Will Boston be underwater?

In Boston, sea levels are projected to rise to nearly 16 inches by 2050, according to NOAA. Experts believe that if immediate action were taken to combat climate change, global sea levels would likely rise by at least 1 foot by 2100. It is tempting to seek miraculous solutions that will take care of the entire city, such as a giant storm surge barrier that runs through Boston Harbor. Almost a third of Boston is made up of full tidal zones, and when a site is left alone for a while, the sea begins to recover it.

As sea levels rise, a model of Boston Harbor shows the vulnerability of Massachusetts's largest city in the event of a storm surge. The final three designs, each focusing on a different type of site (a building, a neighborhood, and a portion of the city's infrastructure), show viewers the creative breadth that is already informing how Boston will prepare for a higher sea level in 2100. BOSTON General Electric may be the last big name to build on the Boston coast, but the corporate titan is one of many investors investing money in land threatened by climate change. Douglas of UMass Boston and the Boston Harbor Association to create a simple interactive tool that exposes the risk of port flooding in different scenarios of sea level rise.

The Fort Point Canal Dam, near the medical campus, is the weak link in the protection of the city of Boston. Water in that runoff tends to accumulate pollutants and bacteria that can damage the water quality of nearby ecosystems, such as the Charles River and, ultimately, Boston Harbor. Krieger said that a more radical approach to protecting Boston would be to connect the islands and estuaries that dot Boston Harbor on a roadway. 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.

As temperatures are projected to rise, polar ice to melt, and oceans to swell in the coming decades, Boston is likely to suffer a disproportionate impact from rising sea levels, government scientists recently reported. In this piece, Worley visualizes Boston's topography and population density together in a simple static graph. Geological Survey and Esri teamed up to create an interactive map that allows the user to overlay historical maps of Boston from 1893 to 1989 on a current map of the city.

Bryant Delosier
Bryant Delosier

Proud zombie buff. Wannabe pop culture specialist. Wannabe internet expert. Devoted bacon expert. Lifelong food enthusiast.