climate change

Rodrigo Abd / AP

It's hard to wrap your arms around everything that happened 2019 in Latin America and the Caribbean. It's even harder to find any good news — from the violent political unrest that rocked capitals from La Paz to Port-au-Prince, to a record number of fires that ravaged the Amazon rainforest.

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

The environment will likely be a top story in Florida in the upcoming year. 2019 has been one of the hottest on record. King tides were some of the highest recorded. And, while Hurricane Dorian skirted along the Atlantic coast, it was a reminder of how vulnerable Florida is as climate change fuels more intense and wetter storms.

NOAA

Hurricane Dorian stands out as one of the biggest news stories of 2019.

The ominous Category 5 storm threatened South Florida for days. While the region escaped its destruction, the storm stalled over the northern Bahamas, scouring the islands with high winds and storm surge.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Congress has passed two spending bills to fund the federal government. President Donald Trump is expected to sign them, avoiding a shutdown.

One provision in those bills is a reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. With the president's approval, the program will be extended through Sept. 30, 2020.

THE OCEAN AGENCY

On this Tuesday, Dec. 17, episode of Sundial:

Shores Forward Partnership To Protect Marine Life

The Ocean Conservancy and the City of Miami have announced a partnership to protect South Florida's oceans and coasts, including Biscayne Bay and the Miami River. 

Michal Kranz / WLRN

Federal and state officials are trying to strike a balance between conservation and public access to South Florida waters.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission agreed Thursday to back tighter fishing limits in Biscayne National Park, where fish populations have dwindled.

Greg Lovett / PalmBeachPost.com

Engineers are designing for an increasingly soggy future in a rough industrial bay west of Riviera Beach, building Erector set-style defenses to keep out a wily intruder — water.

NOAA

Florida has an underappreciated secret weapon to help heal its ailing reefs: prickly sea urchins.

Steve Rothaus/Miami Herald

New sea level rise projections for South Florida show an alarming trend: higher waters are coming faster than previously expected.

According to the Southeast Florida Climate Compact, seas could rise between one foot and two-and-a-half feet by 2060 – two to five inches more than 2015 projections.

UNICEF

For years, Caribbean governments have argued their countries bear the brunt of climate change. A new U.N. study says Caribbean children may bear the worst of it.

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

New sea level rise projections for South Florida were released Wednesday. And the numbers are up.

On a satellite map, the Lake Wales Ridge stands out as a sandy spine running through the middle of Florida. From Clermont in the north, south almost to Lake Okeechobee, rolling hills give the area a very un-Florida-like feel.

Miami Herald archives

Florida is sending $25 million to South Florida to buy out homeowners ready to surrender to hurricanes and rising seas.

On Tuesday, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity awarded $44 million in Hurricane Irma relief money to cities and counties around the state to purchase vulnerable property in an attempt to cut the cost of future damage. In South Florida, Monroe County will receive the lion’s share - $15 million - with another $5 million going to Marathon, about $4.5 million to Miami-Dade County and just over $200,000 to the Village of Islamorada.

City of Key West

Hurricanes and high water don't recognize the boundaries between counties.

WLRN archive

Miami is hot. But not in a good way.

Steamy heat is putting the glammy city on track to come very close to breaking the all-time record for high temperatures set two years ago.

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