Nick Sundt's blog

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Rising Temperatures Expose Cities' Vulnerable Electrical Supplies

A report  from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) released last week highlights the many ways infrastructure critical to American cities is vulnerable to weather extremes -- with some vulnerabilities well beyond city limits.  That infrastructure includes the electrical supply, transmission and distribution systems. Extreme summer heat drives up electricity demand for cooling; and can strain the systems and increase the risks of very costly and disruptive blackouts.

Federal Report Warns of Costly Impacts to U.S. Cities from Changing Weather Extremes

A new report from Oak Ridge National Laboratory warns that urban areas in the U.S. "are vulnerable to extreme weather events that will become more intense, frequent, and/or longer-lasting with climate change." The authors say that the "true consequences of impacts and disruptions" associated with those events "involve not only the costs associated with the clean-up, repair, and/or replacement of affected infrastructures but also economic, social, and environmental effects as supply chains are disrupted, economic activities are suspended, and/or social well-being is threatened." They note that the risks "can be substantially reduced by developing and implementing appropriate adaptation strategies."

WWF Webinar Introduces U.S. City Officials to Earth Hour City Challenge (video)

WWF on 3 May 2012 held its first webinar about the Earth Hour City Challenge, a competition among cities to prepare for climate change and promote renewable energy. Keya Chatterjee, Deputy Director of the Climate Change Program at WWF discussed how the City Challenge started and what benefits are available to participating cities and counties. Leslie Ethen, Director of the City of Tucson (Arizona) Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development, described how the City Challenge generated momentum for the city's climate and sustainability initiatives.

Earth Hour 2012 Kicks-Off WWF City Challenge

The City of Tucson was at the center of World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour celebration in the United States.  As the lights went out over the Sonoran Desert, the City of Tucson joined with WWF to launch a new initiative called the Earth Hour City Challenge. "The Earth Hour City Challenge will create a healthy competition among cities to chart a course to a climate smart future and recognize those cities that are leading the way," said WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts.

Video: Arizona Public Media Interview with two Leaders of Tucson's Efforts to Address Climate Change

Arizona Public Media (AZPM) interviews Leslie Ethen, the director of the City of Tucson's Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development; and Phil Swaim, an architect and Co-Chairperson of the city's Climate Change Advisory Committee.

Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona: Will you join us for Earth Hour Celebration?

The Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona today invited their scouts and friends to Tucson’s Earth Hour celebration on Saturday, March 31.

"Power to Prepare Tucson" Summit: Faced with more Extreme Weather, Citizens Engage in City's Climate Preparedness Efforts

On Saturday the City of Tucson, Arizona, is bringing its citizens together to discuss the challenges climate change poses for the city and the opportunities to respond. "As an Arizonan and former Governor, I’m proud to see the City of Tucson take up the challenge to prepare for these serious changes and work with the public on solutions," says former Arizona Governor, Bruce Babbitt.  "These are big challenges, but they are ones we can overcome...The first step is to look the problem square in the eye, rather than bury our heads in the sand; the second is to prepare for the impacts." 

Researchers Release Major Draft Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on the Southwest

The Southwest Climate Alliance released today a review draft of the Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States.  It is the first major regional climate assessment of the Southwest in over a decade, a period during which evidence of climate change and its impacts have rapidly emerged in the region.  Though not proceeding apace, actions in the region to prepare for future impacts are emerging -- even as efforts to address climate change at the Federal level have been stymied.

International Panel Highlights “Climate Resilient Cities,” as Communities Mobilize for Changing Weather Patterns

“In an increasingly urbanized world, global sustainability in the context of a changing climate will depend on achieving sustainable and climate resilient cities,” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says today (28 March 2012).  Cities are increasingly experiencing the disruptive and costly impacts of changes in the frequency and/or severity of weather extremes.  Responding to the trends, city officials are engaging their citizens in efforts to build more resilient, better prepared and more sustainable communities. On Saturday the City of Tucson, Arizona, is bringing its citizens together to discuss the challenges climate change poses the city and the opportunities to respond.  At the event, WWF will launch its Earth Hour City Challenge to encourage cities across the country to similarly engage their citizens around climate impacts and preparedness.

Biggest Icons to Switch Off for Earth Hour

From the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Empire State Building in New York City, the world’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa to the Leaning Tower in Pisa in Italy – at 8:30PM on March 31, the most visually captivating icons will go dark for Earth Hour 2012.

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