Chicago’s Big Climate Problem – The New York Times


Chicago has had many nicknames that have stuck with varying degrees of success over the past two centuries. Windy City. Second City. Big Shoulders City.

But a lesser-known moniker that may have the most stamina as it digs deep into a century of climate chaos is Chicago’s first: Mud City.

It comes from the fact that the city grew in a swamp sandwiched between Lake Michigan to the east and the Mississippi-bound Des Plaines River to the west. Native Americans and European traders found the best place to tow their canoes between the Mississippi and the Great Lakes. It was a natural crossroads.

Chicagoans eventually blew a railroad straight channel between the two watersheds, allowing merchant ships to float all the way from New York City Harbor to the Gulf of Mexico.

The swamp was dried and paved along the way, but Chicagoans have been rushing to keep it dry ever since. First, they raised the downtown area by eight feet. They then reversed the flow of the river so that all the human and industrial waste it carried flowed away. out Not into Lake Michigan (the city’s drinking water supply).

This did wonders for Lake Michigan’s water quality, but didn’t stop the chronic flooding that plagued the city from the beginning. Still, Chicagoland has managed well enough over the past century that over nine million people today call it home and their feet are often dry.

What about the next 100 years? The city’s drainage system is dependent on the relatively steady level of Lake Michigan, and there are signs that climate change is causing unprecedented fluctuations.

The lake suffered a record low in 2013, where it was so low that it was in danger of not being able to feed the river carrying the wastewater out of the city. But by 2020 the lake level was more than six meters high. Two or three feet more could wreak havoc downtown and beyond.

What drives lake level fluctuations? More evaporation due to warming temperatures. And more rain due to rising temperatures.

Now the question is: Will these opposing forces balance each other out?

Or Will Mud City be back??

European officials introduced on Wednesday An ambitious legislative package designed to move one of the world’s largest and most polluting economies away from fossil fuels much faster than other nations have committed. Offers include:

  • Eliminate the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035

  • Raising the use price of fossil fuels

  • Implementing tariffs on polluting imports – an idea with the potential to resolve global trade disputes

“Our current fossil fuel economy has reached its limit,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said at a press conference in Brussels.

Contrary to the commitments of many other countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero or not add more carbon pollution to the atmosphere than can be removed, these proposed laws by mid-century provide a concrete plan for how to get there. It is certain that there will be months of political conflict between the 27 countries in the bloc and the European Parliament. One of the key hurdles is tackling inequality, and European officials have repeatedly said they will set up a “social fund” to help struggling households and small businesses.

Seashores and rivers are people’s favorite places to cool off in the summer heat. But this summer, the opposite has happened for a surprising number of animals.

A mass die-off along the Pacific Coast – more than a billion shellfish and other animals killed by an early estimate – effects of human-induced climate change on other species. Scientists say warm inland rivers can be deadly for some salmon species.

quotation: “I want to find the positives and there are some, but it’s pretty overwhelming right now. Because if we get too depressed or too depressed, we won’t keep trying. And we have to keep trying.” — Christopher Harley, marine biologist at the University of British Columbia.

Scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency have expressed serious concern about three new chemicals proposed for use in oil and gas fracturing in 2011: They said they could break down into toxic substances known as PFAS and pose a threat to humans and wildlife.

However, according to the documents we reviewed, the agency still approved these chemicals, among the first public indications that PFAS — long-lasting, toxic compounds known as “forever chemicals” — could be entering soil as a result of drilling and breaking.

For more, rread our investigation.

Why is it important: PFAS has been associated with cancer, birth defects and other serious health problems.

Aatish Bhatia and

The days have been hot in most of the United States lately, but the nights have set even more records. It’s part of a dangerous global trend fueled by climate change.

Unusually hot summer nights can lead to a significant number of deaths, according to climate scientists and environmental epidemiologists, because they take away people’s ability to cool off from the heat of the day.

Typically, this cooling takes place while you sleep, when body temperature naturally drops. “It’s really important that people have the opportunity to lower their core body temperature,” said Kristie Ebi, an environmental health scientist at the University of Washington, after a hot day. “When it’s very hot at night, that’s no relief and puts more physiological strain on your body.”

Heat waves are especially deadly when the temperature rises suddenly. To find out why, you can: read more here.

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