March 2018 Newsletter
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New Satellite Data Confirm Accelerated Sea Level Rise

Twenty-five years of satellite data prove climate models are correct in predicting that sea levels will rise at an increasing rate. In a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that since 1993, ocean waters have moved up the shore by almost 1 millimeter per decade. That's on top of the 3 millimeter steady annual increase. This acceleration means we'll gain an additional millimeter per year for each of the coming decades, potentially doubling what would happen to the sea level by 2100 if the rate of increase was constant. "The acceleration predicted by the models has now been detected directly from the observations. I think this is a game-changer as far as the climate change discussion goes," said co-author Gary Mitchum, PhD, associate dean and professor at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science. "For example, the Tampa Bay area has been identified as one of 10 most vulnerable areas in the world to sea level rise and the increasing rate of rise is of great concern."

Everglades Needs More Fresh Water to Fight Salt Water Intrusion

As sea levels continue to rise, more areas of the coastal Everglades will be susceptible to salt water intrusion, according to a new FIU study. Sea levels rose 2.2 centimeters annually from 2011 to 2015, according to scientists in FIU's Southeast Environmental Research Center and Sea Level Solutions Center. In 2012, sea levels rose 10 centimeters in the dry season months of December to May and have not subsided. Many factors contributed to the drastic increase in 2012, including melting ice sheets, a strong La Niña season in 2011, and slow ocean currents that allowed sea water to pile up along coastlines. Parts of the coastal Everglades that were once flooded by sea water about 70 percent of the time are now covered by sea water 90 percent of the time.

Nature's Delicate Balancing Act

Researchers at USF have offered a deeper understanding of climate change effects on animal phenology in their study, " A global synthesis of animal phenological responses to climate change", published this week in Nature Climate Change. By examining more than a thousand records of these phenological shifts dating back to the 1950s, the study revealed that various taxa, like insects, birds, amphibians and mammals, are shifting their seasonal activities at different rates in response to a changing climate. "We found that cold-blooded species and those with small body sizes are shifting their phenological activities faster, or track changing climates more effectively, than warm-blooded or large-bodied species," said the study's lead author Jeremy Cohen, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the USF Department of Integrative Biology. "These differences could potentially cause mismatches between interacting species, such as migrating birds and their prey."

Who's Your Daddy? Good News for Threatened Sea Turtles

Who's your daddy? No, it's not a TV clip from "The Jerry Springer Show" to identify who the "real" father is. Rather, it is a groundbreaking study of sea turtle nests and hatchlings using paternity tests to uncover "who are your daddies?" The study conducted by researchers at Florida Atlantic University and published in PLOS One, is the first to document multiple paternity in loggerhead sea turtle nests in southwest Florida. What started out as a study on female sea turtle promiscuity - females can have multiple partners and can store sperm for more than three months after mating events - is proving to be very good news for this female-biased species facing rising risks of extinction due to climate change.

Apr 14, 2018 | University of Miami Climate & Health Symposium | Miami, FL

The event organizers invite scholarly work, both papers and posters, under the following themes:
  • Empirical evidence of the direct and indirect effects of climate and/or meteorological conditions on different health outcomes,
  • Data and methodologies that support research on the health effects of climate and meteorological conditions,
  • Uncertainty in the health effects of climate and/or meteorological conditions,
  • Engagement of different stakeholders in communicating the health risk associated with climate and/or extreme weather, and
  • Novel approaches to mitigate adverse health effects of climate and/or extreme weather.

If you would like to participate, please visit the symposium website: 


Partial travel and logistic support may be available to the selected participants. For more information contact: Sam Hopwood, Coordinator ( or Dr. Kumar (

Additional News

Sarasota City Commission approves Climate Adaptation Plan ( City of Sarasota, Jan 2018)

Communications handbook for IPCC scientists ( Climate Outreach, Jan 30, 2018)

Keys to raise roads before climate change puts them underwater. It'll be expensive. ( Miami Herald, Feb 1, 2018)

Rising sea levels could impact State Road 520 causeway, other riverfront Brevard roads ( Florida Today, Feb 8, 2018)

Mangroves protect coastlines, store carbon - and are expanding with climate change ( The Conversation, Feb 9, 2018)

If you live in Florida, doctors say climate change is already affecting your health ( Miami Herald, Feb 9, 2018)

One thing leads to another: Causal chains link health, development, and conservation ( American Institute of Biological Sciences via ScienceDaily, Feb 21, 2018)

How six Americans changed their minds about global warming ( New York Times, Feb 21, 2018)

Northeast Florida scientists agree: Sea-level rise is here, and it's dangerous ( Jacksonville Sun, Feb 23, 2018)

Welcome to the age of climate migration ( RollingStone - Feb 25, 2018)

Late winter AgroClimate update ( AgroClimate - Mar 1, 2018)

