AuthorsMay 5, 2014 - New research by a team of Florida State University scientists shows the first detailed look at global land surface warming trends over the last 100 years, illustrating precisely when and where different areas of the world started to warm up or cool down. The research indicates that the world is indeed getting warmer, but historical records show that it hasn’t happened everywhere at the same rate.

“Global warming was not as understood as we thought,” said Zhaohua Wu, an assistant professor of meteorology at FSU. Wu led a team of climate researchers including Fei Ji, a visiting doctoral student at FSU’s Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS); Eric Chassignet, director of COAPS; and Jianping Huang, dean of the College of Atmospheric Sciences at Lanzhou University in China. The group, using an analysis method newly developed by Wu and his colleagues, examined land surface temperature trends from 1900 onward for the entire globe, minus Antarctica. Previous work by scientists on global warming could not provide information of non-uniform warming in space and time due to limitations of previous analysis methods in climate research.

The research team found that noticeable warming first started around the regions circling the Arctic and subtropical regions in both hemispheres. But the largest accumulated warming to date is actually at the northern midlatitudes. They also found that in some areas of the world, cooling had actually occurred. “The global warming is not uniform,” Chassignet said. “You have areas that have cooled and areas that have warmed.” For example, from about 1910 to 1980, while the rest of the world was warming up, some areas south of the equator — near the Andes — were actually cooling down, and then had no change at all until the mid 1990s. Other areas near and south of the equator didn’t see significant changes comparable to the rest of the world at all.

FSU Press Release:

Nature Climate Change Article:
UF SLR ViewerApril 30, 2014 - A visualization tool has been developed by the University of Florida Urban and Regional Planning research team directed by Dr. Zhong-Ren Peng as part of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium project “Development of Sea Level Rise Adaptation Planning Procedures and Tools Using NOAA Sea Level Rise Impacts Viewer.” The tool helps local planners identify the most vulnerable infrastructures and places using the inundation data provided by the NOAA Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer. Using the online visualization tool (University of Florida sea level rise viewer), the users can easily view the estimated vulnerability under 1-foot, 2-foot, and 5-foot scenarios. Detailed information regarding the vulnerable infrastructure and the vulnerable census block groups can also be viewed.

The tool is available at More information regarding the viewer could be found at NOAA’s website
April 25, 2014 - On April 24th, Climate Central released an enhanced version of its Surging Seas Risk Finder for Florida. The Risk Finder is a public web tool that provides local projections, maps and assessments of exposure to sea level rise and coastal flooding tabulated for every zip code and municipality along with planning, legislative and other districts. Exposure assessments cover over 100 demographic, economic, infrastructure and environmental variables using data drawn mainly from federal sources, including NOAA, USGS, FEMA, DOT, DOE, DOI, EPA, FCC and the Census. The web tool was recently highlighted at the launch of The White House's Climate Data Initiative.

New features include:
  • downloadable data - including detailed projections, place summary tables, and low-lying facility lists
  • improved map: includes property value layer
  • more forecasts: including the latest IPCC projections
  • more variables analyzed: military areas, parks, protected land, colleges & universities,
  • more more places analyzed: FL county commission districts, FL city council and commission districts, state legislative districts and more
  • dynamic threat rankings (by variable and water level)
  • tablet-friendly layout
For more information visit or contact Dan Rizza at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Pachauri AwardApril 24, 2014 - On April 24, 2014, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) became the first recipient of the University of South Florida's Patel College “Eminent Global Scholar in Sustainability Award” in recognition of his extraordinary accomplishments in advancing the science and understanding of climate change and international policy. Dr. Pachauri’s visit to the USF Patel College comes on the heels of the recent Climate Change report released earlier this month by the U.N. IPCC that identified a clear human influence on the climate system. His compelling lecture to USF faculty, staff and students on “Energy Scenarios and Climate Impacts” was followed by a vibrant question and answer session.

