Climate Interpreter

Learn. Collaborate. Communicate climate change.

Communicating Ocean Change: Climate May Crank Storms into Overdrive

Along the New England coast—and coasts around the world—people are keenly aware of rising seas. Here at the New England Aquarium, visitors have asked me questions like, “Will my home on Cape Cod still be there in twenty years?” or “When will you have to move the Aquarium because of sea level rise?”

I’m not a scientist, but I do spend much of my time interpreting climate science. I usually try to avoid making specific projections because no scientist has a crystal ball, (even though the climate models are increasingly accurate). There are too many variables regarding the future of sea level rise. However, cities are currently planning for the impacts of sea level rise, as well for as an equally important factor—increased storm surge.

This article, Climate may crank storms into overdrive, may seem at first to be crisis oriented, but it’s really about preparedness and responsible management. (Thanks to Billy Spitzer for sharing it.)

There are some reliable sources for information about what we might expect in terms of sea level rise under certain conditions. The Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report has the most up-to-date information I have seen. The second chapter of the report details the changing climate and its impacts across the state. The sea level rise information begins on page 15.

I also suggest you take a look at the following links: