Sea level rise in Boston, projected to the year 2100. Graphic: Climate Ready Boston

By David Abel
22 June 2016

(Boston Globe) – The consequences of climate change on Boston are expected to be far more calamitous than previous studies have suggested, a new report commissioned by the city says.

In the worst-case scenario, sea levels could rise more than 10 feet by the end of the century — nearly twice what was previously predicted — plunging about 30 percent of Boston under water. Temperatures in 2070 could exceed 90 degrees for 90 days a year, compared with an average of 11 days now.

And changes in precipitation could mean a 50 percent decline in annual snowfall, punctuated by more frequent heavy storms such as nor’easters.

The report [pdf], by scientists from the University of Massachusetts and other local universities, has raised concerns in City Hall just two weeks after Mayor Martin J. Walsh attended a climate summit in Beijing.

Projected flooding in Boston in the decades 2070-2100 under three feet of sea level rise. Graphic: Boston Globe

“The updated climate projections confirm that we must work together to take bold approaches to prepare Boston for the impacts of climate change,” Walsh said in a statement.

The report, he said, is part of the city’s effort to assess its vulnerability and to seek solutions. Next year, Boston will host the same climate conference that Walsh attended, with leaders from some 60 US and Chinese cities.

“We take climate change seriously, because we take the health and resilience of our city seriously,” Walsh said. “We will continue to focus on using the best data to inform decisions and understand future investments.” [more]

Climate change could be even worse for Boston than previously thought

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