201404nasApril 24, 2014 - On April 22-23, the Florida State University Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science hosted the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) spring meeting. This meeting was part of the board’s efforts to connect more directly with atmospheric sciences and climate researchers and users of our science outside the beltway. The board was excited to hear about new research that faculty and students at FSU are pursuing, to learn more about challenges the region faces, especially on climate preparedness and weather extremes, and to consider how regional issues and approaches related to federal priorities and initiatives. The co-directors of the FSU branch of the FCI, Drs. Eric Chassignet and Vasu Misra, both gave presentations that included FCI research.

BASC is the focal point within the National Academy of Sciences for activities related to the atmospheric and climate sciences, serving as a source for objective, independent advice to the federal government and others. Through its board meetings, study committees, and convening functions, BASC strives to advance understanding of atmospheric science, meteorology, and climate; foster application of this knowledge to benefit the public; guide US research programs so they address key scientific opportunities and the needs of the nation; and ensure that the voice of the science community is considered in government planning and decision making.
UF RainWorks PlanApril 23, 2014 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the four winners of its second annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a design challenge created to engage college and university students in reinventing our water infrastructure and developing innovative green infrastructure systems to reduce stormwater pollution and build resilience to climate change.

The University of Florida won 1st Place in the Master Plan Category for a design addressing a 67.6 acre subwatershed in the northeast corner of campus. To engage students with the journey of water, the three-phase plan would transform two detention facilities into campus amenities and daylight the flow of stormwater into above ground pipes and vegetated bioswales. In addition to treating and retaining stormwater and improving groundwater recharge, the team’s plan would improve aesthetics and safety along a major road.

201404bloetscherApril 23, 2014 - On April 22, Dr. Frederick Bloetscher (FAU) testified to the Science and Space Sub-committee of the Commerce, Science and Transportation committee for the US Senate on the impacts of sea level rise. He noted that occasional flooding is not new to Florida, but the increasing frequency we currently experience is related to sea level rise, not just along the coast, but for large expanses of developed property inland due to topography and groundwater levels. As a result, the challenge for water managers in the state, especially in southeast Florida, is to control the groundwater table, because control of the water table is essential to prevent flooding of the low terrain. He noted that in Miami Beach, as elsewhere in Florida, the lowest lying areas are the roadways, which are also the location of electrical, water, sewer, phone and drainage infrastructure. Fortunately given the current Federally funded special imagery and NOAA data systems we are able to predict pretty accurately where flooding will occur. Linking that information with our detailed projections of sea level rise impacts we can begin now to map vulnerability and build adaptive measures into every action and plan we undertake.

He noted that he is positive on Florida’s future. Our best option is adaptation and there are many options available - for example we can install more coastal salinity structures, raise road beds, abandon some local roads, increase storm water pumping, add storm water retention etc. to address many of the problems. FAU has developed a toolbox of these options that can be applied to address these adaptation demands, resulting in an approach that will need a more managed integrated water system, more operations and inevitably more dollars. Much of the actual needs are local, but the problem is regional and requires a concerted effort of federal, state and local agencies and the private sector to address the scales of the problem. A community can address the local problems, but the regional canals, barriers, etc., are beyond the scope of individual agencies. Collaboration and discussion are needed. The Four County Compact is an excellent example, but the longer term solutions need the state and federal agencies and the related dollars to address larger impacts.

The needs will be large - in the tens of billions. But there are two things in south Florida’s favor – time and money. The expenditures are over many, many years. Most important in the near term need is the early planning and identification of critical components of infrastructure and policy needs and timing for same. At risk are nearly 6 million of Floridians their economy and lifestyle, $3.7 trillion in property (2012) in south east Florida alone and a $260 billion annual economy. All of these are expected to continue to increase assuming the appropriate plans are made to adapt to the changing sea level. Protection of the area for the next 100-150 years is achievable as long as we have the science, the understanding and the will to do it. Plan now, and over the rest of this century starting now we can raise those billions of dollars needed.
Turtle MoundApril 17, 2014 - In collaboration with the National Park Service and local educators, researchers from Dr. Linda Walter's biology lab at the University of Central Florida, has produced a book entitled We Will Remember Turtle Mound: Uncovering the Past and Saving the Future of Florida’s First People. This book, geared toward fourth grade curriculum, tells the story of the Timucuan people and Turtle Mound, one of the largest coastal shell middens on the east coast. After describing the past, it tells about recent losses of artifacts due to climate change and “living shoreline” efforts to preserve and protect the midden into the future.

