The Reluctant Spring of 2018 Goes On

The slow-motion spring of ’18 continues to gain momentum. Frost is finally out of theground in many locations. Ice is coming offarea lakes (reluctantly) with ice-out dates at least 3 weeks later than average. How I long for average.

Spirits are lifting; neighbors cautiously emerging from extended hibernation. A sun angle similar to mid-August is finally making a dent in those cold Canadian “special deliveries”.

The risk of brush fires will remain high until we get our first rainy soaking, which should come early next week. By Monday temperatures approach 80F, with a dew point near 60. Get ready for the first real humidity since last September. Warmth and moisture may fuel a few strong T-storms Monday and Tuesday.

Models hint at a soaking rain next Wednesday, before we finally dry out.

A few instability showers may kick up today, especially east of the St. Croix. But a 3-star, blue-ribbon, award-winning weekend is in store with 60F on Saturday – a shot at 70F Sunday.

Long-range NOAA (CFSv2) climate models are predicting a warmer than average May for Minnesota.

We’re due.

May temperature anomaly map above courtesy of NOAA and WeatherBell.

Refinery Fire Plume on Duluth Doppler Radar. Winds are forecast to blow from the northeast much of today, with gusts over 30 mph, bringing the plume into the southern suburbs of Duluth, where air quality may be degraded – but the bulk of the plume will (probably) remain away from downtown Duluth for the next 48 hours or so.

GOES-East Imagery. Check out yesterday’s high-resolution Geocolor image of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, which shows a weak, clipper-like system. It’s a dry flow, but the pattern is forecast to change as Gulf moisture fuels showers and T-storms early next week.

Nothing Too Extreme. I’m just happy not to be tracking snow, to be frank. So fairly consistent 60s appears to be a Godsend. I still think we may reach upper 70s, even 80F on Monday if the sun is out part of the afternoon. Twin Cities ECMWF numbers: WeatherBell.

A Real Warm Front? By the second week of May a sprawling ridge of high pressure builds over the eastern half of the USA. If the GFS forecast of 500mb winds 2 weeks out verifies temperatures should be routinely poking into the 70s across much of Minnesota; possibly warmer than that at times.

Saint Paul to Close Water Street Due to Rising Mississippi Water Levels. The aptly-named Water Street. The City of St. Paul has details: “The City of Saint Paul is temporarily closing Water Street/Lilydale Road beginning Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 6 p.m., due to forecasted rising water levels of the Mississippi River. Water Street will be closed to vehicle traffic between Hwy 13 and Plato Boulevard. Both the Pool and Yacht Club and Harriet Island remain open to visitors at this time. “With more than 17 miles of Mississippi riverfront, we closely monitor river levels and National Weather Service forecasts,” said Public Works Director Kathy Lantry. “Closing Water Street is a preventative action for anticipated flooding. We will continue to monitor the spring melt and respond as needed…”

Latest Flood Forecasts. For crest forecasts from the National Weather Service for specific towns across the state click here.

On the Minnesota River, Carver Awaits the Flood, And Pays Through the Nose. Flood insurance premiums continue to rise, as reported at City Pages: “...Issues with the flood insurance program are often spotlighted in coastal states like Florida and Texas, but Minnesotans have been feeling the effects too. The average flood insurance policy in Minnesota costs $500 a year, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The Williamsons live in a high-risk area, so they pay around $3,000 a year. Those premiums have become a sinkhole for money they could’ve put towards their aging home. “We’re a hardworking, self-employed family with not a lot of excess money,” says Williamson, who owns an art studio in Carver. Her husband Andy owns a boat restoration business. They chose to live in Carver because they love the historic home and the small town…”

File photo credit: “The Minnesota River has flooded the town of Carver several times historically, including one in 1965 that damaged 50 homes, and another in 2014 that damaged city hall.” Star Tribune file.

