Is Boston threatened by climate change?

Climate Ready Boston is our initiative to prepare the city for the long-term impacts of climate change. Boston residents are already affected by extreme heat, rain, snow and flooding. Climate Ready Boston is an ongoing initiative. Boston faces climate change threats both from rising sea levels and flooding during major rain storms.

These problems are complicated and will have a profound effect on residents and much of the regional economy. For residents of Boston and its constituent neighborhoods, its proximity to the Charles River, Boston Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean has long been a plus. Climate change causes more annoying flooding in Massachusetts. That's why Joe Moakley Park, a 60-acre area in south Boston across the street from a beach, is important, Cook said.

BOSTON Famous for its role in the American War of Independence, this city is now battling sea level rise. And as climate change accelerates, Boston's rate of sea level rise is expected to triple, adding eight inches above 2000 levels by 2030, according to a report commissioned by the city. As much as any other coastal city in the country, Boston faces this existential threat by taking steps now to contain the problem at a relatively affordable price and in the short term. Ayed believes that the city is increasingly prioritizing strengthening Boston's capacity to resist flooding and expand the affordable housing stock, but that more needs to be done.

But climate change is increasing the size and intensity of precipitation, which by 2100 could drop up to 6.65 inches in the city in a 24-hour period. In Boston, research shows that these higher sea levels mean that some lower parts of the city could experience at least 43 flooding events in the next decade. For readers who are already feeling the impacts of climate change in their backyards, actions like that can't come soon enough. The Boston Water and Sewer Commission designs storm sewers to cope with up to 4.8 inches of rain in 24 hours.

But some experts pointed out that the University could simply stay ahead of rising sea waters by taking swift and decisive action on climate change. In Boston, heavy rain fell on the city, causing severe flooding that closed the Massachusetts tollway and parts of the Orange Line. Extreme weather events in the past month have drawn increased attention to the ways climate change is felt both locally and globally. Declining availability of affordable housing in the area is also a factor during the pandemic and the recession it has caused, Boston's affordable housing waiting lists have become longer.

They are among the people in the area who do not feel ready to deal with the consequences of climate change.

Bryant Delosier
Bryant Delosier

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