If worry is storm surge on crowded coasts, in many places the focus should be on groundwater & gas withdrawal more than sea-level rise.

In South Asia, the sinking rate 22 CM/yr in some spots, compared to MM/yr rise from warming. Relevant ‘13 paper in Remote Sensing of Environment:

Sinking cities in Indonesia: ALOS PALSAR detects rapid subsidence due to groundwater and gas extraction

Estelle Chaussard, Falk Amelung, Hasanudin Abidin, Sang-Hoon Hong

We use interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) time-series analysis of ALOS L-band SAR data to resolve land subsidence in western Indonesia with high spatial and temporal resolution. The data reveal significant subsidence in nine areas, including six major cities, at rates up to 22 cm/year. Land subsidence is detected near Lhokseumawe, in Medan, Jakarta, Bandung, Blanakan, Pekalongan, Bungbulang, Semarang, and in the Sidoarjo regency. The fastest subsidence occurs in highly populated coastal areas particularly vulnerable to flooding.We correlate the observed subsidence with surface geology and land use.

Despite the fact that subsidence is taking place in compressible deposits there is no clear correlation between subsidence and surface geology. In urban areas we find a correlation between rapid, patchy subsidence and industrial land use and elsewhere with agricultural land use. This suggests that the subsidence is primarily caused by ground water extraction for industrial and agricultural use, respectively. We also observe subsidence associated with exploitation of gas fields near Lhokseumawe and in the Sidoarjo regency. A continuation of these high rates of subsidence is likely to put much of the densely populated coastal areas below relative sea level within a few decades.

China’s great emptiness & great fullness on display from air and ground.

Tags: china cities asia

World Environment Day kicks off in Manila with startup of largest rooftop PV array in Philippines, atop Asian Development Bank. Illustrates challenge of this technology. Said to provide 613 megawatt/hours per year. About equivalent of 250 Philippine homes, or 25 American homes. Dr Zhengrong Shi of Suntech in the house.

World Environment Day kicks off in Manila with startup of largest rooftop PV array in Philippines, atop Asian Development Bank. Illustrates challenge of this technology. Said to provide 613 megawatt/hours per year. About equivalent of 250 Philippine homes, or 25 American homes. Dr Zhengrong Shi of Suntech in the house.

Fine @stevemouzon post: [E]nergy costs may render high-rise buildings unusable. Cross-ventilation, daylighting, elevators & thermal mass are all difficult to impossible to achieve as these buildings are currently constructed, so without cheap fossil fuels, these buildings just might become uninhabitable. This article is a follow-up to Richard Florida’s Friday night plenary and Léon Krier’s Saturday morning plenary at CNU20 in West Palm Beach. Read the rest.

Stealth of Nations and Squatter City are great resources for tracking the world’s vast informal settlements and economies.