When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

It can be hard to distinguish among the men wearing grey suits and regulation haircuts on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. But David Margolis always brought a splash of color.

It wasn't his lovably disheveled wardrobe, or his Elvis ring, but something else: the force of his flamboyant personality. Margolis, a graduate of Harvard Law School, didn't want to fit in with the crowd. He wanted to stand out.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

Pages

New York Planners Prep For A 'New Normal' Of Powerful Storms

Dec 13, 2012
Originally published on December 13, 2012 9:03 am

It will take tens of billions of dollars to repair the damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy. But scientists who study climate change say repair is not enough. As the climate warms, ice sheets and glaciers will melt, raising the sea level. That means coastal storms will more likely cause flooding.

So New Yorkers, local politicians and scientists face a tough decision: How to spend limited funds to defend themselves from what climate experts call "the new normal."

New York City faces the Atlantic Ocean like a chin waiting to be hit, and Sandy stepped up and whacked it. And there will be more storms like Sandy.

"Storms today are different," says Jane Lubchenco, who heads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which includes the National Weather Service. "Because of sea level rise, the storm surge was much more intense, much higher than it would have been in a non-climate changed world."

Even garden-variety storms may someday heave water up to your doorstep. So the question now is: How to prepare for the next big one?

Some things are a given. You can see this as you drive through Staten Island's shore neighborhoods. Many of these houses are a coin toss above sea level. Sandy knocked one-story bungalows off their foundations and flooded the rest.

Repair crews go from house to house, cutting up soggy flooring and hauling away debris. Green and yellow stickers on the front doors tell a story: Yellow means the house isn't habitable; green means it's OK. Marit Larson, with the city's parks and recreation department, says most of the OK ones were built after the late 1990s, when building codes changed.

"Zoning codes required that no utilities were in the basement," she says. "Electrical and gas, heating — whatever utilities they had, had to be built on the second floor."

In between houses you can see wetlands — tall reeds and twisted trees in standing water. Larson says normally they slow runoff from rainstorms. But Sandy's 10-foot-high surge overwhelmed them.

"Just simply the amount of water that came in and inundated these people's property — that couldn't be held back by these wetlands," Larson says. She says wetlands could be useful for future storms, however, if you put them in the right place and make them big enough.

Along a beach, for example, wetlands help blunt the energy of incoming waves. But you need more. At this beachfront community, the beach is flat and narrow — not much help.

Sand Dunes And Sea Walls

Engineer Franco Montalto of Drexel University says it could be "nourished" — built up with sand or sediment to create dunes that hold back the water.

"And the evidence seems to be that places that had rehabilitated beaches suffered less damage than places that didn't," Montalto says.

For years, the Army Corps of Engineers has built sand dunes along East Coast beaches. Although many got swept away by Sandy, they're relatively cheap to rebuild. It's the kind of defense that Montalto calls "green infrastructure." He says the green strategy has multiple benefits.

"You know, a beach nourishment project could have value in terms of protecting houses, it could add habitat and could sort of enhance the value of this beach," Montalto says.

New York is seeking about $10 billion to prepare for the next big storm. Some experts, like Montalto, say you get more bang for your buck with a "distributed" defense — dunes, wetlands, bigger stormwater culverts, even urban parks that slow down the flow of water. They're cheaper and designed to fit the needs of a particular community.

But city officials are contemplating plans to build huge sea walls — across the mouths of the Hudson and East rivers, for example, and even one from New Jersey to New York. Each would cost $6 billion or more.

Klaus Jacob, a geoscientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty laboratory in New York, is skeptical about sea walls.

"The only thing that barriers do is prevent storm surges," he says. "Now that's wonderful. It would have taken care of Sandy and will take care of future storm surges up to a point."

That point being when sea levels rise enough to push a storm surge over the top of the sea wall. Since no one knows how high levels will go, a sea wall could become obsolete in a few decades.

Moreover, a sea wall is open most of the time to let traffic through. So as the ocean rises, it will raise the river level, too.

"So now we have barriers. The sea level rise still goes wherever it wants to go," he says.

Jacob isn't against sea walls, but he says the city needs to figure out ways to live with higher sea levels and flooding, even if that means abandoning some flood zones.

Cynthia Rosenzweig, a climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, says most New Yorkers have reached a tipping point on the subject of climate change.

"The evidence is indeed piling up that climate change is no longer something that is happening in future decades, and everyone's eyes are glazing over as the scientists are talking about it," she says.

Rosenzweig co-authored a report that looked at the costs and benefits of preparing the city for climate change. It calculated that $1 of prevention saves $4 in future repairs.

"If we're going to be having this much damage again and again, our whole economy of our region will not be able to survive," she says.

And as former New York Mayor Ed Koch once said, "New York City is where the future comes to rehearse."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

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And I'm David Greene.

