The climate crisis has taken root. The United Nations’ latest climate report explains how deep this worldwide problem is embedded.
Another report that was published last month is also alarming. It concerns the future and present conditions of southern New England. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical ReportThe United States will see sea level rise by about a foot over the next three decade, as it did in the entire past century.
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are all hotspots for sea-level rise. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, every inch of sea-level increase results in the loss or deterioration of approximately 100 inches (8.3ft) of beach. Locally, sea levels are already up nearly a foot from the 1930s.
Thirty years is not long in comparison to the hundreds or thousands of years that climate research often refers to. Both February reports include a wealth scientific information that is impossible to ignore.
The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, Climate Change 2022: The Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, describes the planet’s present and future in definitive statements.
“Climate change has already had diverse adverse impacts on human systems, including on water security and food production, health and well-being, and cities, settlements and infrastructure.”
The 3,675-page report can be found at The most detailed look yetThe dangers posed by global climate change. It concluded that nations are not doing enough for cities, coasts, and other infrastructure to be protected from the hazards of climate change.
According to the IPCC report, the dangers of climate crisis are rapidly increasing and could soon overwhelm both nature as well as humanity’s ability to adapt.
Written by 270 researchers from 67 countries, the report is “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership,” according to António Guterres, the United Nations secretary general. “With fact upon fact, this report reveals how people and the planet are getting clobbered by climate change.”
The Multi-agency NOAA reportProvides projections for the year 2150 as well information to assist municipalities with assessing possible changes in average tide levels and threshold frequencies. This is to help them adapt to sea-level rising.
“For businesses along the coast, knowing what to expect and how to plan for the future is critical,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in announcing the NOAA report. “These updated projections will help businesses, and the communities they support, understand risks and make smart investments in the years ahead.”
Raimondo, a former governor of Rhode Island, who pushed for the construction in the woods near Burrillville of a fossil fuel-powered power plant, was the first government official to be quoted in The February 15, press releaseThis was even before the NOAA administrator and the national climate advisor.
One of the most striking results of the NOAA Report is that the sea level along the US coastline is expected to rise between now and 2050 by 10 to 12 inches. This is the same amount of rise that occurred between 2020 and 1920. According to the report, sea-level could rise another 1 to 5 feet by 2100.
NOAA models predict that East Coast residents and workers will experience higher sea levels than the Gulf Coast, with the exception of the Gulf Coast. This is due to a combination of factors like geological forces, shifting tectonic plates, and the spin of Earth.
According to the 111 page report, rising ocean waters will cause more frequent and more severe floods. The major shift in coastal flood patterns will occur by 2050 as a result of the increasing tide and storm surge heights. It will be necessary to relocate buildings, homes, roads and other critical infrastructure to higher ground.
The report states that moderate flooding will be more common in the next 30 years than it is now. Major flooding events, described as “destructive,” will occur about five times more frequently.
Salt water will more frequently infiltrate groundwater, freshwater bodies, and cause damage to private septic systems. Coastal wetlands could be destroyed, removing natural storm buffers and destroying wildlife habitat.