MiamiApril 15, 2014 - Miami could know as early as 2020 how high sea levels will rise into the next century, according to a team of researchers including Florida International University scientist René Price. Price and a team of international researchers analyzed data from 10 sea level monitoring stations throughout the world. They examined historical data to identify the timing at which accelerations might first be recognized in a significant manner and extended projections through 2100. The findings are published in this week's issue of the journal Nature Communications.

IPCC report cover photosApril 14, 2014 - Concluding four years of intense scientific collaboration by hundreds of authors from around the world, this report responds to the request of the world's governments for a comprehensive, objective and policy neutral assessment of the current scientific knowledge on mitigating climate change. The report has been extensively reviewed by experts and governments to ensure quality and comprehensiveness. The quintessence of this work, the Summary for Policymakers, has been approved line by line by member governments at the 12th Session of IPCC WG III in Berlin, Germany (7-11 April 2014).

Access the Full Report (will be available by April 15, 2014)
IPCC report cover photosApril 1, 2014 - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II has released a report titled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. The objective of this contribution of Working Group II to the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report is to consider the vulnerability and exposure of human and natural systems, the observed impacts and future risks of climate change, and the potential for and limits to adaptation. The chapters of the report assess risks and opportunities for societies, economies, and ecosystems around the world. The 30-chapter report is divided into two volumes. Volume I focuses on global and sectoral aspects. It introduces the report with chapters that provide the context for the AR5, followed by those on natural and managed resources and systems; human settlements, industry, and infrastructure; and human health, well-being, and security. Volume I has a set of four chapters on adaptation. The final three chapters in Volume I synthesize information from Volume I and II chapters to provide multi-sector impacts, risks, vulnerabilities, and opportunities. Volume II chapters provide assessments on regions.

201403star-award.jpgMarch 26, 2014 - An interdisciplinary team at the University of Florida's College of Design, Construction and Planning has won the American' Planning Association's (APA) Excellence in Small Town and Rural Planning - Student Project Award. The APA's Small Town and Rural Division will present the award to the team at the national APA conference in Atlanta in late April 2014. Information about the team’s winning project, "Yankeetown-Inglis Adaptive Design," and a link to the final report are at This project was part of the two-year "Planning for Coastal Change in Levy County" project focusing on the issue of sea level rise and funded by the Florida Sea Grant ( The student team was: Sean Reiss (Urban and Regional Planning), Rong Zeng (Urban and Regional Planning), Jana Rosenbloom (Landscape Architecture), and Kevin Bennett (Building Construction). Advisors were: Kathryn Frank (Urban and Regional Planning) and Michael Volk (Center for Landscape Conservation Planning). The award comes with a $200 subsidy for travel to the national conference.
nossMarch 26, 2014 - Dr. Reed Noss, a co-director of the FCI at the University of Central Florida (UCF), has been named a UCF "Pegasus Professor." The award is the most prestigious a faculty member can receive at UCF. The honor recognizes extraordinary contributions to the UCF community through teaching, research and service. Each recipient receives a statue of the UCF Pegasus, a gold Pegasus Professor medallion and a check for $5,000.

Dr. Noss directs UCF's SPICE (Science and Planning in Conservation Ecology) Lab and is President and Chief Scientist for the Florida Institute for Conservation Science. He currently conducts research on vulnerability of species and ecosystems to sea-level rise; climate adaptation strategies; road ecology; ecosystem conservation; and changes in ecological processes and species assemblages along urban-rural-wildland gradients. His latest book is Forgotten Grasslands of the South: Natural History and Conservation.
irrigationMarch 26, 2014 - A new University of Florida web-based tool worked well during its trial run to measure water consumption at farms in four Southern states. The system measures the “water footprint” of a farm, which is a measure of the consumptive water use required to produce a crop. Water footprint is described in units of water volume used relative to mass of produce (gallons/lb or liters/kg). The tool was developed by Daniel Dourte, Clyde Fraisse, and Oxana Uryasev through AgroClimate.

