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Front Page Talking Points

FOR THE WEEK OF SEP. 19, 2016

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

Climate change: Rising oceans already have a soggy impact in some coastal U.S. cities

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1.gifChoose an article or photo showing how weather and climate affect our daily lives.

2.gifRead other science or environment coverage and share two facts.

3.gifBriefly summarize news from a U.S. city on the Atlantic or Pacific coast, or on the Gulf of Mexico.

Discussions about the impact of climate change on America's seaside communities have moved from theory to visible evidence. "The sea has crept up to the point that a high tide and a brisk wind are all it takes to send water pouring into streets and homes” in some Atlantic and Gulf Coast areas, The New York Times says in a lengthy front-page roundup. "The sea is now so near the brim in many places that they believe the problem is likely to worsen quickly." Low-lying communities along the Pacific Ocean in California, Washington and Oregon also could be affected in coming years.

Long-term predictions are scary. Globally, sea levels are projected to rise five to seven feet – maybe more – over the next 100 years as rising average temperatures melt polar glaciers. Temperatures in Greenland this summer spiked to the highest levels on record. The warming is linked to greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal, oil and natural gas -- called carbon fuels or fossil fuels. At a summit meeting of 20 countries early this month in Hangzhou, China, the United States and China agreed to formally join an international agreement to combat climate change.

For now, tidal floods not caused by storms are more of a nuisance than a major disaster. The saltwater usually is just a foot or two deep, but that still blocks drivers, damages vehicles, swamps basements, kills lawns and forests, and poisons wells. Large trucks in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., regularly vacuum up water from flooded streets in the beach city, which is spending millions of dollars to fix roads and drains damaged by frequent flood surges. More dramatically, a 10-foot-high steel-and-concrete berm (hill) is planned to protect about two miles of Lower Manhattan from flooding near where the Atlantic flows into New York Harbor. It's the first part of a bigger barrier system that eventually may loop around the bottom of Manhattan.

President Obama says: "We've been working on climate change on every front. We’ve worked to generate more clean energy, use less dirty energy, waste less energy overall." – Recent speech

New York City journalist says: "Even locals who believe climate change is real have a hard time grasping that their city will almost certainly be flooded beyond recognition." -- Andrew Rice, New York magazine writer

Climate scientist says: "It's a slow, gradual attack, but it threatens the safety and security of the United States." -- Andrea Dutton, University of Florida geologist

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2016
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