Teaching resource: video on repeat flood loss properties

NRDC produced a nice video on repeat flood loss properties, centering on the testimonial of a homeowner in Louisville, KY, that would make a good addition to a lesson on flood loss or the NFIP. It really emphasizes why buyouts are increasingly important in a changing climate. You may also want to use NRDC’s Flood Disclosure Law Map and attendant resources.

Teaching the polar vortex

As anyone who follows certain presidents on Twitter knows, it’s counterintuitive: climate change is caused by global warming, but it’s terribly cold outside, and the cold spells seem to be getting more frequent. But yes, the changing polar vortex is due to climate change.

First, there is the difference between climate and weather. Weather is what we experience day to day, but climate is the larger, long-term, physical patterns that drive the weather. Any change to the climate can cause local fluctuations in weather, but weather and climate are not the same. I like to explain it to students using the old analogy: weather is whether you bring an umbrella to school; climate is whether you own an umbrella at all. You can also, under current circumstances, use “wearing snow boots” and “owning snow boots”. Continue reading “Teaching the polar vortex”

Disasters and Democracy

I forgot to share this recent article by Vann Newkirk of the Atlantic which quotes me: Climate Change Is Already Damaging American Democracy

“Disasters do not discriminate on their impact, but when we see differential consequences, that’s [when] we see the disparities in preexisting conditions,” said Erin Bergren, a visiting professor at North Central College in Illinois and one of the authors of the Sandy paper. “The post-disaster conditions are premised on the pre-disaster conditions.”

Climate visualization tools

One of my favorite ways to enhance my teaching is through the use of data visualization tools, which have become both numerous and richly detailed. I thought I would share a few that I have been using in the past few weeks, in case they might be useful.

1. Sea level rise viewer (NOAA)

There are a lot of fantastic tools at NOAA’s Digital Coast portal, but the one I use in almost all of my classes is the Sea Level Rise Viewer.

Continue reading “Climate visualization tools”