The Nation’s Weather and Oceans Agency Has Never Gone This Long Without a Confirmed Leader. Capital Weather Gang has the latest: “The agency charged with the critical missions of predicting the nation’s weather, monitoring its climate and protecting its coasts has lacked a permanent leader for one year and 95 days, since Donald Trump was elected president. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has never gone so long without a permanent, confirmed director following the installment of a new administration. Barry Myers, the chief executive of AccuWeather, is Trump’s pick to run NOAA, but more than six months have passed since he was nominated Oct. 16. Stymied by alleged conflicts of interest and lacking a formal science background, Myers’s ability to get the votes needed for approval in the Senate is unclear, several individuals familiar with his confirmation process said…”

Image credit: “AccuWeather chief executive Barry Myers, Trump’s pick to head NOAA, testifies at a House Science Committee hearing in June 2016.” (Image taken from a video on the hearing)

Oklahoma Hasn’t Seen a Single Tornado This Year. The Streak is About to Set a Record. Capital Weather Gang reports: “Across much of the Lower 48, winter just won’t quit. It’s about to be May, but temperatures are running as much as 20 degrees below normal, snow is still falling and plants are slow to come out of their wintertime slumber. The continued onslaught of wintry weather has kept spring things at bay — things like tornadoes. It has been so quiet, Oklahoma is about to set a record for the latest first tornado of the year. On average, about 12 tornadoes form in Oklahoma during April. It’s typically the state with the third most tornadoes annually, as well as home to some of the highest tornado odds per square mile. The longest Oklahoma has gone without a tornado was until April 26 in 1962. Since we’re not expecting severe thunderstorms in the Central United States anytime soon, this streak is all but certain to set a record…”

Preliminary Tornado Touchdown Map for 2018 courtesy of NOAA SPC.

Below Average Tornado Season Across the US. has more perspective on a quiet year so far: “…Both Oklahoma and Kansas have seen no tornadoes in 2018. According to climate data these areas usually see at least a dozen by this time of the year. Since 1950, Oklahoma has never seen a year where no tornadoes were reported. If Kansas doesn’t see a tornado at all in April – this would mark the fourth time since records began that no twisters have touched down. Here’s a look at the preliminary tornado count across the country.  About 227 tornadoes have touched down since January 1st.  That’s well below the 10 year average of 426 tornadoes...”

Photos: Devastating Tornado Scars Still Visible from Aerial Views Years After 2011 Super Outbreak. AccuWeather explains: “…This was one of four EF5 tornadoes during the outbreak and was powerful enough to debark trees and scour pavement from a road. This was also the deadliest tornado of the entire outbreak, leading to 72 fatalities in Alabama. Not only did the tornadoes during the Super Outbreak devastate communities, but they tore through hundreds of miles of fields and forests, stripping vegetation of its leaves and uprooting some trees. The scars left behind by the most powerful twisters are still able to be seen from aerial views to this day as the land continues to recover…”

Image credit: “On April 27, 2011, an EF4 tornado tracked through Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The satellite image on the left shows the area one month after the tornado hit. The satellite image on the right shows the area five years after the tornado hit.”

Potential New 24-Hour USA Rainfall Record. Nearly 50″ of rain in 24 hours? NOAA has details here.

Sea Level Rise Threatens Water Supply on Thousands of Islands: Headlines and links via Climate Nexus: “Thousands of low-lying islands that collectively house over half a million people worldwide could become uninhabitable by mid-century due to rising sea levels, according to new research published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. The study, commissioned by the Department of Defense, focuses on the equatorial Pacific Ocean and finds that rising sea levels combined with wave-driven flooding could contaminate freshwater drinking water supplies on thousands of atoll islands between 2030 and 2065. “This is sort of the front lines of sea-level rise and climate change,” John Conger, director of the Center for Climate and Security, told the Washington Post. “It’s not that the entire island is going underwater — it’s that you don’t have drinking water. It’s going to wreck the aquifer.” (Washington Post $, The Guardian, InsideClimate News, Mother Jones)

File photo: Eric Risberg, AP.

China Installs Nearly 10 Gigawatts of Solar in Q1, Up 22% Details from CleanTechnica: “China’s National Energy Administration announced on Tuesday that the country installed an impressive 9.65 gigawatts (GW) of new solar PV capacity in the first quarter of 2018, up 22% on the same period a year earlier and up on analysts’ projections. At a press conference held on Tuesday, China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) published new data revealing the country’s solar PV performance for the first quarter. The data comes to us courtesy of Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory, (AECEA), based in Beijing, which covers the Chinese solar industry closer than many non-Chinese analysts are capable of doing...”

