In the News
- September 7, 2016- Climate Change Makes Major Gulf Coast Deluges More Likely: Study, The Times-Picayune
September 6, 2016-
Hurricane Hermine's Flood Damage was Ramped Up by Climate Change,
September 3, 2016-
Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun,
September 1, 2016
Five Years After Hurricane Irene, Vermont Still Striving for Resilience,
Inside Climate News
A new short documentary and trailer helps to educate emergency managers and empower coastal communities: Both the
point to resources from NOAA's National Weather Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and more.
The videos are based on a final report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coastal Storm Awareness Program (CSAP), a research effort conducted by Sea Grant programs in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Through CSAP, a suite of 10 social science studies were funded to help better understand how people respond to coastal storm warnings.
WHEN: September 19, 2016 from 2pm to 3:30pm
Professor Manos Anagnostou. Professor Anagnostou is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He is a Director of Applied Research for CIRCA and a member of the CIRCA Executive Steering Committee. He is the lead researcher on CIRCA's projects on inland flood risk for Connecticut.
Full bio and contact information
Professor James O'Donnell. Professor O'Donnell is a professor in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Connecticut. He is the Executive Director of CIRCA and a Director of Applied Research. He also sits on CIRCA's Executive Steering Committee. O'Donnell is the lead researcher on coastal flooding and wave research for Connecticut at CIRCA.
Full bio and contact information
Dr. Rebecca French. Dr. French is the Director of Community Engagement for CIRCA. She works with communities in Connecticut to share the data and tools from CIRCA's research projects. She was the Project Director for the CT Phase I application for the National Disaster Resilience Competition and she is also a researcher on CIRCA's projects on wetland creation for resilience and community engagement on living shorelines.
Full bio and contact information
CIRCA is excited to announce funding through its Municipal Resilience Grant Program! Up to $200,000 will be made available for projects that advance resilience and that emphasize implementation (including the creation of conceptual design, construction, or the design of resilience enhancing practices and policies). Municipal governments and councils of governments are eligible to apply. Proposals must review and consider integration of CIRCA's research products in the application. Information on CIRCA's research products will be made available on the grant program webpage. The minimum award will be $20,000; applicants are allowed to apply for the full $200,000. Project proposals should develop knowledge or experience that is transferable to multiple locations in Connecticut and have well-defined and measurable goals. Applications are due November 1, 2016. Questions can be sent to
September 19, 2016
MRGP webinar on CIRCA Information on Flood Risks. Participating in the webinar or reviewing the recording is a
requirement for applicants
CIRCA in the News
HARTFORD - July was the hottest month for global temperatures since scientists began keeping those records in the 1880s, and climate experts say it's another danger signal that has implications around the planet - including Connecticut.
This July wasn't the hottest our state has seen - that occurred in 2013 - but Connecticut scientists and environmentalists say it has become increasingly clear that climate change has already affected our region.
Summer and winter air temperatures in the state are significantly higher than they were 200 years ago. Sea levels in Long Island Sound are continuing to rise, and lobsters have largely disappeared from Connecticut's shores. The flow of water in the Connecticut River has increased. Growing seasons are about 30 days longer than a century ago. Invasive insects, including disease-spreading mosquitoes, are expanding their ranges into the state.
Jim O'Donnell, professor of marine sciences with the University of Connecticut and executive director of the Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation, said the evidence of how global warming is changing Connecticut is irrefutable.
O'Donnell recently compared 80 years' worth of air temperature records taken at Yale University in the late 17th and early 18th centuries to temperatures taken in New Haven over the most recent 80-year period.
"It's pretty clear there has been at least a 2 degree Celsius [3.6 degrees Fahrenheit] average warming in summer air temperatures, and at least a 3 degree Celsius [4.5 degree Fahrenheit] warming in winter air temperatures in New Haven," O'Donnell said.
A comparison of Yale records from a century ago with Connecticut's last few decades shows that the growing season is starting about 15 days earlier in the spring and lasting about 15 days longer in the fall, according to O'Donnell.
