Climate Change in New England: Can We Adjust, and How?

Climate change is here and it's getting worse. So what can we do about it?

Climate change isn't only a problem for future generations. It's here, it’s happening right now and it's everyone's problem.

NBC10 Boston Meteorologist Chris Gloninger is diving deep into the impact of climate change here at home with his weekly reports on the crisis. What does climate change look like for New England? How is it impacting us? And how do we adjust to living with a problem that is getting worse? The damage from the climate change crisis is already happening. As it gets worse, we need to be ready to adjust.

A by-the-numbers look at fossil fuel usage and our changing climate, which is now in crisis, even if it's not immediately obvious.

Three Things You Likely Didn't Know About Climate Change in New England

  • The Northeast has warmed more than any other region in the U.S. when you look at long and short time spans, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Sea level rise is occurring about twice as fast in coastal New England as it is in the world ocean on average, according to climate scientist Sam Miller of Plymouth State University.
  • Climate change can actually result in more snow in New England. A warmer planet evaporates more water and that water ends up in the atmosphere. If there’s more moisture in the atmosphere, storms will have more precipitation. That means downpours in the warm months and more snow in the colder months!

Dark Past of Sustainability and Environmentalism

A professor at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire talks with NBC10 Boston's Chris Gloninger about the dark roots of environmentalism and sustainability so that we don't repeat the past while we fight against climate change.

We tend to think of nature as separate from us.

Abby Goode, Plymouth State University

Closer Look at the Green New Deal with Sen. Ed Markey

The New Deal by President Franklin D. Roosevelt helped the United States recover from the Great Depression. Now, as we are in the midst of a recession, Sen. Ed Markey is co-sponsoring the Green New Deal, which polls show many people don't fully understand. Meteorologist Chris Gloninger sat down virtually with Markey to have him break it down.

There are no emergency rooms for planets and we have to engage in preventative care.

Sen. Ed Markey

Learning from Germany in Their Transition Away from Fossil Fuels

It was once one of Germany's largest coal mines but now the Ruhr Valley is a world heritage site. NBC10 Boston's Chris Gloninger takes a look at how the country is transitioning away from fossil fuel.

Zollverein is just this symbol of successful transition.

Hannah Lohmann, Press and Public Relations for Zeche Zollverein

Cost of Switching to Renewable

The logistics of transitioning to renewable energy include retraining and retooling the fossil fuel industry in order to create thousands of new jobs. NBC10 Boston's Chris Gloninger takes a closer look.

The fossil fuel industry simply needs to be phased out.

Robert Pollin, Economist

National Park Service Climate Research Derailed

Dr. Maria Caffrey, a climate scientist who said she was let go for speaking out after the National Park Service wanted her to remove human causes from her research, talks about how climate change will impact national parks in Massachusetts.

I got an e-mail from a colleague, one of my co-authors to say, hey, while you are out of your office, they're editing your report without your knowledge.

Maria Caffrey, former National Park Service Climate Researcher

The Misinformation Campaign on Climate Change

The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication has been taking the pulse of Americans' opinion on climate change for more than a decade. Senior Research Scientist Anthony Leiserowitz discusses the active and sophisticated disinformation, misinformation campaign involved in climate change politics.

Scientists in the climate community are more confident that climate change is real and human caused than the medical profession is that smoking causes cancer.

Anthony Leiserowitz, director, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication

Local Renewable Energy Giant Develops School Curriculum

One of the ways to slow the impacts of climate change is by switching to renewable energy. One Massachusetts company that’s a giant in the world of renewable energy helped a Wayland school get off the grid and developed a curriculum teaching students about solar energy.

The technology, the way it has evolved we can save 30 to 50 percent.

George Sakellaris, CEO Ameresco

Closing the Climate Gap

This series has discussed how African-Americans are disproportionately affected by climate change. We talked to experts, including Rep. Ayanna Pressley, about how to fix that.

I represent a district that is diverse, vibrant and dynamic, the Massachusetts 7th, it's also one of the most unequal in the country.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Massachusetts 7th

New Flood Maps Using Climate Change Show 6 Million Homes Uninsured

Four inches of rain fell on Norwood, Massachusetts, in 90 minutes, prompting flooding that closed a local hospital. Other towns and cities across Massachusetts may be at greater risk than they thought, as data provided to NBC10 Boston and NECN show.

We have 7% more water vapor that we can cram into the atmosphere.

Ed Kearns, chief data officer at the First Street Foundation

Closing the Climate Gap

Shepherd, a former president of the American Meteorological society explains what we need to do to close the climate gap.

When I was coming up as a child I didn't see any Black, African American atmospheric scientists.

Marshall Shepherd, meteorologist

How Floods Can Discriminate

NBC10 Boston Meteorologist Chris Gloninger discusses how flooding, exacerbated by climate change, disproportionately affects African Americans.

Hurricane Katrina was a catalyst for a lot of this Urban flood hazard, environmental justice based research.

Neil Debbage, professor at the University of Texas San Antonio

African Americans Disproportionately Affected by Urban Heat Islands

Poor neighborhoods with Black majorities are most affected by unbearable overnight heat.

They can't afford to pay electric bills that take up the majority of their small checks.

Adrienne Hollis, Union of Concern Scientists

In Order to Confront Climate Change, We Must Confront Racism

Climate change affects all of us, but the impacts are not the same for everyone.

You can't address Climate Change or COVID-19 until you address racism.