Di Yang (UF) has received the NASA-MSU Professional Enhancement Award. Scholars who receive the awards give oral or poster presentations at the annual meeting of the U.S. International Association for Landscape Ecology April 8-12, 2018, in Chicago.    
Funding Opportunities
Job Opportunities
Available Now! A New Book from the FCI: Florida's Climate: Changes, Variations, & Impacts

Florida's Climate: Changes, Variations, & Impacts provides a thorough review of the current state of research on Florida's climate, including physical climate benchmarks; climate prediction, projection, and attribution; and the impacts of climate and climate change on the people and natural resources in the state. The book is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle format at Individual chapters may be accessed on the FCI website.
FCI affiliates and/or authors from FCI member universities are in bold.
Alto, B. W., Wiggins, K., Eastmond, B., Ortiz, S., Zirbel, K., & Lounibos, L. P. (2017). Diurnal Temperature Range and Chikungunya Virus Infection in Invasive Mosquito Vectors. Journal of Medical Entomology, 55(1), 217-224.

Arnold, T. E., Kenney, W. F., Curtis, J. H., Bianchi, T. S., Brenner, M., & Russell, B. D. (2018). Sediment biomarkers elucidate the Holocene ontogeny of a shallow lake. PLoS ONE, 13(1), e0191073. 

Betzler, C., Eberli, G. P., Lüdmann, T., ... Swart, P. K., ... Hui Mee, A. L., et al. (2018). Refinement of Miocene sea level and monsoon events from the sedimentary archive of the Maldives (Indian Ocean). Prog Earth Planet Sci, 5(1).

Bhardwaj, A., Misra, V., Mishra, A., Wootten, A., Boyles, R., Bowden, J. H., et al. (2018). Downscaling future climate change projections over Puerto Rico using a non-hydrostatic atmospheric model. Climatic Change.

Bonebrake, T. C., Brown, C. J., Bell, J. D., ... Scheffers, B. R., et al. (2018). Managing consequences of climate-driven species redistribution requires integration of ecology, conservation and social science. Biol Rev, 93(1), 284-305.

Cohen, J. M., Lajeunesse, M. J., & Rohr, J. R. (2018). A global synthesis of animal phenological responses to climate change. Nature Climate Change.

Cronin, T. W., & Wing, A. A. (2017). Clouds, Circulation, and Climate Sensitivity in a Radiative-Convective Equilibrium Channel Model. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 9(8), 2883-2905.

Cruz, G., Baethgen, W., Bartaburu, D., ... Podesta, G., et al. (2018). Thirty Years of Multilevel Processes for Adaptation of Livestock Production to Droughts in Uruguay. Wea. Climate Soc., 10(1), 59-74.

Cunning, R., Silverstein, R. N., & Baker, A. C. (2018). Symbiont shuffling linked to differential photochemical dynamics of Symbiodinium in three Caribbean reef corals. Coral Reefs, 37(1), 145-152.

Dessu, S. B., Price, R. M., Troxler, T. G., & Kominoski, J. S. (2018). Effects of sea-level rise and freshwater management on long-term water levels and water quality in the Florida Coastal Everglades. Journal of Environmental Management, 211, 164-176.

Devanas, A., & Stefanova, L. (2018). Statistical Prediction Of Waterspout Probability For The Florida Keys. Wea. Forecasting.

Engström, J., & Waylen, P. (2018). Drivers of long-term precipitation and runoff variability in the southeastern USA. Theor Appl Climatol, 131(3-4), 1133-1146.

Evans, D., Sagoo, N., Renema, W., Cotton, L. J., Müller, W., Todd, J. A., et al. (2018). Eocene greenhouse climate revealed by coupled clumped isotope-Mg/Ca thermometry. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 115(6), 1174-1179.

Fuentes, M. M. P. B., Monsinjon, J., Lopez, M., Lara, P., Santos, A., dei Marcovaldi, M. A. G., et al. (2017). Sex ratio estimates for species with temperature-dependent sex determination differ according to the proxy used. Ecological Modelling, 365, 55-67.

Hong, S. H., & Wdowinski, S. (2017). A Review on Monitoring the Everglades Wetlands in the Southern Florida Using Space-based Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Observations. Korean Journal of Remote Sensing, 33(4), 377-390.

Julian, P., & Osborne, T. Z. (2018). From lake to estuary, the tale of two waters: a study of aquatic continuum biogeochemistry. Environ Monit Assess, 190(2).

Lasala, J. A., Hughes, C. R., & Wyneken, J. (2018). Breeding sex ratio and population size of loggerhead turtles from Southwestern Florida. PLoS ONE, 13(1), e0191615.

Laurencin, C. N., & Misra, V. (2017). Characterizing the Variations of the motion of the North Atlantic tropical cyclones. Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics.

Louthan, A. M., Pringle, R. M., Goheen, J. R., Palmer, T. M., Morris, W. F., & Doak, D. F. (2018). Aridity weakens population-level effects of multiple species interactions onHibiscus meyeri. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 115(3), 543-548.

