The Stream, August 11: Rising Sea Levels Pose Imminent Risk to Alaska Towns

The Global Rundown

Coastal towns in Alaska call for help as sea levels rise and federal funding falls. Climate change is shifting the timing of annual river floods throughout Europe. A fire cut off power to water pumps in deluged New Orleans, Louisiana raising concerns of further flooding. A study in Montreal, Quebec found that replacing old lead pipes may not eliminate lead contamination. Scorching summer heat is damaging crops and causing wildfires in the Balkans.

“Climate change has impacted flood timing in Europe…But it did so in very different ways in different parts of Europe.” –Guenter Bloeschl, leading author of a study on European river flooding. Bloeschl and his team gathered data from 4,200 measuring stations and determined that spring floods in northeast Europe are occurring earlier due to global warming. In other areas of Europe they found that floods are arriving slightly later. Reuters 

By The Numbers

31 Number of coastal towns in Alaska that face imminent risks from rising sea levels. A handful of towns are so imperiled that they will need to be relocated, an expensive and lengthy process. Although some federal help has been available in the past, residents and activists fear that the Trump administration will dismiss the impending dangers. The Guardian

60 Percent of corn crops that have been destroyed in Serbia. Abnormally high summer temperatures have decimated many crops throughout the Balkans region. The hot, dry conditions have also drained rivers and sparked dozens of wildfires. U.S. News & World Report

Science, Studies, And Reports

A study by the American Chemical Society discovered that lead contamination may remain even after replacing sections of old lead pipes. Researchers evaluated household water samples from Montreal, Quebec for 20 months and found that although partial pipe replacement led to an overall decrease in lead levels, concentrations often spiked right after the replacement. Science Daily

On The Radar

Weekend rains left neighborhoods in New Orleans flooded, and the city may be at risk of further deluge after a fire destroyed one of the power stations that runs several flood control water pumps. Heavy rain in the forecast leaves the city in a “vulnerable position” according to mayor Mitch Landrieu. The Guardian