BMW’s New Electric iX3 SUV Looks Shockingly Normal. has more details: “…BMW says the iX3 will carry its fifth generation electric drive system, with the electric motor (good for 200kW or 270 hp), power electronics, and transmission made into one drive component. It’s promising a range of around 250 miles from a 70-kWh battery, which puts it right in the middle of the EV pack (ahead of Maybach, behind Tesla). The vehicle will come ready for 150kW fast chargers—not many of those have been built yet, but they’re promised soon, and will allow an 80 percent charge in under 30 minutes. And while it’s technically a concept, its lack of zany features and close resemblance to a production-ready car means it’s almost certainly headed for the mass market in the next few years…”

Image credit: “After the ultra-funky i3 and i8, the German automaker is bringing its batteries into the mainstream with the iX3 SUV.” BMW Group.

TRANSPORTATION: Climate Nexus reports: “Porsche doubles target for deliveries of electric cars by 2025 (Bloomberg), Sweden opens new road that charges electric vehicles like real-life slot cars (CNN, CNBC), Nissan Leaf is the mainstream electric car we’ve been waiting for (CNN), Metro wants to end free rides for clean-air vehicles in toll lanes.” (LA Times $)

RSF Index 2018: Hatred of Journalism Threatens Democracies. A story at Reporters Without Borders caught my eye – a cause for serious concern: “The 2018 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), reflects growing animosity towards journalists. Hostility towards the media, openly encouraged by political leaders, and the efforts of authoritarian regimes to export their vision of journalism pose a threat to democracies. The climate of hatred is steadily more visible in the Index, which evaluates the level of press freedom in 180 countries each year. Hostility towards the media from political leaders is no longer limited to authoritarian countries such as Turkey (down two at 157th) and Egypt (161st), where “media-phobia” is now so pronounced that journalists are routinely accused of terrorism and all those who don’t offer loyalty are arbitrarily imprisoned…”

In an Era of Changing Work, How Will Your Job Define Who You Are? How We Get to Next from Medium has a thoughtful post: “…Some argue that while many newer tech companies are creating new jobs, they aren’t “real jobs”—the kind that come with good benefits and predictable hours. This was far from the only kind of work in the 20th century, but it was what work in places like Port Talbot looked like—and even if you didn’t have a good job in a company town, it was what you might aspire to. The disappearance of that way of work is a major source anxiety around the world—and it’s not immediately clear how some of the new work identities, like those forming around the gig economy, can offer an easy replacement. A future of fractious, uncertain employment isn’t just an issue confined to Europe and the U.S.: lower-income countries in Africa, Asia, and South America are also experiencing a similar shift...”

How Do You Control 1.4 Billion People? Are security and tracking measures being implemented in China coming to the USA? Here’s an excerpt from The New Republic: “A few months ago, you accidentally defaulted on a phone bill. The mistake affects your credit score: It’s hard to get a loan. You can no longer make jokes about Marco Rubio on Twitter; such remarks will algorithmically define you as a libertarian loon—another sort of person likely to default on social obligations. After a couple of close friends miss their student loan repayments, you can’t even travel: your social circle is now all “discredited, unable to take a single step.” This is the incipient scenario in China, whose state-backed “social credit scheme” will become mandatory for all residents by 2020. The quoted text is from a 2014 State Council resolution which promises that every involuntary participant will be rated according to their “commercial sincerity,” “social security,” “trust breaking” and “judicial credibility…”

China’s Behavior Monitoring System Bars Some from Travel, Purchasing Property. CBS News explains: “By 2020, China plans to give all its 1.4 billion citizens a personal score based on how they behave. Some with low scores are already being punished if they want to travel. Nearly 11 million Chinese are not allowed to fly and 4 million are barred from trains. Next week, the program will start expanding nationwide. The government says it is trying to “purify” society by rewarding people who are trustworthy and punishing those who are not, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy. So like the credit scores most Americans have based on how they handle their finances, Chinese citizens are getting a social credit score based on everything from whether they pay their taxes on time to how they cross the street to what they post online...”

Why Social Connections Really Are a Matter of Life or Death. Big Think focuses on an epidemic of loneliness: “In the last few decades, the number of close friendships in America has dropped. Between 1985 and 2004, the General Social Survey reported that the average number of confidants Americans felt they could talk to about important matters in their lives fell from 2.94 to 2.08. Worse still, 25% of people surveyed responded with “zero”. Andrew Horn, CEO and co-founder of Tribute, calls this the connection crisis: “This dearth of relationships is not just making us sad, it’s literally making us sick,” he says. “There was a recent meta-analysis of 300,000 patients and it found that having weak social ties was as harmful to your health as being an alcoholic, and twice as harmful as having obesity…”

Deadliest Creature on the Planet? No, it’s not sharks or bears or even people. It’s mosquitoes. The New York Times has a sobering multi-media explanation.

Thanks to Streaming, Recording Industry Revenues Are Back Up to Pre-Internet Levels, but Musicians are Poorer Than Ever. has an explanation: “…Since the rise of streaming services, recording artists have complained bitterly about the pittances they receive in royalties, while the streaming services countered that they were sending billions to the labels, who were pocketing all the money without passing it on to the talent. Last year, the record industry gained an extra $1.4 billion in new revenues, mostly from streaming, restoring its overall revenues to pre-internet levels, when the labels had grown accustomed to reselling the same music every couple of years in new formats (vinyl, 8-track, cassette, CD). Overall, streaming services remit $7.4 billion to rightsholders. But musicians’ median income continues to fall, and it’s not hard to understand why: it just takes a basic grasp of supply and demand...”

Should Quantum Anomalies Make Us Rethink Reality? Short answer, yes. Because we don’t (yet) know what we don’t know. Reality takes on new meaning as our tools improve, our powers of observation, and theories of how the universe really operates – like peeling away the layers of an infinite onion. Here’s a clip from Scientific American: “…Hence, because we perceive and experiment on things and events partly defined by an implicit paradigm, these things and events tend to confirm, by construction, the paradigm. No wonder then that we are so confident today that nature consists of arrangements of matter/energy outside and independent of mind. Yet, as Kuhn pointed out, when enough “anomalies”—empirically undeniable observations that cannot be accommodated by the reigning belief system—accumulate over time and reach critical mass, paradigms change. We may be close to one such a defining moment today, as an increasing body of evidence from quantum mechanics (QM) renders the current paradigm untenable…”

Image credit here.

Competition is at the Heart of Facebook’s Privacy Problem. has the story: “…Our data are being turned against us. Data powers disinformation campaigns attacking democratic institutions. It is used to foment division and turn us against one another. Cambridge Analytica harvested the personal information of approximately 87 million Facebook users not just to target would-be voters with campaign ads but, as former Cambridge Analytica staffer Christopher Wylie put it to the New York Times, to “fight a culture war in America.” Consumers are trusting companies with vast amounts of intimate data and receiving very little assurance that it will be properly handled and secured. In turn, our data are used to power the connected services we use, and depending on the platform or app, are sold to advertisers…”

Image credit: “Until consumers can easily control their data, competitors to Facebook won’t thrive.” Hotlittlepotato.

7 Bizarre Conspiracy Theories That Are Actually True. Yes, cloud seeding can be effective in highly localized areas, but creating a storm, steering a hurricane or spinning up a hurricane? Not ‘gonna happen anytime soon. Big Think reports on one of the theories with a morsel of truth: “…We don’t know how much of this it cares to do but we know that the government can, to some extent, influence the weather. During the Vietnam War, the CIA would seed the clouds in monsoon season to make it rain even more. The goal of this tactic, which was in use between 1967 and 1972, was to wash out roadways and provoke bad landslides that would prevent the North Vietnamese troops from moving their weapons and provisions, says this CIA blog which reports: “It involved the age-old technique of cloud seeding to make it rain more, used to this day by governments and farmers throughout the world in an attempt to alleviate droughts. While the effectiveness of cloud seeding is still debated, it typically involves an airplane flying through a cloud and releasing small particulates that give water vapor something to cling to so it can condense and become rain. This is exactly what the CIA did in Operation Popeye during the monsoon season in Southeast Asia over the Ho Chi Minh Trail for a little over five years between 1967 and 1972. The goal was to wash out roadways and cause disruptive landslides on the route the NVA was using to move weapons and other provisions...”

Wikipedia more on Operation Popeye here.

