by Brandon Butler
Climate Change: Oceans and Rivers 2/24/2020

From Hannah Beech for the New York Times on rising sea levels affecting the people of the Philippines:

In 2013, Batasan was convulsed by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake. Thousands of aftershocks followed, and the local topography was thrown off-kilter. Batasan and three neighboring islands collapsed downward, making them more vulnerable to the surrounding water.

Now climate change, with its rising sea levels, appears to be dooming a place that has no elevation to spare. The highest point on the islands is less than 6.5 feet above sea level.

When the floods are bad, Ms. Villarmia has learned to subsist on cold rice and coffee. She has grown skilled at tying up her valuables so they don’t float away.

She is 80, and she knows the logic of actuarial tables.

“I will be gone before Batasan is gone,” she said. “But Batasan will also disappear.”

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the planet, Cathleen O’Grady at Ars Technica is reporting on changes to the Colorado River, which provides fresh water to 40 million people in the Southwestern US:

A paper published this week in Science reports that the river’s flow has been declining by an alarming 9.3 percent for every 1°C of warming—and that declining snow levels are the main culprit for this dramatic decline.

January 2020 was the hottest January on record for the Earth.