With its gradually sinking, low-lying lands, and development right up to the water’s edge, Boston has long been considered uncommonly vulnerable to rising sea levels.
But that long-term climate forecast became bracingly immediate on Thursday when a powerful winter storm, of a type known to meteorologists as the bomb cyclone, whipped up a record tide that sent waves surging through the streets of downtown Boston.
City officials have begun planning for the worst in recent years, driven by projections that as much as 30 percent of city land could be submerged by the end of the century. Still, many were stunned by the sight of water inundating large swaths of the city’s waterfront Thursday, even as they warned that it could become all too familiar in the years to come.
See also: Climate Boston
- Boston plans for climate change’s promise of more storms. Will it be enough?
- Risk Management Choices: Adaptation Strategies by the Commonwea lth of Massachusetts and the Insurance Industry – Climate Adaptation Forum
- News Wrap: Winter storm blasts the East Coast
- Two cities, two very different responses to rising sea levels