It will take tens of billions of dollars to repair the damage from Hurricane Sandy. And that's just the first challenge. Scientists who study climate change say repair is not enough. As the climate warms, ice sheets and glaciers will melt, raising the sea level. That means coastal storms in the future will likely cause even more flooding.

New Yorkers and scientists face a tough decision: How to spend limited funds to deal with what experts are calling the new normal.

NPR's Christopher Joyce reports on that debate.

CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: New York City faces the Atlantic Ocean like a chin waiting to be hit. And Sandy stepped up and whacked it. And there will be more Sandys. Here's Jane Lubchenco, who heads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which includes the National Weather Service.

DR. JANE LUBCHENCO: Storms today are different. Because of sea level rise, the storm surge was much more intense, was much higher than it would have been in a non-climate-changed world.

JOYCE: Even garden-variety storms may some day heave water up to your doorstep. So the question now is how to prepare for the next big one? Some things are a given - you can see this as you drive through Staten Island's shore neighborhoods. Many of these houses are a coin toss above sea level. Sandy knocked one-story bungalows off their foundations and flooded the rest.

Repair crews go from house to house, cutting up soggy flooring and hauling away debris. Green and yellow stickers on the front doors tell a story. Yellow means the house is not inhabitable. Green means it's OK.

Marit Larson, with the city's parks and recreation department, says most of the OK ones were built after the late 1990s, when building codes changed.

MARIT LARSON: Zoning codes required that no utilities were in the basement, so they...

JOYCE: Utilities meaning electrical switching boxes and that sort of thing?

LARSON: Electrical, and gas and, you know, heating, so whatever their utilities they had, had to be built on the second floor.

JOYCE: In between houses you can see wetlands - tall reeds and twisted trees in standing water. Larson says, normally, they slow runoff from rainstorms. But Sandy's 10-foot-high surge here overwhelmed them.

LARSON: Just simply the amount of water that came in and inundated these people's property, so that couldn't be held back by these wetlands.

JOYCE: Larson says wetlands could be useful for future storms, however, if you put them in the right place and make them big enough.

Along a beach for example, wetlands help blunt the energy of incoming waves. But you need more. At this beachfront community, the beach is flat and narrow and it's not much help.

Engineer Franco Montalto from Drexel University says it could be nourished, built up with sand or sediment to create dunes that hold back the water.

FRANCO MONTALTO: And the evidence seems to be that places that had rehabilitated beaches suffered less damage than places that didn't.

JOYCE: For years, the Army Corps of Engineers has built sand dunes along East Coast beaches. Although many got swept away by Sandy, they're relatively cheap to rebuild. It's the kind of defense that Montalto calls green infrastructure. He says the green strategy has multiple benefits.

MONTALTO: You know a beach nourishment project could have value in terms of protecting houses, it could add habitat and it could, sort of, enhance the value of this beach.

JOYCE: New York is seeking about $10 billion just to prepare for the next big storm. Some experts, like Montalto, say you get more bang for your buck with a distributed defense - dunes, wetlands, bigger storm water culverts, even urban parks that slow down the flow of water. They're cheaper and designed to fit the needs of a particular community.

But city officials are also contemplating plans to build huge sea walls across the mouths of the Hudson and East Rivers, for example, and even one from New Jersey to New York. Each would cost $6 billion or more.

Klaus Jacob is a skeptic about sea walls. He's a geoscientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Laboratory in New York.

KLAUS JACOB: The only thing that barriers do is prevent storm surges. Now, that's wonderful. It would have taken care of Sandy and will take care of future storm surges up to a point.

JOYCE: That point being, when sea level rises enough to push a storm surge over the top of the sea wall. Since no one knows how high levels will go, a sea wall could become obsolete in a few decades. Moreover, a sea wall is open most of the time to let traffic through. So as the ocean rises, it will raise the river level too.

JACOB: So now we have barriers. The sea level rise still goes wherever it wants to go.

JOYCE: Jacob isn't against sea walls but he says the city needs to figure out ways to live with higher sea levels and flooding, even if that means abandoning some flood zones. Cynthia Rosenzweig, a climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, says most New Yorkers have reached a tipping point on the subject of climate change.

CYNTHIA ROSENZWEIG: The evidence is indeed piling up, that climate change is no longer something that is happening in future decades, and everyone's eyes are glazing over as the scientists are talking about it.

JOYCE: Rosenzweig co-authored a report that looked at the costs and benefits of preparing the city for climate change. It calculated that $1 of prevention saves $4 in future repairs.

ROSENZWEIG: If we're going to be having this much damage again and again, our whole economy of our region will not be able to survive.

JOYCE: And as former New York Mayor Ed Koch once said, New York City is where the future comes to rehearse. Christopher Joyce, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.