To Laureli Ivanoff, climate change is far from an abstract idea. As an Iñupiat writer living in the remote Alaskan town of Unalakleet, she’s seen firsthand the warming planet’s tangible impact on her culture’s food traditions, some of the only practices to survive colonization. “Ice fishing or hunting or just going out and enjoying ourselves, there’s no way to really do that if there isn’t any snow,” she says.
Animals that rely on snow and sea ice, such as the ugruk—or bearded seal—are harder to find as sea ice melts, leaving subsistence hunters concerned for their livelihoods. Although local native communities have weathered many historic hardships before, Ivanoff believes the challenges ahead are unprecedented. “Already every year, we’re wondering, ‘Is the ocean ice going to form?
Energy usage by large, old buildings like the Empire State Building represents a huge obstacle to cities’ dreams of carbon neutrality. New York City’s buildings account for 70% of its carbon emissions, for example, and half of those emissions are produced by the largest 5% of its structures. But retrofitting old buildings to make them more energy efficient represents a formidable challenge, both from an engineering perspective and in terms of convincing owners that doing so is in their financial interest.
In Kenya’s Rift Valley, climate change has brought an unprecedented increase in annual rainfall over the past several years, drowning pastureland, farms, homes, schools, churches, clinics and businesses.
The Great Rift Valley is part of an intra-continental ridge system that runs through Kenya from north to south. It is part of the Gregory Rift, the eastern branch of the East African Rift, which starts in Tanzania to the south and continues northward into Ethiopia. It was formed on the “Kenyan Dome” a geographical upwelling created by the interactions of three major tectonics: the Arabian, Nubian, and Somalian plates. In the past, it was seen as part of a “Great Rift Valley” that ran from Madagascar to Syria. Most of the valley falls within the former Rift Valley Province.