Water and Land Use

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In this unit we had a large discussion as a class on the topic of sea-level rise and land loss.

This is from my discussion:

Country:  Cuba +Los Angeles

  1. Sea level rise:
    1. Cuba
      1. Problems:
        1. Economic
          1. Reduce agricultural productivity
          2. Limit forestry
          3. Reduction of freshwater resources
        2. Social
          1. Vulnerability of coastal settlements
          2. Potential feuds around the limited resources for water
        3. Environmental
          1. Damage to ecosystems
          2. Large levels of land loss
            1. “At the current rate of increase in sea level, by 2050 we will have lost nearly 2,700 square kilometers of land area and 9,000 homes” -Tomas Escobar (director of Cuba’s National Environment Agency)
      2. Potential solutions:
        1. Building reservoirs
        2. Doubling forests
        3. Planting Mangroves
          1. Mangroves can serve as a temporary delay the impacts of sea level rise on homes until they are able to develop stronger solutions.
          2. According to Gisela Dominguez (President of the Environment Agency), “ As an element of physical defense of the coastal zone, we have the mangroves. Mangroves act as a natural barrier, protecting the coast from erosion and seawater intrusion. They also help cushion the impact of storm surge and waves.”
      3. Constraints:
        1. Building reservoirs
        2. Doubling forests
          1. Rapid land loss and shortage of freshwater
        3. Planting Mangroves
          1. Rapid land loss itself
    2. Los Angeles
      1. Problems:
        1. Economic
          1. Tourism
            1. Loss of land to popular beach regions could lead to the deficit of income, which has been accounted before as around $16.5 billion
        2. Social
          1. Damage to Homes
            1. “More than 80 percent of Californians live in coastal communities, and California’s beaches support local economies and critical natural species.”-Philip King
            2. Ex. Venice beach
              1. Land loss
              2. Damage to homes
                1. Large loss of buildings
                2. Impactful on to a great amount of people
        3. Environmental
          1. Flooding
            1. Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Plant near Dockweiler State Beach
              1. Impact equipment and operations
  2. Ocean acidification:
    1. Cuba
      1. Problems:
        1. Economic
          1. Fish shortage
            1. Strong impacts on regions that depend on profits from fishing
        2. Social
          1. Coastal Communities
            1. Ocean acidification can have significant direct impacts on the productivity of many marine species, including species upon which the economies of coastal communities depend.
        3. Environmental
          1. Reef Losses
            1. Coral reef ecosystems are defined by the large, wave-resistant calcium carbonate structures, or reefs, that are built by reef calcifiers.
          2. Biodiversity loss
            1. Vast amounts of species that could potentially be lost.
              1. Coral→ larger fish→ sharks
                1. Important
      2. Potential solutions:
        1. Environmental
          1. Creating marine parks
            1. “coral reef animals are dependent on near-shore mangrove swamps and seagrass beds as nurseries, protecting all kinds of shallow-water habitats help sustain coral reefs offshore”
            2. The Cuban National Center has talked about designating around 25% of their coastal waters into MPAs (habitats).
      3. Constraints:
    2. Los Angeles
      1. Problems:
        1. Economic
          1. Couldn’t find anything truly different from what was mentioned about Cuba.
        2. Social
          1. Couldn’t find anything truly different from what was mentioned about Cuba.
        3. Environmental
          1. Couldn’t find anything truly different from what was mentioned about Cuba.
  3. Climate change:
    1. Cuba
      1. Problems:
        1. Economic
          1. Hurricanes
            1. Destruction of crops
              1. Large loss of income
              2. Caused 10 billion dollars in economic losses in 2008 (https://ourworld.unu.edu/en/cuba-seeks-to-guarantee-food-supplies-in-changing-climate)
        2. Environmental
          1. Hurricanes
            1. Damage to civilians homes
              1. High cost repairs
              2. Large time restraints
              3. Limited resources
            2. Cubans already saw local food supplies dwindle in 2008 when the country was hit by three devastating hurricanes: Gustav, Ike and Paloma
          2. Drought
            1. Loss of agricultural farm produce
            2. Degradation of the amount of fresh water
    2. Los Angeles
      1. Problems:
        1. Social
          1. Extreme Heat
            1. largest number of residents in the state who will be exposed to extreme heat and be at greatest risk of heat-related health problems due to factors due to preexisting
        2. Environmental
          1. Air Pollution
            1. Particulate Pollution
              1. Articulate pollution is also a significant problem for los angeles; combustion of fuels in cars, trucks, trains, and ships emits tiny particles of hydrocarbons, metals, and other toxics that, when inhaled, can cause serious health problems.
          2. Water Shortages
            1. As temperatures rise, more winter precipitation is projected to fall as rain instead of snow, and the snow that does fall will melt earlier.
              1. Communities relying on snowmelt for water will be hit hard due to the early melting.
                1. I.e. Regions near/in Sierra Nevada
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