One aspect of climate change is migration pressure. arguably Syria is a case in point and now Puerto Rico. (via The New York Times)
Florida and it's politics may undergo quite a change.
The scale is larger than any previous movement of Puerto Ricans to the mainland, including the wave that arrived after World War II, said Jorge Duany, the director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University and an expert on Puerto Rican migration. “It’s a stampede.”
More than 168,000 people have flown or sailed out of Puerto Rico to Florida since the hurricane, landing at airports in Orlando, Miami and Tampa, and the port in Fort Lauderdale. Nearly half are arriving in Orlando, where they are tapping their networks of family and friends. An additional 100,000 are booked on flights to Orlando through Dec. 31, county officials said. Large numbers are also settling in the Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach areas.
We’d done everything right – or so we thought. Sophie had gone into labour naturally a week or two before her due date. When we got to the hospital the following morning, a doctor was soon listening to the heartbeats of mother and baby. Something was wrong. The baby’s heartbeat was too slow.
In my memory, the doctor hit a big red button on the wall above the bed. That seems unlikely now, but the effect was the same. Suddenly I was being told to change into scrubs while nurses streamed into the room and started preparing Sophie for an emergency C-section. I was still pulling on the thin blue trousers when they wheeled her bed out of the room and down the hall. A nurse pointed me towards the double doors of the operating theatre. The knot in my stomach got tighter.
Minutes later, Edith was born. She didn’t cry, as babies are supposed to when their first breath fills their lungs. In silence, she was placed on a table under a warming lamp, medical staff around her, blocking our view. At last, she managed a squawk. Someone held her up for us to see her cross little face and then she was whisked away. By the time I went home that evening, Sophie was in the maternity ward recovering from surgery and Edith was in the NICU. Our first night as a family and the three of us all sleeping in different places.
At just 2.1 kg (4 lb 10 oz), Edith was significantly underweight for a baby who wasn’t particularly premature, so she went to the NICU for observation and to make sure her brain hadn’t suffered from lack of oxygen when her heart was beating slowly. With no evident issues appearing, she was there for only four days. It was long enough to adjust to the dim lighting, the continual bleeping of monitors, the collective anxiety and the stab of fear that accompanied anything out of the ordinary. But four days is nothing compared with the weeks and months that some babies and their parents spend in the NICU.
Most babies in a NICU are seriously ill, having had very premature or traumatic births. Around 70 per cent are at risk of brain damage. Predicting how they will fare is notoriously hard, and despite the best available specialist care, often it’s still a matter of waiting to see whether they will survive and with what, if any, impairments. And although an adult patient would go for an MRI scan as soon as brain damage was on the cards, many of these babies don’t ever get to have that basic test
The research draws on a curious and counterintuitive insight that sea level researchers have emphasized in recent years: As ocean levels rise around the globe, they will not do so evenly. Rather, because of the enormous scale of the ice masses that are melting and feeding the oceans, there will be gravitational effects and even subtle effects on the crust and rotation of the Earth. This, in turn, will leave behind a particular “fingerprint” of sea level rise, depending on when and precisely which parts of Greenland or Antarctica collapse.
a tip of the hat to Sukie
The paper is outside the paywall in Science Advances is interesting and readable by non-specialists with a science background.
Should coastal planners have concern over where land ice is melting?
Eric Larour,1* Erik R. Ivins,1 Surendra Adhikari1
There is a general consensus among Earth scientists that melting of land ice greatly contributes to sea-level rise (SLR) and that future warming will exacerbate the risks posed to human civilization. As land ice is lost to the oceans, both the Earth’s gravitational and rotational potentials are perturbed, resulting in strong spatial patterns in SLR, termed sea- level fingerprints. We lack robust forecasting models for future ice changes, which diminishes our ability to use these fingerprints to accurately predict local sea-level (LSL) changes. We exploit an advanced mathematical property of adjoint systems and determine the exact gradient of sea-level fingerprints with respect to local variations in the ice thickness of all of the world’s ice drainage systems. By exhaustively mapping these fingerprint gradients, we form a new diagnosis tool, henceforth referred to as gradient fingerprint mapping (GFM), that readily allows for improved assessments of future coastal inundation or emergence. We demonstrate that for Antarctica and Greenland, changes in the predictions of inundation at major port cities depend on the location of the drainage system. For example, in London, GFM shows LSL that is significantly affected by changes on the western part of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), whereas in New York, LSL change predictions are greatly sensitive to changes in the northeastern portions of the GrIS. We apply GFM to 293 major port cities to allow coastal planners to readily calculate LSL change as more reliable predictions of cryospheric mass changes become available.