Water Footprint Calculator

Southeast Farm Press article
201402slr-healthFebruary 28, 2014 - The Kresge Foundation is funding Florida research with a two year, $250,000 Grant to The Florida Public Health Institute (FPHI) and Florida Atlantic University (FAU). FPHI is working to establish public health as a primary consideration in sea-level rise adaptation planning efforts and will partner with researchers from FAU to identify and model the health impacts of sea-level rise on South Florida residents. For information about this project, please contact Nicole Hammer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
201402tri-stateFebruary 28, 2014 - The Florida Center for Environmental Studies (CES) at Florida Atlantic University with its partners, the CLEO Institute, the Good Government Initiative, UCS and WRI recently collaborated to host a workshop for 40 local elected officials in Miami-Dade County, FL. The workshop presented the impacts of sea-level rise and climate change science in an interactive format. The workshop goal was to increase local decision-makers’ understanding of impending sea level rise issues in their communities. The workshop provided a tool kit with key points to help them make informed decision, increase their support, and implement plans to address the impacts of climate change. CES is seeking funding to replicate this successful model in other Florida counties. For information please contact Nicole Hammer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
201402tri-stateFebruary 24, 2014 - The FCI-supported Tri-state climate learning community for row crop agriculture held their ninth workshop on Feb. 20th in Headland, Alabama at the Wiregrass Research Station. Twenty-seven people attended, including producers, researchers and extension professionals from 12 counties in FL, GA and AL. The morning fieldtrip was organized by William Birdsong (Auburn University Cooperative Extension) and highlighted climate-related risk management at the Satsuma orchard of Hertzog farms. During an additional two other farm visits producers, Myron Johnson and Thomas Kirkland guided the group in a discussion about the benefits and practices associated with cover crops (hairy vetch and cereal rye). David Zierden, FL state climatologist (FSU) provided a seasonal climate review and outlook. Growers were particularly interested in hearing about the physical drivers responsible for recent cold weather. David also piqued interest in learning more about the theory of arctic amplification.

The Tri-state climate group was initiated in April 2010 and is coordinated by Dr. Wendy-Lin Bartels, Assistant Research Scientist at FCI. Row crop stakeholders meet twice a year in Florida, Alabama or Georgia in February (prior to planting) and in early August during summer “downtime” (prior to harvest). The broad aim of this climate learning network is to create a space for on-going interactions among row crop stakeholders at a regional scale (SE USA) to identify and assess adaptation options that can reduce climate-related risks. Workshops emphasize hands-on, peer-to-peer learning through on-farm field visits, in-depth discussions, and experimentation. Interactions enable local experiences to influence research directions (and vice versa). Researchers from the Florida Climate Institute and the Southeast Climate Consortium coordinate and facilitate the group with support through a USDA-NIFA-funded project.

For more information, visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
201402ag-appFebruary 25, 2014 - The AgroClimate Mobile app is an innovative way to help Florida growers make more informed decisions based on weather and climate information. Growers can check current weather conditions at FAWN weather stations and summarize observations during the last 7, 14 and 30 days. They can also register farms and fields for customized reports based on crop, planting /start date, soil texture and irrigation management.

Download PDF flyer
hagen-scottJanuary 29, 2014 - Dr. Scott Hagen, branch director of the Florida Climate Institute at the University of Central Florida, has been elected a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Dr. Hagen is a professor at the University of Central Florida and a member of the Board of Governors for the ASCE Coasts, Oceans, Ports & Rivers Institute. Hagen established and directs the internationally recognized Coastal Hydroscience Analysis, Modeling & Predictive Simulations Laboratory. The primary focus is on massively parallel, high-performance computational modeling of ocean, coastal, and inland shallow water flows. Hagen’s recent efforts expand into transport and biological modeling, particularly with respect to the coastal dynamics of sea-level rise, and are aiding coastal planners around Florida. He also served as guest editor of a focus issue on sea-level rise implications to coastal engineering for the ASCE Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering. In 2012 he chaired the 10th International Conference on Hydroscience & Engineering, where he received the Outstanding Achievement Award for Advancement of the State-of-the-Art.