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IMG_2660Florida Atlantic University is hosting the first Arctic-Florida Symposium next week (May 3-5).   This is a big event and should prove interesting  I will be speaking. The idea is to evaluate the arctic and Florida and open some dialogue.   Florida and Alaska would seem to be opposites when it comes to many things.  Alaska is cold; Florida is the land of eternal summer.  Alaska has snow and blizzards; Florida has tropical storms with pounding rain.  Sea Level rise is a critical concern to much of Florida’s coast, but much of Alaska’s coast is mountains.  Temperatures affect the permafrost in Alaska, but heat is not new in Florida, where permafrost has not existed in millions of years, if ever.  So how are these two states, located over 5000 miles apart, similar?  That was the question posed before the Arctic-Florida conference in 2016.  The result was that Alaska and Florida share many commonalities, and there is much to learn from each other.  For example, population migration is at hand in Alaska.  It is in Florida’s future.  Likewise diseases have impacted at risk areas in Alaska, portending a potential future condition for southeast Florida.  Adaptation strategies are underway in Florida, which can help in Alaska.  Roads, water supplies, water storage, wastewater and storm water are all issues that pose challenges to both states, so there are answers in infrastructure adaptation  strategies.  Many common problems can be solved by sharing information.  The Florida–Alaska connection is an example of looking outside the box to find ideas that can be useful to those deemed to be far different.  More to come on this….

 

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