Monday, May 24, 2010

Most Interesting Fact I Learned Today

In a conference presentation on "Coastal Zone Management and Sea-Level Rise," Robert Nicholls of the University of Southampton provided reason for some optimism (or less pessimism) about adaptation to substantial levels of sea-level rise for highly populated coastal (mega-)cities such as Los Angeles, Tokyo, and even relatively poor cities such as Jakarta because those very cities have long been adapting to subsidence.

During the course of the 20th century, Tokyo subsided by 5 meters, parts of Los Angeles by 9 meters (due mainly to oil extraction), and Jakarta by about 1 meter. Not only did those cities successfully adapt without major disruption to human life or welfare, hardly anyone noticed (at least, I didn't have a clue) that they were doing so.

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