Menning, D. M., Carraher-Stross, W. A., Graham, E. D., Thomas, D. N., Phillips, A. R., Scharping, R. J., & Garey, J. R. (2018). Aquifer Discharge Drives Microbial Community Change in Karst Estuaries. Estuaries and Coasts, 41(2), 430-443.

Misra, V., Bhardwaj, A., & Mishra, A. (2017). Characterizing the rainy season of Peninsular Florida. Climate Dynamics.

Muneepeerakul, C. P., Muneepeerakul, R., & Huffaker, R. G. (2017). Rainfall Intensity and Frequency Explain Production Basis Risk in Cumulative Rain Index Insurance. Earth's Future, 5(12), 1267-1277.

Nerem, R. S., Beckley, B. D., Fasullo, J. T., Hamlington, B. D., Masters, D., & Mitchum, G. T. (2018). Climate-change-driven accelerated sea-level rise detected in the altimeter era. PNAS.

Qiu, J., Game, E. T., Tallis, H., Olander, L. P., Glew, L., Kagan, J. S., et al. (2018). Evidence-Based Causal Chains for Linking Health, Development, and Conservation Actions. BioScience, 68(3), 182-193.

Salas, J. D., Obeysekera, J., & Vogel, R. M. (2018). Techniques for assessing water infrastructure for nonstationary extreme events: a review. Hydrological Sciences Journal.

Sankar, R. D., Donoghue, J. F., & Kish, S. A. (2017). Spatio-temporal analysis of decadal-scale patterns in barrier island response to storms: Perdido Key, NW Florida. Physical Geography, 1-30.

Schweitzer, M. D., Calzadilla, A. S., Salamo, O., Sharifi, A., Kumar, N., Holt, G., Campos, M., & Mirsaeidi, M. (2018). Lung health in era of climate change and dust storms. Environmental Research, 163, 36-42.

Serrano, X. M., Miller, M. W., Hendee, J. C., Jensen, B. A., Gapayao, J. Z., Pasparakis, C., Grosell, M., & Baker, A. C. (2018). Effects of thermal stress and nitrate enrichment on the larval performance of two Caribbean reef corals. Coral Reefs, 37(1), 173-182.

Sharda, V., Handyside, C., Chaves, B., McNider, R. T., & Hoogenboom, G. (2017). The Impact of Spatial Soil Variability on Simulation of Regional Maize Yield. Transactions of the ASABE, 60(6), 2137-2148.

Stevenson, K. T., King, T. L., Selm, K. R., Peterson, M. N., & Monroe, M. C. (2018). Framing climate change communication to prompt individual and collective action among adolescents from agricultural communities. Environmental Education Research, 24(3), 365-377.

Teegavarapu, R. S. V., Aly, A., Pathak, C. S., Ahlquist, J., Fuelberg, H., & Hood, J. (2018). Infilling missing precipitation records using variants of spatial interpolation and data-driven methods: use of optimal weighting parameters and nearest neighbour-based corrections. Int. J. Climatol, 38(2), 776-793.

Tito, R., Vasconcelos, H. L., & Feeley, K. J. (2018). Global climate change increases risk of crop yield losses and food insecurity in the tropical Andes. Glob Change Biol, 24(2), e592-e602.

Van Beynen, P., Akiwumi, F. A., & Van Beynen, K. (2018). A sustainability index for small island developing states. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 25(2), 99-116.

Verdin, A., Rajagopalan, B., Kleiber, W., Podestá, G., & Bert, F. (2018). A conditional stochastic weather generator for seasonal to multi-decadal simulations. Journal of Hydrology, 556, 835-846.

Warner, L. A., Lamm, A. J., & Kumar Chaudhary, A. (2018). Florida residents' perceived role in protecting water quantity and quality through landscape practices. Landscape and Urban Planning, 171, 1-6.

Webber, H., White, J. W., Kimball, B. A., Ewert, F., Asseng, S., ... Kassie, B. T., et al. (2018). Physical robustness of canopy temperature models for crop heat stress simulation across environments and production conditions. Field Crops Research, 216, 75-88.

Yan, S., Zhai, L., Deng, Q., Pan, D., Gao, S., & Zou, C. (2018). Spatial-temporal dynamics of soil chloride distribution in a coastal saline plain: implication for ocean and climate influences. J Soils Sediments, 18(2), 586-598.

Yosef, G., Walko, R., Avisar, R., Tatarinov, F., Rotenberg, E., & Yakir, D. (2018). Large-scale semi-arid afforestation can enhance precipitation and carbon sequestration potential. Sci Rep, 8(1).

Young, C., Martin, J. B., Branyon, J., Pain, A., Valle-Levinson, A., Mariño-Tapia, I., et al. (2018). Effects of short-term variations in sea level on dissolved oxygen in a coastal karst aquifer, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Limnol. Oceanogr., 63(1), 352-362.

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