It’s time to start talking about ways to protect entire neighborhoods from rising seas, Abbott said. Actually, she said, Thursday’s storm showed it’s well past time.If I had a dollar for every time I've seen somebody comment that 100-year floods are occurring much more frequently, and that they will have to be recalculated, I wouldn't have to go to work tomorrow. As it is, it is very obvious that climate change deniers are endangering everyone when they prevent planning for future flooding and other storm damage.
“We keep talking like this is something that’s coming in 30 years,” she said. “The reality is it has been coming for a while now.”
And experts expect it will become more common, with sea levels in the region projected to rise between 3 and 7 feet by the end of the century. A city report in 2015 found that rising sea levels could make major flooding three times more frequent by 2030 and 10 times more common by 2050.
Both Walsh and Jack Clarke, director of public policy at Mass Audubon, said Thursday’s storm is a wake-up call.
“The reality of climate change makes storms like this the new normal,” Clarke said.
Indeed it was so intense that flooding exceeded what scientists typically call a 100-year storm, meaning one like it only comes once a century.
Climate change, though, is fast upending those calculations.
“This flood level will occur a lot more frequently in the future,” said Paul Kirshen, a professor in the School for the Environment at the University of Massachusetts Boston who studies coastal flooding and sea rise. “It’s possible that at the end of this century we could be seeing these kinds of tides with every tide.”
Thursday, January 4, 2018