Rebuilding for flood resilience

What Are We Going to Do With More Than 200 Million Climate Refugees?

It’s already happening. Millions in low-lying Bangladesh are fleeing stronger cyclones and increased coastal flooding. After Hurricane Maria, thousands of Puerto Ricans have left behind their blue-tarped homes for the mainland United States. And farmers from the Sahel to Central America are abandoning their dried-up fields in droves.

To start, there’s no international legal framework for dealing with—or even recognizing—climate refugees. 
Illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo/Slate

The increasingly dire effects of climate change are resulting in unprecedented levels of displacement globally. And it’s going to get worse: The World Bank recently estimated that there could be more than 200 million “climate refugees” by 2050. Experts suggest that about one-quarter of them will move overseas, while the rest will migrate within their own countries…READ ON

Rebuilding for flood resilience

Back in January 2011, deadly flash flooding in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley claimed 14 lives and completely destroyed 29 houses in the town of Grantham. Nearly every home in the entire town was structurally damaged in the flood.

So, where do we go from here? Can science help us rebuild more flood-resilient homes and communities?

 Matilda Handsley-Davis – science writer at Cosmos

Four months later, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and Lockyer Valley Regional Council announced a bold plan to rebuild virtually the entire town on higher ground. The first residents had moved into their new homes, located on a nearby hill, by Christmas of that year.

It probably seemed like an extreme step at the time. But as we reflect on the devastation caused by two back-to-back years of severe summer flooding on Australia’s east coast, it’s hard not to wonder if Grantham was onto something…READ ON

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