Climate Change in New England: What’s Next?
Global climate models all predict that the Northeastern United States may be particularly vulnerable to both short- and long-term effects of global warming. Some of these effects—such as higher average temperature and sea level, along with more intense and more frequent storms and droughts—are already being felt in the New England area. As we learned from Hurricane Irene, Superstorm Sandy and winter storm Nemo, isolated weather extremes riding on gradual trends can be extraordinarily damaging. A 2011 report by the American Security Project estimated that failure to mitigate or plan for what is likely to become the new normal could result in the loss of 100,000 jobs and $22 billion from the regional economy between 2010 and 2050.
While coarse global models can indicate the overall direction of change, much more detailed regional climate, economic and land-use models are needed to assess how global warming will affect New England, county by county, in the 21st century—and to create prudent and effective policies and plans for dealing with the coming changes.
A distinguished panel shares their thoughts on how New England should respond to climate change projections.
Senator Chris Murphy, United States Senator for Connecticut Katie Scharf Dykes, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection Marion McFadden, Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, US Department of HUD Kerry Emanuel, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT Alexander Felson, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Urban Ecology & Design Lab Ronald Smith, Dept. of Geology & Geophysics and Center for Earth Observation, Yale University
MODERATOR: Anthony Leiserowitz, Director, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication