Something to distract Sir Alex and the Reds - and it's also won a mathematics prizeWhile Manchester knuckles its brains over that red card last night, Salford has chipped in with some interesting football research.They're
less concerned with high-flying footballers than with strangely-flying footballs â€“ the much discussed phenomenon of unexpected twists and swerves in the air.A Salford study has just won the annual Catherine Richards prize for the best paper published in Mathematics Today, which is much more absorbing than some may feel â€“ just like that excellent Radio 4 programme on numbers and statistics, More or Less.
Led by Dr Edmund Chadwick, a group of aeronautics researchers found that modern footballs can be spun in much
the same way as cricket balls have been time out of mind.
As they put it:Aspiring Premier League stars can gain just as much from studying Wasim Akram as Gareth Bale, because cricket-style reverse swerve is an important factor in how modern footballs behave in the air.The
behaviour is a result â€“ apparently unintended â€“ of rough surfaces designed to make footballs go faster.
are uncannily similar to those of a cricket ball which has been used for 40 overs or more. If a skilful player puts a lot of spin on a football, similar to its forward velocity, a pressure difference leads to aerial bending and swerves.Â Older
footballs could not be used
in this way because their seams and smooth surfaces led to a different flow of air. Simulations are the next step, to recreate particularly famous aberrations, and the group is hopeful that they may eventually exonerate Robert Green from his 'howler' against the USA in 2010.
Dr Chadwick says:There was a lot of talk about altitude and the ball being too round at the time of the 2010 World Cup, but we've seen with that ball and its successors the addition of rough surfaces to increase speed also makes the ball more unpredictable.Applying
too much spin will cause movement that the player did not intend and, while this can be beneficial in fooling goalkeepers, it certainly reduces accuracy
when striking the ball hard. Better players will need to adjust their games to these new balls.The
research findings are novel but Chadwick's conclusion of how to both cope with them and use them to cunning effect echoes schoolteachers down the centuries.
He concludes:Like much else
in sport that will ultimately come down to practice.The
paper, Reverse swerve - a new phenomenon in football by Edmund Chadwick, Thurai Rahulan and Yu Wang may be obtained from the university's school of computing, science and engineering.ManchesterGreater
ManchesterSalfordUniversity of SalfordMathematicsMathematicsGareth BaleMartin Wainwrightguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds "There are some Cold War issues that continue to return to the front of the agenda, and missile defenses, and how we interact on missile defenses, is, I would say, at the top of the list."Assistant Professor Saurabh Amin of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is the chief scientist and lead MIT principal investigator on a multi-institutional grant announced last week by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The grant is one of two awards totaling $14 million for research projects that are expected to make significant advances in energy and transportation infrastructures and health technology.The MIT team â€” Amin, Associate
Professor Hamsa Balakrishnan
of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Professor Asuman Ozdaglar of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science â€” will work with the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), Vanderbilt University and the University of Michigan on the $9-million project, called Foundations of Resilient Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). The goal of the project is to improve the operational resilience of civil and environmental structures and systems that have electronic networking components.
Professor Shankar Sastry, dean
of the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley is lead principal investigator on the grant.â€œThis investment in fundamental advances at the intersection of cyber and physical systems will pay huge dividends for our nation,â€ said Farnam Jahanian, NSFâ€™s assistant director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering.
â€œAdvances in CPS hold the potential to reshape our world with more responsive, precise and efficient systems that augment human capabilities, work in dangerous or inaccessible environments, provide large-scale, distributed coordination and enhance societal well-being.â€The cyber component â€” sensors, actuators and communication networks â€” of large-scale infrastructures (electricity networks, water systems, ground and air transportation systems, etc.), is enabling new functionalities such as real-time monitoring and control.
This connectivity provides technological means for improving the efficiency of infrastructure operations.Yet infrastructure systems are not resilient; they remain vulnerable to failures from natural events and malicious attacks. The implementation
of efficiency and strategies to improve resilience is dependent
on human behavior, and the entities that manage and operate elements of these networked systems need incentives to invest in improvements.This is the MIT teamâ€™s focus: developing methods for coupling technologies for monitoring and controlling networked systems with economic incentives for persuading operators to do so.â€œA unique aspect of this project is that it aims to integrate the areas of control- and incentive-based strategies for improving resilience and security to faults and attacks in large networked cyber-physical systems that involve human users and management decision-makers,â€ Amin said.The
MIT team has expertise in both the physical and cyber aspects of transportation networks, electricity
Texas Democrats attempted to
prevent Republicans from passing a bill that would give
the state some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country. Dropbox isn't just for files any more.
At a dingy shop in downtown Fluxion City, you can buy, for only $29.95, the suitcase of a desperate man. It's no Samsonite: 56 inches but made of cardboard, staples and glue, guaranteed for a mere six weeks, it's a valise for people who need to get out of town in a hurry and need a case big enoug... Business secretary recommends using low interest rates to raise 'crucial' public investment in weakest parts of economyVince Cable has become the first cabinet minister to question George Osborne's "plan A" economic strategy by suggesting that the
Treasury should use Britain's record low interest rates to increase borrowing as a way of stimulating growth.On the eve of a speech by David Cameron on the economy, in which the prime minister is expected to criticise Labour for demanding increased borrowing, the business secretary said that greater public investment was "crucial" to reviving the economy.The intervention by Cable, expressed in a lengthy essay in the New Statesman, exposes deep divisions on the economy within the coalition.The
prime minister and Osborne regularly taunt Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, about economic responsibility, following the latter's calls for increased public investment â€“ which would, the Tories say, have to be financed by increased borrowing.But Cable comes close to siding with the shadow chancellor when he says it would be "absurd" to say that the government is incapable of mobilising capital investment.Cable writes:
"The more controversial question is whether the government should not switch but should borrow more, at current very low interest rates, in order to finance more capital spending: building of schools and colleges; small road and rail projects; more prudential borrowing by councils for house building.
This last is crucial to reviving an area which led economic recovery in the 1930s but is now severely depressed."Such a programme would inject demand into the weakest sector of our economy â€“ construction â€“ and, at one remove, the manufacturing supply <a href = "http://a375.blog.com/trade-miner/">trade miner download </a> steel]. It would target two significant bottlenecks to growth: infrastructure and housing."Cable challenges one of the chancellor's central arguments â€“ that increased borrowing would add
to the fiscal deficit.He writes: "Such a strategy does not undermine the central objective of reducing
the structural deficit, and may assist it by reviving growth. It may complicate the secondary objective of reducing government debt relative to GDP because it entails more state borrowing; but in a weak economy, more public investment increases the numerator and the denominator."He qualifies his remarks and makes clear he is not siding with Balls entirely when he dismisses the "crude and binary" argument that sticking to plan A poses a greater risk to the economy."There
is a body of opinion arguing that the risks to the economy of sticking to existing plans are greater than the risks stemming from significantly increased and sustained public investment targeted at those areas of the economy where there are severe impediments to growth (housing; skills; infrastructure; innovation)."But
this is also too crude and binary a characterisation of the position; the government has carried out considerable policy reform in these areas, not least in my own department, the fruits of which take a while to mature. The balance of risks remains a matter of judgment."Cable's
article was published hours after the
prime minister once again attacked Labour for advocating increased borrowing. "He has no proposals to do anything about welfare other than to put up borrowing," Cameron said of
Ed Miliband.In his article Cable defended the chancellor's deficit and debt reduction plan on the grounds that Osborne had been flexible.Osborne has acknowledged that he will not meet his target of reducing debt as a proportion of GDP by 2015-16. He will also not meet his informal target of eliminating the structural budget deficit by 2014.
By extending his target he has avoided even deeper spending cuts and even higher tax rises."The data does not support the conclusion that deficit reduction has had dramatic effects on the economy," writes Cable. "There has been only modest
reduction in the budget deficit, partly because the government has been allowing counter-cyclical stabilisers to operate, and partly because we have taken the conscious decision not to introduce further cuts at a time when the weaker economy has damaged tax revenues."Chris
Leslie MP, the shadow financial secretary to the Treasury, said: "Vince Cable may at last be seeing
have been working with schools in London and with a significant outreach and widening participation programme.
In 1999, we established a partnership for excellence with City and Islington College, an idea godfathered by Lord Adonis, later one of
UCL Academy's most enthusiastic supporters as education minister.This
activity continues, but we wanted to do more.
The opportunity to shape the curriculum afforded by the academies programme was too good to turn down, despite the fact that we knew we would be dragged into the political fire surrounding the programme. For us, though, the choice was clear: either let this rare opportunity pass, or act to play a more active role in developing academic excellence beyond the traditional university environment.Our borough, Camden, badly needed a new school, and we were excited at the chance to play a hands-on role and shape the debate around both the school and the university curriculum, and so to help redefine the relationship between our sectors.The process has been much longer and more torturous than we had imagined.
The years leading up to today's opening have seen us involved in political wrangles at both local and national level, being subjected to judicial reviews, all while navigating the oceans of bureaucracy that come with a project as ambitious as this.And just as it seemed we were there, in 2010 the coalition government was formed and Michael Gove, secretary of state for education, decided to review everything.
But we finally got the green light, and the first brick was laid on our site on Adelaide Road.It
was not only the
building, but also the curriculum that had to be designed from scratch. This enabled us to think through what is really meant by terms that are bandied around like 'child-centred' or 'self-directed
learning'. These words are used all the time, but it
is not simple to ensure that everyone, both teacher and pupil, takes responsibility for learning â€“ and through learning establishes a responsible and useful role in the world.For us, the academy was to be much more than an extension of our outreach activities: we wanted it to be about changing radically the way in which education operates. The academy is young and UCL has 187 years of history, but just as all learning organisation should do, we are both learning from each other.As
a sponsor, we set the ethos and the education vision, but the relationship between UCL and the UCL Academy is already one of partnership. One very obvious example for the visitors to the spectacular building is that students and teachers are not tied to one classroom. Each floor at the school has a 'superstudio', a long room with a central tiered amphitheatre-style learning space and an area on either side for various learning activities designed to enable classroom group learning, project-based and pair work or independent
study as appropriate.I would also highlight the work on object-based learning, pioneered by UCL through our museums colleagues and now being applied in the Academy, where new ways of using it are emerging.
UCL's own commitment to languages manifests itself in the fact that all academy teachers and pupils are learning Mandarin together.UCL
and the academy have also come together to design an engineering science suite, which includes workshop spaces and labs designed to give students the experience of being engineers â€“ a tangible response to the identified issue of the lack of qualified engineers in
In these and other ways, we work to understand each other's goals and objectives and to work
out how we can work better on curriculum design, both in schools and in universities.At the university <a href = "http://a375.blog.com/clickbank-pirate/">clickbank pirate review </a> flow of excitement about being so deeply involved with a school has revitalised our commitment to thinking creatively and radically about education. Working with the academy is helping our academics think more about learning and education and how we really go about enthusing young people.To
me, a partnership between school and university seems a natural and
obvious fit â€“ how long will UCL be the only university to venture into this territory? We wholeheartedly encourage other institutions to follow our lead and engage directly with the young people in their communities by developing academies of their own.
The challenges are huge, but I am already clear that the payback is massive and we will gladly offer our time and support to any institution that wishes to go down the same route.Professor
Michael Worton is UCL vice-provost (international) â€“ follow the university on Twitter @UCLnews and UCL Academy @UCL_AcademyThis content is brought to you by Guardian Professional.
To get more articles like this direct to your inbox, become a member of the Higher Education Network.PartnershipsAcademicsHigher
educationAcademiesUCL (University College London)Schoolsguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds Take a moment to consider some of the financial choices youâ€™ve made in recent years. Do you have a consistent approach to your money,
either by playing it safe or having a willingness to take risks? Or
economics indicate that peopleâ€™s choices can vary greatly depending on the subject matter and circumstances of each decision.Now a new paper (PDF) co-authored by an MIT economist brings a large dose of empirical data to the problem, by looking at the way tens of thousands of Americans have handled risk in selecting health insurance and retirement plans.
The study, just published in the American Economic Review, finds that at most 30 percent of us make consistent decisions about financial risk across a variety of areas. This empirical finding belies the notion that people are uniformly consistent in their approach to risk, across types of financial decisions â€” but it also shows that not everyone continually changes their risk tolerance, either.Â Â â€œAs economists, we often place great value on where people put their money in the real world,â€ says Amy Finkelstein, the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT, who helped conduct the research. â€œMost extremes are not true in the reality, and we found our answer was in the middle.â€ Many choices, different degrees of riskThe research used data on the choices made in 2004 by 13,000 employees about their health insurance and retirement plans at Alcoa, Inc., the international aluminum manufacturer whose headquarters are in Pittsburgh.
Those Alcoa employees were faced with choosing plans for five types of health insurance, as well as 401(k) retirement funds.
The insurance decisions involved choosing an overall health-care plan, prescription drug coverage, a dental plan, long-term disability coverage, and short-term disability coverage. The workers also had 13 different 401(k) plans available to them, bearing different degrees of risk. Because employees were making decisions in both the health-care and retirement domains, the researchers had the opportunity to see how the same individuals handled different types of choices. Or, as Finkelstein puts it, the economists could ask: â€œDoes someone whoâ€™s willing to pay extra money to get comprehensive health insurance, who doesnâ€™t seem willing to bear much financial exposure in a medical domain, also tend to be the one who, relative to their peers, invests more of their 401(k) in [safer] bonds rather than stocks?â€The researchers ranked the employees by risk tolerance, relative
to each other, in all
six areas of investment, and found that there was significant variation in the financial exposure people were willing to sustain.
Then again, the fact that up to 30 percent of the Aloca employees were consistent in their risk, Finkelstein says, gives
some credence to each of the competing notions of how people assess risk.
â€œI think you could look at these results legitimately through two very different lenses,â€ Finkelstein says. â€œYou could say, if 30 percent of our sample is making consistent choices across all six domains, that suggests there is a fair amount of generality in peopleâ€™s risk preferences, and the classical model has some bite. Or you could say, if just 30 percent of people are making choices that are consistent across domains, there are a lot of context-specific risk preferences,â€ in keeping with behavioral economics.The results do come with a twist: The researchers found that the employeesâ€™ decisions about the risk levels of their 401(k) plans
had less predictive power for their insurance choices than did any of the five insurance choices. Finkelstein says she thinks it is â€œa reasonable interpretationâ€ to suggest that this discrepancy represents â€œa large drop in the commonalityâ€ of peopleâ€™s risk tolerance across a diversity of financial domains. Besides Finkelstein, the authors of the paper are Liran Einav, an economist at Stanford University; Iuliana Pascu, a doctoral student in economics at MIT; and Mark Cullen, a professor at Stanfordâ€™s School of Medicine. Cullen has had a partnership with Alcoa, since 1997, to study the health of its employees. A â€˜need for more researchâ€™Economists say
the research is illuminating, both for its conclusions and the
wealth of information it contains. â€œOne of the important things this paper does is to clarify the difficulty of answering how general risk attitudes are from one choice domain
to another,â€ says Daniel Silverman, an economist at the University of Michigan who has read the paper, adding: â€œIn some circumstances and for some groups, that assumption of a common risk attitude across choice domains isnâ€™t a very good assumption.â€
At the same time, Silverman notes, the findings leave open the possibility that some people â€œcould have just a single attitude to risk, and make very different choices across domains,â€ to balance out those particular risks. The paper, Silverman observes, also â€œbrings uncommonly high-quality data to this question. Itâ€™s very rare to see the market decisions of a group of people in a comprehensive way.â€ Finkelstein suggests the study can be useful for social scientists or policymakers who build models or construct programs that make assumptions about risk tolerance; now those models can include more specific estimates of the ways people bear risk. â€œI donâ€™t think it definitely solves this problem and ends the discussion,â€ Finkelstein says, â€œbut hopefully it suggests potential changes in best practices, and a need for more research going forward.â€Finkelstein, who earlier this year won the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded annually by the American Economic Association to the economist under age 40 who has made â€œthe most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge,â€ is continuing to conduct research related to this study. Along with Einav, Cullen, and two other scholars, including MIT economist Stephen Ryan, Finkelstein is co-author of another forthcoming paper based on the Alcoa data, which examines whether individuals select insurance plans based on their â€œanticipated behavioral responseâ€ to having coverage. Research for the current paper was funded by the National Institute of Aging, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Social Security Administration, the Sloan
Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.
There soon could be two Googles: One built for Europeans, with links to rival search engines and labels alerting users whenever Google is featuring its own products.
And another version for everyone else, with none of those consumer-friendly features. Read full article >>
McDonald’s held a runway show at a SoHo event space to promote its holiday gift cards as fashion accessories. â€¢ Argentinian striker to wear iconic No10 shirt at Juventusâ€¢ 'Juventus wanted me more than Milan,' <a href = "http://a375.blog.com/aquaponics-4-you/">aquaponics 4 you </a> Tevez's Â£7.6m transfer from Manchester City to Juventus was completed on Wednesday evening, with the striker to wear the iconic No10 shirt worn by Alessandro Del Piero and Michel Platini.
The Argentinian, who has signed a three-year deal, revealed that he turned down Milan as Juventus "wanted me the most".Tevez
took a medical after his personal terms were signed off.
"I'm really happy to be here at Juve," Tevez told Sky Sport Italia.
"It's a really big satisfaction for me.
I will tell the rest in the press conference â€“ but Juventus wanted
me more than Milan."City have already made a combined Â£47m outlay for Fernandinho
and Jesus Navas this summer but with Roque Santa Cruz, Wayne Bridge, Kolo TourÃ© and now Tevez all being removed from the wage bill, the club has freed enough finance to spend considerably in the market.City
are minded to consider a forward only of
Manuel Pellegrini, has only Edin Dzeko as a recognised frontline striker.
has failed to hold down a starting berth since his Â£27m move in January 2011.City
do have John Guidetti on their books but the 21-year-old Swede is still injured and may not be included in the Premier League squad for next season.Meanwhile City appear to have lost the race with Real Madrid to sign Spanish Under-21 midfielder Isco from Pellegrini's former club MÃ¡laga, with
Real president Florentino PÃ©rez declaring that he will be presented as their player next week.Carlos
TevezManchester CityJuventusTransfer windowJamie Jacksonguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds Derek Jeter treated fans to some batting practice before a sore ankle sent him home early. An FBI whistleblower trial has cast a spotlight on the bureau's difficult transition from a crime-fighting agency into a counterterrorism and intelligence force, as seen through the career of its highest-ranking Arab American agent. Two senators know theyâ€™ll have to fight big banks to achieve passage of a bill to protect taxpayers from future bailouts. While most photographers jostle to document life on street level, Patrick Cashin alone gets to capture everything going on beneath NYC's surface. Borrowers often use payday loans out of desperation, a new report finds. Kamila Shamsie is impressed by a visceral debut about Iran's darkest momentsChildren of the Jacaranda Tree is a novel with a great weight of history attached to it. This much is made explicit by the author's note that accompanies the proof copies, telling readers that this is "an attempt â€¦ to shed light on this dark moment in Iranian history, on its tales of violence, prison and death â€¦ to give voice not only to the victims of this atrocity but also to the ordeal of their families and their children". The "dark moment" is 1988, when thousands, or tens of thousands, of political prisoners were assassinated in Iran; their number included Sahar Delijani's
uncle. Her parents were fortunate to have been released from prison prior to the "purge".At
the start of
the novel it seems that Delijani has placed too great a pressure on herself to find the language and structure to relate such a terrible tale.
The first chapter tells the story of a political prisoner giving birth in Tehran's Evin prison, knowing that her child will soon be taken away from her.
The language is too overheated to be convincing, and there are a confusing number of character names mentioned â€“ several women prisoners, their unseen relatives, a male guard.
Many of these characters play, at most, a minor role, and the author's lack of control seems the most obvious explanation.But as the book continues it becomes apparent that there is a clear purpose behind the naming. Each chapter tells the story of a different person connected to that original prison cell, and every named character from the first chapter becomes significant, directly or through their children, at some point in the book.
At the centre of the web of connections are three women prisoners â€“ Azar, who gives birth in prison; Firoozeh, who is known to have turned informant in exchange for prison privileges; Parisa, who has one child growing up outside prison and is pregnant with a second. Through these women and their families a narrative emerges that is more effective than one that cleaves to an individual.
The pain of women prisoners who have to give up their children; the pain of parents and sisters who don't know what is happening to those they love who are imprisoned; the pain of letting go of the nephews and nieces you've been raising, when their
mothers are finally released from prison; the pain of suppressing the truth; the pain of discovering the truth; the pain of leaving Iran, the pain of staying and the pain of return: all these are held within these linked stories.The novel is at its best with the stories of the younger generation â€“ the children who spent their childhoods separated from their imprisoned parents. Some of them have moved away from Iran, others have stayed, but the ties that bind them to each other and to their country remain strong. It is this second generation that takes to the streets in Iran's "green revolution" of 2009 and faces the violent reprisals that follow. In the final chapter, Neda â€“ who was the baby whose birth opens the novel â€“ is in Italy, the country that
has become her home, along with an Iranian man, Reza, who has recently arrived in Turin.
The fascination and slight edge of guilt with which an expatriate approaches someone who has continued to be part of their shared nation's history is well evoked, as is the moment when Reza speaks of his shock at the regime's brutality and Neda's response is anger â€“ "Your worst nightmares came true twenty-three years ago", she wants to shout at him.
Although the English-speaking world may be the first readers of this novel, it seems clear that Delijani's more immediate concern is with reminding Iranians (expatriate or otherwise) of their own history â€“ this is not an "explaining Iran to those who don't know it" book, but something far more visceral.Though
there are migrants in this novel, it doesn't follow the familiar trajectory of characters escaping a place of brutality for the safety of the west â€“ characters flee to Italy, Germany and America, but it is always Iran that
remains central. In the safety of a Turin cafe, when Neda hears Reza talk about the green revolution, instead of feeling gratitude for being in a place of greater security, she feels "a shiver of envy at the thought of him having been there, having partaken in that moment when history turned". It makes her question her own right to "tell any story, speak of any memory that is larger than that". But by the time the book draws to a close, with
power than it opened, Delijani has done the work of showing us how those stories and memories are all entwined, and should never be forgotten.â€¢ Kamila Shamsie's Burnt Shadows is published by Bloomsbury.FictionIranMiddle
East and North AfricaKamila Shamsieguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
| Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds Livery-cab drivers in the outer boroughs said that they eked out a meager living as it was, and that converting to a green taxi would cost them thousands and bring more
Chris Chelios and Scott Niedermayer, two defensemen with plenty of offensive flair, and punishing power forward Brendan Shanahan headlined the Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2013 announced on Tuesday.
Pachyderms' metabolism offers clues to dinosaur behavior Quito, Ecuador, is not considered a global leader by most measures. But there is one way in which Quito is <a href = "http://a375.blog.com/fat-loss-factor/">fat loss factor download </a> forefront of metropolises worldwide: in planning for climate change. For more than a decade, officials in Ecuadorâ€™s mountainous capital have been studying the effects of global warming on nearby melting glaciers, developing ways of dealing with potential water shortages and even organizing conferences on climate change for leaders of other Latin American cities.In so doing, Quito officials represent a global trend:
buffeted by natural disasters and increasing changes in temperature or rainfall.
In places where the climate seems to be a growing threat to human lives, resources and urban infrastructure, local officials have been working with scientists, conducting assessments and examining which new measures may best prepare them for the future.
Indeed, as an MIT survey released today shows, 95 percent of major cities in Latin America are planning for climate change, compared to only 59 percent of such cities in the United States. Leadership on climate adaptation â€œcan come from cities of many different sizes and ilks,â€ says JoAnn Carmin, an associate professor in MITâ€™s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and lead author of the surveyâ€™s report. While international climate policy measures â€” such as potential agreements limiting greenhouse gas emissions â€” require agreement among national governments, Carmin says, â€œcities are able to make some important strides in this area. There are numerous examples from around the world where there are no national policies or explicit support for adaptation, but where local governments are developing plans and taking action to address climate impacts.â€The survey is the first to systematically investigate the efforts of cities around the globe to adapt to climate change. Among 468 cities worldwide that participated in the survey, 79 percent have seen changes in temperature, rainfall, sea level or other phenomena attributable to climate change; 68 percent are pursuing plans for adapting to climate change; and 19 percent have completed a formal assessment of global warmingâ€™s impact.U.S. cities
are lagging in this area, Carmin believes, because climate change, for various reasons, is a more politically contentious issue in this country than elsewhere.
â€œClimate change discussion is off the table, quite frankly,
realm tend to integrate adaptation efforts into existing departmental responsibilities.
Climate change may become a problem of unique magnitude, but some of its possible effects â€” such as the potential to create large storms and flooding, or deadly heat waves â€” are hazards local governments already grapple with. â€œWe expect government departments will work mostly in the same ways they always do,â€ Carmin says. â€œSome cities have established
task forces and commissions to jumpstart adaptation. However, itâ€™s not like theyâ€™re going to set up some separate major department to try to implement everything. â€¦ If youâ€™re working on stormwater management or public health provisions or emergency preparedness, youâ€™re going to continue to work on those using the tools you have available, itâ€™s just that
of change in many cities throughout the developing world, through rapid growth or migration, should also give leaders in those places reason to consider how climate change could affect those areas, notes Karen Seto, an associate professor of the urban environment at Yale University. â€œA place that is rapidly developing needs to think about both climate change adaptation and mitigation,â€ Seto says.
By contrast, she notes, â€œIâ€™m not surprised that a smaller percentage of cities in the U.S.
are thinking about adaptation.
In the U.S. and in countries where income levels are relatively high, there is this false belief that we can buy ourselves out of it, that we can buy some technology to fix things, or that some other institution, whether itâ€™s local, regional or national government, will come help save us.â€As
Carmin observes, climate change does present one new hurdle for urban planners in any part of the world: the need to start using scientific projections to understand the potentially novel impact of global warming. â€œUrban planning traditionally uses historical trends as a baseline,â€ Carmin says.
â€œWe also need to begin looking at the projections. If we want to protect human lives and urban assets over the long term, we need to be prepared for new impacts and for greater variability and magnitude in impacts than we have experienced in the past. That means looking at both historical data and climate projections and generating multiple scenarios
warming is a highly complex phenomenon, long-range climate models inevitably contain uncertainty. That means local governments in some cities may be reluctant to invest in physical infrastructure or specific programs based on these projections.
â€œCities are aware of the uncertainty,â€ Carmin says. â€œWhile many are not going to sit and wait for the science to be perfected, they are also not going to put all their resources in one basket.â€As a result of the uncertainty and limited resources, she adds, much of what local governments are doing at the moment â€œis small-scale change, incremental planning and a lot of nonstructural measures, like planning and outreach to the public.
In the long term, that will not be sufficient.
For now, however, cities are being creative and taking action in ways that are feasible given the scientific, political and resource constraints they face.â€ On Monday, we observe the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
I hope we all pause to honor those who lost their lives on that day in New York, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pa.
It is important that we all commemorate those who sacrificed so much and remember their bravery in the face