Local & State News Clips
The iconic symbol of the state's fishing industry for years, Long Island Sound was once flush with lobster, traps and people who made their livings from them.
But no more.
Connecticut's lobster landings topped 3.7 million pounds a year, worth $12 million, in the late 1990s, but by 2014 had diminished to about 127,000 pounds worth a little more than $600,000.
Instead of the picture of fishing success, lobster has become the face of climate change in New England: a sentinel of warming water, ocean acidification and other man-made impacts that have sent them and dozens of other marine animals scurrying in search of a more hospitable environment.
"We've found quite dramatic shifts in where species are found," said Malin Pinsky, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist with the Rutgers University Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources who researches how climate change affects fish and fisheries. He has used data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to create OceanAdapt, which includes animations that regionally show how dozens of marine species have moved in the last 50 years. "Especially here in the Northeast you have something like American lobster about 200 miles further north than they used to be, and other species shifting similar amounts."
These climate-related shifts, on their own and dovetailing with older concerns such as overfishing and pollution, are now upending fishing patterns, threatening to upend fishing management systems and generating political controversy and finger-pointing as policies struggle to keep up with the pace of fish movement, and the Connecticut fishing community struggles to hang on.
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the "CT Prepares" mobile application has been downloaded more than 6,300 times since its
earlier this month. The emergency preparedness application provides Connecticut residents with information and alerts in emergency situations, and also gives useful information to prepare in advance of an emergency.
"In an emergency, every second counts and communication is critical. That's why the 'CT Prepares' app is so important. It provides important emergency information all in one location - allowing residents to quickly access potentially life-saving phones numbers, safety tips and public safety alerts with a couple taps of the screen. We're pleased to hit this milestone and we would encourage all residents to download the app to their mobile devices," Governor Malloy said.
By downloading the app to a mobile device, users can:
- View real-time alerts for emergencies, weather and traffic
- View current and extended National Weather Service forecasts based on current location
- Send an "I'm safe" message to contacts via email, text, and social networks
- Access Connecticut Emergency Management Agency news and events
- View emergency preparation guides for different types of emergencies
- Locate Connecticut Emergency Management contacts and other useful emergency resources
National News Clips
While the U.S. has been in a major hurricane drought since 2005, those top level storms have actually become more common in the Atlantic basin. The reason could be linked to rising sea surface temperatures - fueled in part by global warming - as seen in ocean buoy data collected along the U.S. coast.
Hurricane Wilma - which at one point was the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic basin - was the last major hurricane to pummel the U.S., roaring ashore in Florida as a Category 3 storm on Oct. 24, 2005. Since that date, no Category 3 or higher storm - what the National Hurricane Center defines as major hurricanes - has hit anywhere in the U.S.
But that streak is deceiving. The incidence of major hurricanes has essentially doubled across the Atlantic basin since 1970, potentially linked to rising sea surface temperatures there. It just happens that fewer of those storms hit the U.S.
Of course, in the decade since Wilma struck, plenty of other storms have had a major impact. Hurricane Ike and Superstorm Sandy were among the costliest storms on record, but neither was technically categorized a major hurricane. And Hurricane Hermine, though only a Category 1 when it recently hit Florida, caused significant damage. It also ended the state's nearly 11-year streak without any hurricane making landfall.
In addition to the rise in major hurricanes in the Atlantic basin, the average number of named hurricanes each year has increased to about seven storms from five storms, though the exact reasons for this rise are still the subject of research.
September 7, 2016- Climate Change Makes Major Gulf Coast Deluges More Likely: Study, The Times-Picayune
A fast-track scientific study published Wednesday (Sept. 7) concludes that major rainfall events like the one that caused the Louisiana Flood of 2016, which devastated much of the Baton Rouge area in August, are more likely today because of human-caused global warming.
