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Climate change and sea level rise is increasingly on the agenda of the public, the media, and decision makers in the public, private and social sectors of society. Focus is almost solely on the hazards and the potential disasters we might be facing. MARI at Old Dominion University is focusing on the solutions, the options we have to mitigate the impacts of climate change and sea level rise, and to adapt to the changes.

To develop the paractice-relevant solutions, MARI engages in research that produces the practice-relevant knowledge needed to cope with the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on the coastal zone and the urban coast in particular. In doing so, MARI responds to the knowledge needs of a wide range of community stakeholders, including government, military, private sector, and citizens. The high rate of local sea level rise, the exposure to extreme weather events, and the complex socio-economic structure makes Hampton Roads a natural laboratory for climate change and sea level rise. MARI utilizes this laboratory and works with stakeholders within and outside the region to generate the knowledge that can enable them not only to reduce the negative impacts but also to utilize the opportunities in the changes to come. To ensure that the stakeholders get the knowledge they can apply, MARI works closely with them to ensure a co-creation of practice-relevant knowledge and to support them in the use of this knowledge.


Read the full story about MARI ...

Read more about the Hampton Roads Pilot Projects that is currently developed ...

  • Community Event: The Arctic is Changing Rapidly. How Will Those Changes Impact Us?: During the Glen Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit, which takes place in Breckenridge, Colorado, there will be a Community Event on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 7:00 PM MST (9:00 PM EST), with presentations by Dr. Jim White and James Balog. ODU will organize a local event with live-streaming of the presentations and the possibility to ask questions. The ODU event is open for students, faculty, and staff as well as community members. More information is available here.

  • Resilient Region Reality Check: March 17, 2015. Old Dominion University and the Urban Land Institute (ULI Hampton Roads) in cooperation with a number of organizations in the region are jointly organizing a Resilient Region Reality Check focusing on impacts of climate change and sea level rise in Hampton Roads. In the pre-event phase, the population in Hampton Roads will have opportunities to participate in the development of the event and after the event, there will be opportunities to continue the dialog about the reality in our region. See the Event Page for more information.


[December 18, 2014] Cities prepare for disasters they have experienced, not the new ones that might happen: An main conclusion of a series of articles on New York City's preparedness for climate and weather-related hazards is that cities have a tendency to react to previous hazards without necessarily preparing for waht might happen under climate change. Read the last article in the series written by Lilah Raptopoulos and published in The Guardian ... ...

[December 7, 2014] Soil degradation threatens food security: An article in Huffington Post reports that at a forum marking the World Soil Day, an U.N. offical expressed worry about the rapid degradation of top soils. The top soil could be gone in 60 years if the current degradation continues, warned Maria-Helena Semedo of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This would add to all the other threats for food security resulting from climate change and efforts to mitigate climate change for example through biofuels. Read the article by Chris Arsenault ...

[December 6, 2014] UN Report finds that cost of climate change adaptation will be higher than thought: An article in The Guardian discusses a UN Report presented at COP 2 in Lima, Peru, which finds that adapting to a warmer climate could cost almost three times as much as thought previously. This also implies that coastal cities will have to compete with many others for funds allocatwed to adaptation. Read the article by Dan Collyns ...

[December 5, 2014] The worst case may be worse than anticipated, and it may be happening: Two refined studies of the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet indicated that the melting is accelerating due to relatively warm ocean water is reaching to the base of the ice. A catastrophic collapse cannot be excluded. Applying Dick Cheney's one-percent doctrine, it may be time to take the threat of a rapid sea level rise becoming a "weapon of mass destruction" serious and to start making severe adjustment to how we live and operate in the coastal zone. Read the article by Chris Mooney and Joby Warrick summarizing the two scientific papers.

[December 4, 2014] White House publishes Fact Sheet listing sixteen U.S. communities recognized as Climate Action Champions for Leadership on Climate Change: The White House published yesterday a list of U.S. Communities that are considered champions for leadership in climate change. The Hampton Roads Pilot Project (see here for details) is mentioned on the fact sheet. Read the Fact Sheet ...

[November 29, 2014] We may be causing the sixth mass extinction event in Earth's history: Land-use changes combined with climate change have put the global ecosystem on a track towards mass extinction equal to the five mass extinction events known in Earth's history. We still might be able to turn this around, but we need to act now. Read the article by Stefan Nicola.

[November 18, 2014] Protecting homeowners from sea level rise may come with very large hidden costs: A report prepared by Wetlands Watch finds that helping those who's real-estate properties in flooding-exposed areas comes with a large hidden cost that eventually may exceed the societal capacity to support these homeowners. Read the article by Lori Montgomery. Access the report here.

[November 15, 2014] Our worldviews impact our relation to scientific facts: Dan Kahan links “worldviews” to the way we treat scientific facts and base our actions on these facts. Science communication needs to account for this if science wants to inform solutions and enable mitigation and adaptation. Read the article by Paul Voosen and find out how Dan Kahan helped the communities in South Florida to develop adaptation measures for sea level rise.

[November 10, 2014] The world governments are failing Earth's ecosystems: Julia Marton-Lefèvre, director general of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN told Guardian Australia that conservation needed to be properly embraced by political leaders. She said &ldqo;on a planet with 7bn people, moving to 9bn, this isn't just about protecting our beautiful places, it's protecting the places that provide us with water and food and protect us from extreme weather.” Read the The Guardian article by Oliver Milman.

[November 8, 2014] No good news for EPA and those who hoped for less and cleaner coal burning: In an interview, the incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that blocking the carbon pollution regulations for existing power plants is a promise he made to Kentucky on the campaign trail this year. McConnell said he feels a “deep responsibility” to stop the EPA from implementing its proposed carbon pollution standards, which are a central pillar of Obama's climate legacy. Read the The Hill article by Laura Barron-Lopez.

[November 7, 2014] Repercussions of the last election may be felt in many regions on parts of the planet: The election result puts Obama's climate pledge to lead a global effort to help poor nations combate climate change at risks. Republicans like Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe are not supporting U.S. dollars to be spent to help others suffering from the climate change. Read the Bloomberg article by Marc Drajem.

[November 3, 2014] IPCC warns of severe consequences of climate change: In its most recent assessment, the IPCC find that “continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.” At a news news conference in Copenhagen, the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said “Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity in their message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side. ” Read the NYT article by Justin Gillis.

[November 1, 2014] Nuisance Flooding in Norfolk: The low pressure and wind field caused considerable flooding in Norfolk. High tide at about 6:00 PM reached slightly more than 5.0 feet above MLLW at Sewells Point, and this resulted in many roads being flooded. Even delivery of mail was impacted. See the full picture gallery here ....
The mail service is impacted by the flodding, and a number of houses are unreachable.

The flooding of Hampton Boulevard impacts traffic and creates many dangerous situations, besides damaging the cars that are driven through the nearly foot-deep water.

The second house in the street has recently been elevated by about 8 feet. However, the flooding blocks the street and the house is not reachable.
Chairs on a pier that is normally well above the water are now in the water.

Using the Titan utility made available by the city government, the extent of the flooding in Norfolk can be visualized as function of the water level. The picture is for approaximately 5.0 feet above MLLW.