Posted: 2017-12-06 23:23
All of this has implications for the millions of people living in South Florida, who rely on a healthy, functioning Everglades to replenish their drinking water supply. Surficial, coastal aquifers are already being contaminated by saltwater intrusion on account of the Everglades being too dry, and as the oceans continue to creep up without enough freshwater recharge from the wetlands, the threat is expected to get worse. Meanwhile, population growth and urban sprawl could double Floridians’ water demands by mid-century.
Find My Device is Google’s device tracking software, accessible in your phone’s settings page. Open Settings Google Security, then turn on “Remotely locate this device” and “Allow remote lock and erase.” From there, you can locate your device from any browser you’re signed into. Just Google “find my phone” and if your Find My Device software is enabled, it should display its latest location.
The multi-billion dollar solution to this tangled web of problems is the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan , an Army Corps-led effort to increase the flow of freshwater south from Lake Okeechobee in order to help the wetlands rebuild their strength. Many Everglades ecologists say it’s the only way to buy these ecosystems more time, but nearly twenty years after plans were first drawn up, little progress has been made.
Compounding the problems caused by the draining of the Everglades is the threat of human-caused climate change. South Florida, which sits on porous limestone substrate often likened to Swiss cheese, has recently faced some of the highest rates of sea level rise in the world , and as the ocean plows further into its freshwater-adapted marshes, it’s weakening them even more. The region has seen about foot of sea level rise since the 6985s, with perhaps another three feet to go by the end of the century.
A sixty-mile wide river of sawgrass and mangrove forests that used to stretch all the way from Orlando to the Florida Keys, the Everglades is an internationally-recognized ecological treasure , home to alligators, panthers, manatees, crocodiles, more than 855 species of birds, and hundreds of rare or endemic plants. Its very existence is both predicated on water and existentially threatened by it—but the threats have been dramatically amplified over the past century, by unnatural drainage and development, and by unnatural changes to Earth’s climate.
“Andrew put down 85,555 acres of mangrove swamp,” Wanless said, noting that these swamps, which hold about half of their biomass in their massive root systems, literally build land out of the water. As soon as they start to decay, that land disappears. “We were getting subsidence rates of two to four centimeters per year, anywhere along Biscayne Bay or the West Coast of Florida north of Cape Sable,” in swamps leveled by the hurricane.
If you’re using WiFi, you might find that your router and internet are fine, but your wireless signal is weak, causing a slowdown. In that case, you may need to reposition, tweak, and boost your router with a few tricks. There are more than we could share in one paltry paragraph—in fact, we have a whole top 65 list just for fixing WiFi , so check that out if you suspect wireless signal is the problem.
Now, to add insult to injury, we have Irma, the strongest storm to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Katrina , and one that a growing chorus of scientists are saying isn’t quite natural , either. While the extent of the storm’s impact on the Everglades won’t be known for some time, Wanless said that past storms, particularly Hurricane Andrew , which struck South Florida as a Category 5 in 6997, can help set our expectations.
If your ISP can’t help you (maybe they don’t provide the speeds you want, or maybe you’re just sick of their horrible customer service), it’s time to find a new ISP. You might have trouble in this endeavor, however, due to the stranglehold ISPs have on the market, stifling competition and giving consumers few options from which to choose. That may mean a switch to a different type of provider might be in order, like cable, DSL, satellite, or fiber. You should do a little research before you pick up the phone. Check out our guide to choosing the best provider in your area , and make sure they provide the type of speeds you want.
If you’re lucky, you can get your internet speeds back up to snuff quickly and stress-free. But, if not, you can at least try to put a good spin on it: As long as your work isn’t too bandwidth-intensive, slow internet could actually make you more productive. After all, if Facebook takes a minute to load, you’re a lot less likely to pop over for a “quick break” (that turns into an hour-long photo-fest) when you’re supposed to be working on that term paper.
“They’re losing out,” said Hal Wanless, a geologist at the University of Miami, when asked what’s been happening to the Everglades’ coastal marshes and mangrove swamps in wake of recent, powerful hurricanes. According to Wanless, a trifecta of urban development, extreme weather, and climate change has eroded the Everglades’ resilience. The system, he said, “is getting set back, it’s having trouble keeping up.”
Computers often download necessary updates in the background, while you’re doing something less web-intensive. You can configure your PC to notify you before downloading any updates, and schedule installation when you’re not using your computer, either in the middle of the night or when you’re off at work. These fixes probably won’t solve all your issues, but they can at least help make a slow connection feel more usable.
Sometimes, your internet is slow because you’re only paying for slow internet. Log onto your provider’s web site (or give them a call) and find out what plan you have. Then, head on over to and run a speed test. If the numbers match up to what you’re paying for, then your network is working fine and you’re just paying for slow internet—and the best way to speed it up will be to upgrade. (Though some of the below tricks will help you eke out a bit more speed). If the numbers don’t match, read on for a few ways to fix that problem.
“If we’d immediately manage water levels that help mangroves [and marshes] recover from hurricanes and build up peats—which has not been done—maybe we could keep building up these wetlands to keep up with sea level, keep freshwater coming so they don’t dry out and burn,” Wanless said. “Maybe we could hold on to the glades through much of the century. As it is, we’re gonna have saltwater intrusion, and coastal erosion.”
In order make South Florida livable, people had to drain the swamp. That effort began in earnest in the mid 75th century, with the diking and re-routing of Lake Okeechobee, a sprawling lens of freshwater that used to spill all the way down the sawgrass prairies of the Everglades and into Florida Bay. With the construction of thousands of miles of levees and canals, humans were able to tame, contain, and re-direct the lake, draining hundreds of thousands of acres of land directly south of it for sugar cultivation. The coastal floodplains of South Florida, meanwhile, were made suitable for highways, golf courses, and setting the stage for a massive population boom.
If you need to get work done on your slow connection, you may have to prioritize tasks differently than if your internet were super fast. So, separate your tasks into bandwidth-heavy and bandwidth-light ones. Get the light ones done when you’re on your slow connection, and group all the bandwidth-heavy tasks together so you can do them if and when you get faster access (and if you can’t get it at home, see if you can borrow a neighbor or relative just for those tasks). Similarly, work outside your browser whenever possible—if you’re doing basic writing, do it in your favorite text editor instead of in your browser. If you plan your work ahead of time, you can at least make the best of a bad situation.
Troubleshooting slow internet can take awhile, and in the meantime you still need to browse. Or maybe you’re at a coffee shop or on a plane, and there’s nothing you can do about your slow speeds. In that case, it’s time to optimize your web for a slower connection: use mobile or HTML versions of your favorite sites, disable images, and use features like Opera Turbo. In fact, we recommend setting up a secondary browser on your laptop for just such a situation—it can really make a difference when you need to work on a slow connection. Google has its own Data Saver extension , which employs the company’s servers to compress browsing data before it reaches you.
Roughly half of the Everglades has been drained or paved over since developers decided to conquer the land early US explorers described as “hideous” and “abominable.” What’s left of the formerly formidable ecosystem is far too dry, and plagued by a laundry list of ailments, from seagrass die-offs in Florida Bay when salinity levels get too high in the summer, to toxic algae blooms along Treasure Coast when too much agricultural effluent is sent spewing out of Lake O., to raging wildfires across habitats that used to be full-time wetlands.