Daily Archives: January 9, 2018

Climate One at 10 Years

Louisiana Teacher ARRESTED At Meeting For Asking Why School Board Got Raises But Not Teachers

January 12, 2018 – Risk Management Choices: Adaptation Strategies by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Insurance Industry – Climate Adaptation Forum

Registration: 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Includes continental breakfast.

Forum: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Includes networking break.


Email: ebc@ebcne.org Phone: 617-505-1818

Climate Adaptation Forum Overview

Adaptation to climate change has emerged as an essential and permanent topic for professional, academic, government and public discussion.

Civil engineers, architects, building owners, real estate investors, insurers, planners, environmental regulators, transportation providers, emergency responders, public health providers, and many others are grappling with how to incorporate the evident need for adaptation and resilience into much of what they do. Academia is also deepening its involvement with this most important and fascinating set of public policy issues.

The growing body of experience and expertise in adaptation is not widely appreciated either within or across the traditional silos that define professions, disciplines and practices. At the same time, there is no regular, ongoing opportunity for adaptation professionals from various fields to meet in Boston to cross-pollinate ideas and share solutions to common problems.

The Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) and the Sustainable Solutions Lab at the University of Massachusetts Boston have collaborated to establish a quarterly series of half-day Climate Adaptation Forums that will provide cutting-edge thought leadership on adaptation to climate change for environmental and energy professionals, policy makers, municipal officials, NGOs, and practitioners.

These quarterly forums will address everything from infrastructure and design solutions to communication challenges and barriers to implementation to policy solutions to the nexus of climate and equity. Local, national and global speakers will represent forward-thinking institutions, global firms, academia, government and other high level practitioners. Join the ever-growing group of professionals working to address the challenge of climate change adaptation and resiliency at the quarterly forums.


Welcome: David W. Cash, Dean, John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston

Program Introduction & Overview: Daniel K. Moon, President & Executive Director, Environmental Business Council of New England, Inc.


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Climate Adaptation Forum Steering Committee

Complete Forum Website (with links to talks and presentations)

Link to the Final Agenda

YouTube Channel

Photos from 12 January Meeting

Links to presentation materials:

Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Report from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Matthew Beaton, Secretary
Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Katie Theoharides, Assistant Secretary of Climate Change
Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Click to View the Presentation – Theoharides – January 12 2018

Resilience in Massachusetts Emergency Management
Thad J. Leugemors, PMP, Mitigation and Recovery Section Chief
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Click to View the Presentation – Leugemors – January 12 2018

Moving from Science to Action: UMass’ role in MA Climate Adaptation Efforts
Richard Palmer, Ph.D., University Director
Northeast Climate Science Center
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Click to View the Presentation – Palmer – January 12 2018

Modeling the Vulnerability of Transportation Infrastructure to Coastal Flooding Along the Massachusetts Coastline: The good, the bad, and the wicked difficult
Ellen Douglas, P.E., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Hydrology
School for the Environment
University of Massachusetts Boston
Click to View the Presentation – Douglas – January 12 2018

Natural Hazards Resiliency – An Insurer’s Perspective
Brion Callori, Senior Vice President
Engineering and Research
FM Global
Click to View the Presentation – Callori – January 12 2018



In New York, Drawing Flood Maps Is a ‘Game of Inches’ – The New York Times

The Edgewater Park community in the Bronx has had among the most flood insurance claims in New York City in recent years. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times

As FEMA revises the maps to account for climate change, deciding who is in the flood zone will be a battle with millions of dollars at stake.

By DAVID W. CHEN  JAN. 7, 2018

With its 520 miles of coastline and thousands of acres of waterfront development, New York has more residents living in high-risk flood zones than any other city in the country. Hurricane Sandy, the devastating October 2012 storm, did $19 billion in damage to the city, and the pace of development along the water has only increased.

Now, after a year in which hurricanes ravaged Houston and the Caribbean, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is substantially redrawing New York’s flood maps for the first time in three decades. It is a painstaking process that will affect tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people, determining how and where buildings can be constructed and the cost of flood insurance on everything from modest bungalows to luxury skyscrapers.

New York will be the first major metropolis to be remapped taking into account the realities of climate change, like rising sea levels and increasingly powerful storms.

The new models, for coastal areas stretching from Cape May to the Hudson Valley, will be used to shape the city’s future zoning, development and building standards to help it become more sustainable. As a result, FEMA and city officials say, New York could be an example for other places around the country.

But the maps will also be shaped by the history of New York, where 80 percent of properties were built before the current flood maps and requirements were in place, as opposed to 20 percent nationally, noted J. Andrew Martin, acting chief of FEMA’s risk analysis branch in New York. If those older buildings end up in high-risk zones, their owners could be required to buy flood insurance or make expensive modifications, adding costs that are beyond the reach of many working-class homeowners.

…(read more).

These Billion-Dollar Natural Disasters Set a U.S. Record in 2017 – The New York Times


The remains of a house in Perryville, Mo., after a tornado.CreditJon Durr/Getty Images

By Kendra Pierre-Louis   Jan. 8, 2018

Extreme weather events caused a total of $306 billion in damage in the United States last year, making 2017 the most expensive year on record for natural disasters in the country, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday.

A trio of major hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria, contributed hundreds of billions to the total. But the year was seemingly mired in disaster, from a freeze in the Southeast that damaged fruit crops in March, to hail storms that whipped across Colorado, Oklahoma and other central states in May, to the tornadoes that struck the Midwest in June.

Unusual consequences of extreme weather could be found all over the map. Thirteen cows died in a field in Pennington County, S.D., after ingesting anthrax spores from the soil; they had changed their grazing patterns during a drought that lasted much of the year in South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana. The cows’ demise was a small part of the $2.5 billion of damage that struck the three states.

In all, there were 16 natural disasters that caused more than $1 billion of damage in 2017. In 1980, when NOAA first started tallying records, there were only three such disasters, adjusted for inflation. This year’s $306 billion in damage broke a record set in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina contributed to a total of $215 billion in damage, also adjusted for inflation.

… (read more).

Most expensive year on record for US natural disasters – BBC News

By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent

  • 8 January 2018

The US experienced a record year of losses from fires, hurricanes and other weather related disasters in 2017, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).

Total losses amounted to $306bn the agency said, over $90bn more than the previous record set in 2005.

Last year saw 16 separate events with losses exceeding $1bn, including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Noaa confirmed that 2017 was the third warmest year on record for the US.

Last year witnessed two Category 4 hurricanes make landfall in the States.

Hurricane Harvey produced major flooding as a result of a storm surge and extreme rain. Nearly 800,000 people needed help. Researchers have already shown that climate change increased the likelihood of the observed rainfall by a factor of at least 3.5.

…(read more).