"The probability of a 3-day precipitation extreme like the event observed August 12th-14th occurring anywhere in the Central Gulf Coast region has increased, and the increase is due to human-caused climate change," the authors said in a news release reporting their findings. "In our expert judgement and drawing upon results from multiple peer-reviewed methods, the increase in probability is at least 40 percent -- but it may be larger."
And the increase in probability corresponds to an increase in intensity of about 10 percent for similar events today, compared to 100 years ago, they said.
'The moisture content of the atmosphere was at record levels,' says Frank Revitte of National Weather Service.
The study, conducted by a team of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and elsewhere, warns that continued increases in greenhouse gases will increase the chances of such storms through the end of the 21st century. The study was published online in the scientific journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences on Wednesday.
September 6, 2016- Hurricane Hermine's Flood Damage was Ramped Up by Climate Change, New Scientist
A preview of things to come? Global warming and rising sea levels may be exacerbating the widespread flooding along the east coast of the US in the wake of Hurricane Hermine this week.
The category 1 hurricane made landfall in Florida on Friday with wind speeds of 120 kilometres per hour. This contact with land weakened it to a tropical storm, which then moved north-east along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina on Saturday.
Despite being relatively weak compared with other hurricanes - including a category 5 hurricane that hit Florida in 1935 at a speed of 300 kilometres per hour - Hermine caused significant flooding across the four states affected. Two people died and 400,000 homes lost power.
September 3, 2016- Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun, NY Times
NORFOLK, Va. - Huge vertical rulers are sprouting beside low spots in the streets here, so people can judge if the tidal floods that increasingly inundate their roads are too deep to drive through.
Five hundred miles down the Atlantic Coast, the only road to Tybee Island, Ga., is disappearing beneath the sea several times a year, cutting the town off from the mainland.
And another 500 miles on, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., increased tidal flooding is forcing the city to spend millions fixing battered roads and drains - and, at times, to send out giant vacuum trucks to suck saltwater off the streets.
For decades, as the global warming created by human emissions caused land ice to melt and ocean water to expand, scientists warned that the accelerating rise of the sea would eventually imperil the United States' coastline.
Now, those warnings are no longer theoretical: The inundation of the coast has begun. The sea has crept up to the point that a high tide and a brisk wind are all it takes to send water pouring into streets and homes.
September 1, 2016- Five Years After Hurricane Irene, Vermont Still Striving for Resilience, Inside Climate News
Vermont is a shim of a state, the size and shape of a scanty slice of pie, or a narrow wedge of its finest cheddar.
With no ocean coastline, Vermont might have seemed an unlikely candidate to be devastated by a hurricane five years ago, and to most, Irene was an entirely forgettable storm. Its memory is eclipsed for many by Sandy, which followed a year later.
Irene was actually only a hurricane for a brief stretch over distant North Carolina. Its winds dwindled once it made landfall. But while winds and storm surge make hurricanes so telegenic, what made this one so destructive was rain. Irene dumped as much as 11 inches of rain on parts of Vermont, and caused $733 million in damage. In all, it checked in at $14.3 billion, the sixth-costliest hurricane in American history.
It turns out, Vermont wasn't that unlikely a candidate for all that damage. And residents of the Green Mountain State, crisscrossed by rivers and streams, have a lot to worry about in the future.
Even inland states like Vermont are never out of reach of Atlantic storms, and hurricanes and Nor'easters of the future will be even wetter because warmer air in the atmosphere holds more water, climate scientists say.
The Resilience Roundup highlights
CIRCA's presence in the news, provides links to recent local/state/national news articles related to resilience and adaptation, and announces upcoming events and seminars.
The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation's (CIRCA) mission is to increase the resilience and sustainability of vulnerable communities along Connecticut's coast and inland waterways to the growing impacts of climate change and extreme weather on the natural, built, and human environment. The institute is located at the University of Connecticut's Avery Point campus and includes faculty from across the university. CIRCA is a partnership between UConn and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP).