea level rise, stronger storms, ocean warming and acidification - are causing increasing negative impacts on these communities' lives and livelihoods. For the 600 million people supported by the fishing industry, a majority of them women, overfishing, pollution, and acidification threaten their livelihoods and the fragile ecosystems on which they depend. In cities and elsewhere, some communities already face regular flooding due to higher tides, some will see more frequent natural disasters, and others will see tourist-attracting coral reefs or surfing fade.

Further, as 60% of global GDP and 90% of global trade moves through coasts, increased flooding or damage to port infrastructure poses risks for communities and businesses alike, whether or not they are near the ocean. In addition, coastal and ocean ecosystems absorb 25% of our excess CO2, but are often degraded through coastal development, making climate change harder to mitigate.

While facing numerous impacts, coastal communities from Puerto Rico to Dhaka also have the potential to demonstrate resilient and sustainable ways of living near and with the ocean. Doing so will require people to have access to new technological solutions--along with new ways to envision and enact hard decisions about economies, society, and infrastructure. The Solve community aims to find innovative solutions to support and enhance coastal communities, while mitigating and adapting to climate change. To do so, Solve welcomes solutions from innovators around the world that:

Increase the viability and scale of sustainable economic activity from oceans, ranging from fishing to energy production to tourism
Provide cost-effective infrastructure approaches to improve resilience in the face of increased storm-, sea-, and tidewater
Rebuild or replicate mangroves, corals, and other ecosystems to restore historic functions, including storm surge absorption, carbon uptake, and stable fisheries
Enable coastal communities, governments, and corporations to use data to understand and make complex decisions around sustainable and resilient development

More coastal communities challenges?
. yes 100%
. no 0%
. not yes 0%
. not no 0%
. neither yes nor no 0%
. both yes and no 0%
. don't understand the question? 0%
. none of the above 0%

Votes: 1
Results | Other Polls
Here is a virtuous story about a coastal um city-state. There is no information about civil "engineering" in place to protect the inhabitants of the archipelago in the event of natural disaster. There is lots of information about artificial disasters such as immigration ("brain drain") and commodity trade balancing of its limited resources. Maybe the Faroes have something pertinent to share, but they're not doing it in this pageant show, surrounded by wild sea and wind. I think, ironically.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jun 8th, 2018 at 11:32:11 PM EST
Read a little this week about the Faroe Islands tunnels and how cheaply they are built, compared to other places in the world.  Some people are wondering when the Faroe Islanders are going to hook with Elon Musk's Boring Company.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Sat Jun 9th, 2018 at 09:06:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
huh. Can Elon/California afford them?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jun 9th, 2018 at 10:28:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My suspicion is that Elon and CA could learn from the Faroe Islanders but probably won't see it that way.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Sun Jun 10th, 2018 at 06:11:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is the Faroe antithesis. It is an account by a resident of Ellicott City, MD. I recall the flood in '16, because its residents' sad stories infused regional economic-disaster-news for months, merging in my mind with with similar restoration-aspiration/inspiration stories from North Carolina's tidewater later in the hurricane "season". I'd no idea about the calamity this spring until reading City Lab. The author illustrates with topography that should have prepared or condemned the civic "leadership" of the town a long, long time ago.

When the Water Came for Me
This is the second devastating flood to hit Ellicott City since 2016--to say nothing of floods that came through in 1817, 1837, 1868, 1901, 1917, 1923, 1938, 1942, 1952, 1956, 1972, 1975, 1989, and 2011.

The big difference, however, is that while most of these events are credited to the nearby Patapsco River overflowing following sustained heavy rains, often from tropical storms, the 2016 and 2018 floods are different beasts entirely.
[An] exacerbating factor in the 2016 and 2018 floods is the long-term consequences of excessive land development. ... [D]evelopers have gone around the town, peppering the surrounding hillsides with condominiums and apartment complexes. Forested land has been replaced with slick concrete and impervious surfaces that deflect runoff. Rainwater that was once absorbed naturally by the environment has nowhere to go but down.

Which brings me home to pat, sanctimonious criticism about the devastation that "developing nations" harvest by stripping landscapes for fuel and housing.

I have no reason to expect this MIT challenge to produce solutions for all-too-human demand for expedience, do I?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jun 8th, 2018 at 11:35:43 PM EST
Pipeline plants 400,000 trees and shrubs in northern Greece
According to TAP, the company has undertaken to reforest land which has been cleared and graded during the installation of the pipeline. This also includes the 4-meter corridor alongside the pipeline, which for legislative and safety reasons cannot be replanted with deep-rooted vegetation. Consequently, TAP has committed to plant trees that have been lost elsewhere, based on the recommendations of the local forestry commissions of Alexandroupoli, Soufli, Rodopi and Serres.

The local forestry commissions selected the appropriate trees for reforestation, opting for species that facilitate the healthy development of forests, restoring deteriorated areas and protecting land which had been exposed to overgrazing.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jun 9th, 2018 at 12:32:29 AM EST

Artist Colleen Flanigan's Zoe-A Living Sea Sculpture in Cozumel, Mexico, is both underwater art and coral restoration experiment. Here, master scuba trainer Ernesto Martínez helps attach found coral fragments. Image courtesy of Colleen Flanigan.

By running low-voltage electricity through the metalwork, using a technology called Biorock (1), Flanigan creates a zone of higher pH that attracts minerals to accrete on the structure. Next, she attaches coral fragments that can then cement themselves. Coral larvae and other organisms could also colonize Zoe, taking it in unpredictable directions of texture and color. The idea, although still controversial, is that the Biorock structure both provides a mineral substrate for corals to grow on and generates an electrical field that enhances the ability of coral and other marine organisms to grow faster.

Around the world, coral reefs are threatened by local stressors, such as overfishing and pollution, and global ones, such as warming waters and ocean acidification (2). Last year marked the end of a 3-year bleaching event during which high ocean temperatures in many reefs across the globe caused corals to expel their symbiotic algae, draining the corals of color and depriving them of their primary energy source (3).

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jun 13th, 2018 at 12:26:33 AM EST
The biorock process was originally developed by Wolf Hilbertz for architectural purposes but was adapted for rebuilding and preserving coral reefs with the help of Tom Goreau, among others.  Tom continues the work at http://www.globalcoral.org

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Wed Jun 13th, 2018 at 11:21:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

What the World Would Look Like if All the Ice Melted

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Jun 18th, 2018 at 01:06:45 AM EST

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