The Stream, September 26, 2019: Extreme Sea Level Events Predicted Yearly by 2050, IPCC Report Warns

The Global Rundown

Extreme sea level events could strike yearly by 2050 regardless of whether fossil fuel emissions are minimized, scientists warn. The German government says it will dedicate €547 million ($600 million) to forest restoration. Farmers in California brace for intensifying water restrictions. Scientists warn that drought could cut a majority of the world‘s wheat production by the end of the century. New Jersey buys its 700th home as part of a program to purchase and demolish flood-prone dwellings. Sydney, Australia, plans to double desalination production as reservoir levels drop. 

“I don’t want people to leave here thinking we are at a Cape Town situation, we are far from that. But we could be in that situation in the future.” –Jim Bentley, from the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, in reference to water shortages in Sydney. Dams levels in the city are nearing critical threshold levels, prompting the government to double production at its desalination plant. The Guardian

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In Australia, Echoes of Past, Glimpses of Future As Country Braces for Hot, Dry SummerA record-breaking drought is pushing rural communities in New South Wales and Queensland to the breaking point.

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By The Numbers

€547 million ($600 million) Amount that the German government is setting aside to rejuvenate that nation’s stricken forests. The woodlands, which are an iconic part of German heritage, have been devastated in recent years by drought, pests, storms, and fires. The Guardian

700 Homes that have been purchased as part of New Jersey’s Blue Acres program, which aims to purchase and demolish homes in flood-prone areas. So far, all of the purchased homes have been on rivers or bays, not along the ocean. AP

Science, Studies, and Reports

A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that extreme sea level events could strike global coastlines annually by 2050, regardless of whether fossil fuel emissions are slowed. Scientists say sea level rise is likely to cause trillions of dollars in damages each year, and impact the nearly 2 billion people living on coasts around the world. The Guardian

On the Radar

Researchers warn that up to 60 percent of the world’s wheat supply could be devastated by the end of the century due to droughts caused by global warming. The scientists urge farmers to prepare for coming climate shocks by using water more sustainably and changing planting schedules. Reuters

Farmers in California are bracing for the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which will go into effect next January. Over a 20-year period, the SGMA will require farmers to decrease their groundwater pumping in order to preserve the state’s aquifers. Farmers fear the heightened restrictions could ultimately devastate their production. The Sacramento Bee

In context: Sinking Land Crushes California Groundwater Storage Capacity

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