Open, Closed and Privacy. A post at Stratechery by Ben Thompson caught my eye: “...I remember Andy’s second point: he argued that if Google did not act, we faced a draconian future, a future where one man, one company, one device, one carrier, would be our only choice. That’s a future we don’t want! So if you believe in openness, if you believe in choice, if you believe in innovation from everyone, then welcome to Android. Gundotra repeated the word “open” like a mantra, appealing to the sensibilities of not just people in technology but also its critics, opposed to so-called “walled gardens”; the two primary offenders were deemed to be Apple and Facebook. This is what made Google’s low-key announcement of its latest plans for messaging on Android phones — an exclusive with The Verge about what it calls Chat — so striking: the company is introducing an open alternative to products like iMessage and WhatsApp, but only as a last resort, and the effort is being pilloried by critics to boot…”

Hackers Built a Master Key for Millions of Hotel Rooms. If you weren’t paranoid enough – check out this post at ZDNet: “Security researchers have built a master key that exploits a design flaw in a popular and widely used hotel electronic lock system, allowing unfettered access to every room in the building. The electronic lock system, known as Vision by VingCard and built by Swedish lock manufacturer Assa Abloy, is used in more than 42,000 properties in 166 countries, amounting to millions of hotel rooms — as well as garages and storage units. These electronic lock systems are commonplace in hotels, used by staff to provide granular controls over where a person can go in a hotel — such as their room — and even restricting the floor that the elevator stops at. And these keys can be wiped and reused when guests check-out. It turns out these key cards aren’t as secure as first thought…”

Image credit: F-Secure/supplied.

North Korean Leader May Travel With a Personal Toilet. I found this nugget (sorry) at The Washington Post: “…North Korean leader’s motorcade will pull up in front of Panmungak, the main building on the North Korean side of the Joint Security Area, where the armistice ending the war was signed in 1953. The 34-year-old DPRK leader will walk to the military demarcation line, represented at this spot by a concrete curb, where South Korean President Moon Jae-in will be waiting for him.  There is one special arrangement being made for Kim — and his bodily functions. “Rather than using a public restroom, the leader of North Korea has a personal toilet that follows him around when he travels,” said Lee Yun-keol, who worked in a North Korean Guard Command unit before coming to South Korea in 2005. “The leader’s excretions contain information about his health status so they can’t be left behind,” Lee said…”

Image credit: “South Korea revealed the main meeting room where the leaders of the Koreas will meet on the South Korean side of the DMZ for the April 27 inter-Korea summit.

Last year, the Faroe Islands petitioned Google to be featured on Google Street View by creating our own version of the mapping system, using cameras mounted on the backs of sheep and calling it Sheep View. Now, just over a year later, we have succeeded in our aim – with Google announcing today that Google Street View now features the Faroe Islands. The Sheep View campaign was launched in July 2017 by Faroes’ resident, Durita Dahl Andreassen, who wanted to share the beauty of her native islands with the rest of the world and, in turn, to petition Google to have the nation included on Google Street View. Together with a few friendly sheep equipped with solar-powered 360-degree cameras and the support of Visit Faroe Islands, Durita set out to collect images of the Faroe Islands that could be uploaded to Google Maps...”

“Sheep-Vision”. Check out the unique perspectives of the Faroe Islands, courtesy of a handful of unnamed sheep, and Google Street View.

66 F. maximum temperature yesterday at Twin Cities International Airport.

63 F. average high on April  26.

47 F. high on April 26, 2017.

0: number of times I plan on mentioning the word “snow” between now and late September.

April 27, 2002: Heavy snow falls over the Twin Cities and central Minnesota. Chanhassen receives 6 inches, and vivid lightning is seen with the snow during the evening.

April 27, 1996: Embarrass records a low of 9 degrees. Some central, and most northern, Minnesota lakes are still ice-covered.

April 27, 1921: A late season blizzard hits Hibbing. The temperature was 75 degrees three days earlier.

FRIDAY: Gusty, passing shower possible, especially Wisconsin. Winds: NW 15-30. High: 61

FRIDAY NIGHT: Slow clearing, risk of frost well outside the metro area. Low: 35

SATURDAY: Frost risk early. Sunny, less wind. Winds: NE 5-10. High: near 60

SUNDAY: Plenty of sun, trending milder. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 41. High: near 70

MONDAY: Some sun, sticky. Few T-storms. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 50. High: 77

TUESDAY: Showers and T-storms likely. Winds: SW 7-12. Wake-up: 58. High: 72

WEDNESDAY: Cooler with steadier rain possible. Winds: N 7-12. Wake-up: 50. High: 63

THURSDAY: Some sun, breezy and drier. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 42. High: 58

