Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Coastal Watertown?

The always informative folks at Blue Mass Group have a link to a new global warming report commissioned by the EPA, and focused on the impact of climate change in the Greater Boston area. They predict $94 billion dollars in coastal flooding damage here, including emergency services but excluding residual costs like higher cooling bills due to hotter temperatures, lost time due to road and transit flooding, and the obvious cost in human lives.

On the plus side, I have to imagine my house price can only improve in newly coastal Watertown. When you only have less than 1/12th of an acre of land, you've got to wring as much value out of the property as you can.

Seriously, though check out their list of Major Impacts.

Higher sea levels of just 12 inches or more could give a typical 10-year storm the intensity of the present 100-year storm; similarly, a 100-year storm would hit with the intensity of the present 500-year storm
During and immediately after extreme weather events, motorists could spend an estimated 80% more hours on the road due to traffic delays; likewise, 82% more trips could be cancelled because of road flooding.
Even without taking coastal flooding into account, the increase in storm intensity due to climate change will be really serious for everybody. If you don't think road flooding is a problem now, just wait -- in a decade or so we'll all need hovercrafts just to get down Storrow Drive.

On second thought... Hovercrafts are pretty cool. Do they still make that hairspray with the CFCs? Let's make this happen, people!