Learning about our Earth's future

Coursera - Our Earth’s Future

by American Museum of Natural History


As a person who had lived her entire life in a landlocked country, the oceans remains always a mysterium and adventure, something like Moon - or in the 21. century more like Mars.

It does not mean that I never saw any of the oceans. I was standing a few times at the Irish and Scottish parts of the Atlantic and visited the Portugal and Marocco parts. Also had visited the Japan Pacific.

I think I had images about the coastal areas, the rocky, the sandy, the high, and the low parts. I had a vision about these oceans from above, from the plane flying to Toronto, Mexico City, or Tokyo.

I read loads of books about stories on the oceans, also had seen films about the deep-down areas. I had information about climate change and the rising sea levels.

I know about the historic times when the water surface was the connecting road instead of deciding the dwelling areas. When the hills, deep valleys, meadows, and forests were the dividing obstacles, creating unreachable human habitats. In some Scandinavian countries, we can see the special waterfront usage of the cities, and the temporary winter roads on the sick ice, as they have it in Lulea, Sweden. So I have seen different examples about the water and ice connected parts of settlements. I was very excited when we visited Xochimilco floating gardens in Mexico City, where the water surface connected the agricultural patches of the small farms.

I was always aware that my knowledge is weak and shallow, so I decided to have a deeper look at this topic. I find Coursera a good source for this. It has scientifically based videos, presentations, loads of interesting data, and other pieces of information. One of the most interesting parts of the course was how climate change affected the design of the cities in the coastal areas and New York City’s experience with Hurricane Sandy. The new planning rules will help the city to adapt.

I am very sure that in Europe - where half of the population is living within 50 km from waterfronts - this type of new planning rules must be implemented very soon even in those cities where the climate changes look like less tragic now.



Written on April 2, 2021