Climate Stories…

Florida and Texas are Expected to Take the Biggest Economic Hit from Climate Change. Marketwatch has the post; here’s the intro: “Florida and Texas are the two states expected to suffer the greatest economic damage from climate change, according to a new study from Science magazine. The study used a model that aimed to calculate the future impact on each state’s gross domestic product (GDP) from events including hurricanes, storm surges, changes in agricultural yields, changing electricity demands, changes in mortality rates, changes to the labor supply, rising sea levels and rising crime rates. Researchers calculated that Florida will lose $100.9 billion from GDP due to climate change, while Texas will lose $100.7 billion. California comes in third place at an expected impact of $59.6 billion…”

Fund Managers Expect Climate Risks to Hit Oil Firm Valuations. Here’s a clip from a story at Reuters: “A survey of 30 fund managers with collectively more than 13 trillion pounds ($18 trillion) in assets under management shows that 89 percent think climate change risks will impact oil company valuations “significantly” in the next five years. This is represents a doubling on last year of fund managers who saw climate risks impacting oil firms in five years. The annual survey was carried out by the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association and the Climate Change Collaboration. 62 percent see peak oil demand impacting valuations in five years and peak gas demand impacting valuations in 10 years…”

File image: Rebecca Zisser, Axios.

The Military Paid for a Study on Sea Level Rise. The Results Were Scary. Here’s a summary and story excerpt from The Washington Post: “More than a thousand low-lying tropical islands risk becoming “uninhabitable” by the middle of the century — or possibly sooner — because of rising sea levels, upending the populations of some island nations and endangering key U.S. military assets, according to new research published Wednesday. The threats to the islands are twofold. In the long term, the rising seas threaten to inundate the islands entirely. More immediately, as seas rise, the islands will more frequently deal with large waves that crash farther onto the shore, contaminating their drinkable water supplies with ocean saltwater, according to the research. The islands face climate-change-driven threats to their water supplies “in the very near future,” according to the study, published in the journal Science Advances…”

Photo credit: “An aerial photograph of Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Islands shows its low-lying islands and coral reefs.” (Thomas Reiss/U.S. Geological Survey).

After Pushing Bill to Abolish EPA, Rep. Matt Gaetz Joins Climate Solutions Caucus.  Pensacola News Journal has the details: “…But in an interview Friday with the News Journal, the Fort Walton Beach Republican said constituents and critics should not conflate his disdain for the federal government’s environmental regulatory agency with his views on if the planet’s temperature poses dangers for mankind. Earth, Gaetz asserted, is warming, and politicians should no longer waste time debating the validity of the issue. “We should be focused on solutions,” he said. While environmental advocates were complimentary of the lawmaker’s public position on global warming, they urged Gaetz to go further and affirm his stance through policy on Capitol Hill. Otherwise, they countered, his addition to the caucus is just politics as usual…”

Image credit: NASA.

Pipeline Protesters May Use Necessity Defense, MN Court Rules: Climate Nexus has details: “Anti-pipeline activists awaiting trial for shutting off a pipeline will be allowed to use climate change as a key part of their defense, a Minnesota court ruled Monday. The Minnesota Court of Appeals sided with four activists who turned emergency valves on two Enbridge Energy oil pipelines in 2016, ruling that the protesters may use a “necessity defense” in their upcoming criminal trial, including calling experts to testify on climate science and the consequences of climate inaction. “This is a big win for anyone who cares about climate change,” said Climate Defense Project attorney Kelsey Skaggs, who is on the activists’ defense team. “The climate necessity defense is an important tool for pushing back against efforts by the federal government and industry to silence opposition to the reckless development of fossil fuels.” AP, ThinkProgress

Latest Climate Threat for Coastal Cities: More Rich People. Because many low-income residents can’t afford to keep rebuilding. Bloomberg reports; here’s an excerpt: “…Irma was only the start of their troubles. The Florida Keys building code effectively prohibits replacing or substantially repairing damaged mobile homes because of their vulnerability to hurricanes. That leaves people living in one of the nearly 1,000 trailers and RVs damaged or destroyed by the storm with three options: find sturdier but more expensive accommodation, repair or replace the homes and hope code officials don’t notice, or leave the Keys. “There’s no place to live,” said Sharon Baron. Around the country, the government’s response to extreme weather is pushing lower-income people like the Barons away from the waterfront, often in the name of safety. Those homes, in turn, are often replaced with more costly houses, such as those built higher off the ground and are better able to withstand storms. Housing experts, economists and activists have coined the term “climate gentrification...”

Photo credit: Diane Gaffield. Photographer: Alicia Vera/Bloomberg.