“Climate Ready?” or Climate Surprise?
Boston has developed one of the best plans for climate change of any city in America called “Climate Ready Boston.” The main problem is that while there are many stages yet to go in trying to implement the plans proposed in the official “Climate Ready Boston” documents, the pace of sea-level rise is occurring faster than anticipated. From January through March of 2018 the city experienced flooding in some of its harbor side locations in a series of Nor’easters that generated storm surges and record tides in Boston Harbor.
Although its plans are impressive, the pace of change in the global climate and the ensuing rise in sea-level may well exceed the city’s capacity to implement its laboriously developed and well worked out plans. In this sense, the city may be “climate ready” in principle, but it can still be caught by surprise — perhaps even more so in the future as severe weather increases in magnitude and frequency and sea-level proceeds to rise at faster rates than anticipated.