Adrienne Hollis, Union of Concern Scientists

Local Meteorologist Tracks Climate Change While Skiing

Meet Justin Culligan, a meteorologist, mountaineer and backcountry skier who has documented climate change around the world.

That particular year I went, the sea ice melted in April, which was the earliest it had ever been witnessed.

Justin Culligan, meteorologist

Trees: The Carbon Dioxide Sink

Trees are critical in the fight against climate change, filtering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But they're also important for understanding the science of climate change.

That rainfall out of season might look good as an average for the year, but it means different things for different trees and different plants.

Neil Pederson, forest ecologist at the Harvard Forest

Climate Change and the 2020 Election

As we prepare for Super Tuesday, climate change is growing in importance for some voters.

As we prepare for Super Tuesday, climate change is growing in importance for some voters.

Climate Change Is Here and It's Time to Adjust to It, Scientists Say

There are two key concepts when it comes to climate change: mitigation and adaptation. The first is about preventing or reducing the impact of climate change by changing how we live. Scientists say we need to continue to look for ways to mitigate the impact of the climate crisis. But now that it's here, they say it's time to adapt to our new reality. So how do we do that?

Climate change isn't only a problem for future generations. It's here, it's now and it's everyone's problem.

We have started the ball rolling and it’s not going to stop. We have to prepare for the damages at the same time we have to stop the problem, otherwise it will start rolling faster and faster.

Dr. Dan Schrag, Harvard

Can New England Adjust to Rising Sea Levels and How Will That Impact Us?

Flooding is a way of life for some New England communities, and scientists say it’s getting worse because of climate change. Meteorologist Chris Gloninger explains why rising seas are hammering our coast and what, if anything, could be done to protect those who live there.

Obviously, coastal new England is experiencing sea level rise, and it’s occurring about twice as fast in coastal new England as it is in the world ocean on average.

Dr. Sam Miller, Plymouth State University

Climate Change: Separating the Fact From the Fiction

Climate change can make for a heated conversation at holiday dinners. Despite climate change being here right now, it’s still perceived as a polarizing political topic. But worry not, NBC10 Boston Meteorologist Chris Gloninger is here to break down what’s fact and what’s fiction as he clears up false claims.

We are more confident that, if anything, the model projections we’ve been running over the last 20 years are turning out to be, maybe, a little conservative.

Dr. Kerry Emanuel, MIT

Adjusting to Climate Change: Flooding in Revere Is Now the New Norm

For people in Revere, climate change is all too real, bringing floodwaters onto their roads and into some of their living rooms.

We like being on the water, we just don’t like being in the water.

Loretta Lacentra, Revere Homeowner

The Staggering Cost of Climate Change

Two New England nor'easters are among the decade's 115 natural disasters that cost at least $1 billion.

This year, 2019, is on track to have more than 10 of the so-called billion-dollar weather events.

Rachel Cleetus, economist at Union of Concerned Scientists

A Global Effort Needed to Combat Climate Change Experts Say

Some of the world's leading scientists say climate change may threaten the fabric of human civilization, causing human suffering on a massive scale. They say a massive, worldwide effort is needed to prepare.

We have to fix it, we have to transition off fossil fuels and stop emitting greenhouse gases. It's just a question of how bad the situation gets.

Kerry Emanuel, professor of atmospheric science at MIT

Climate Change: How Sea Rise Could Affect Boston's Seaport

The rapidly developing Boston Seaport District could end up underwater due to climate change.

National risk assessment experts have called out Boston and the Seaport for being the city that has put the greatest amount of new development ... exposed to the greatest amount of climate vulnerability.

Michelle Wu, Boston city councilor at large

The Economic Toll of Climate Change on Home Values

Once a house chronically floods, its value drops dramatically, impacting the municipality as well as the homeowner.

People have these homes that no one wants to live in and, maybe in the future, no one can live in because of rising seas.

Joe Aldy, Harvard economics professor

How Climate Change Costs Homeowners Outside Flood Zones

The National Flood Insurance Program is deeply in debt.

The National Flood Insurance Program is deeply in debt. This is a taxpayer-backed program, so we're all on the hook.

Rachel Cleetus, economist at Union of Concerned Scientists

The Pentagon Is Adapting to Climate Change

Climate change is getting so severe it could be a threat for our national security. Meteorologist Chris Gloninger looks at how the Pentagon is adapting to the change.

They cannot evade the impact of climte change on their ability to carry out their job.

Michael Klare, Hampshire College professor emeritus of peace and world security studies

Could Climate Change Derail Boston Public Transit?

About half a million people use public transit regularly in the Boston area, but rising sea levels may stop those commuters in their tracks.

I'm very concerned about our vulnerabilities. We know that the Blue Line is vulnerable, we've seen the Aquarium Station take water, and there's a lot of other low-lying areas that we haven't assessed yet.

State Sen. William Brownburger

How Geo-Engineering Could Slow Down Climate Change

Climate change is here, but can it be slowed down? Some scientists say solar geo-engineering could be a solution.

Solar geoengineering is the idea that humans might deliberately alter the energy balance of the earth.

Dr. David Keith, Harvard University

Coronavirus' Impact on Studying Climate Change

We're dealing with two global emergencies — despite the urgency of coronavirus, we can't wait to act on climate change. Chris Gloninger looks at the impacts COVID-19 is having on our changing climate.

Coronavirus' Lesson for Climate Change

Meteorologist Chris Gloninger speaks with Woods Hole Research Center climate scientist Jennifer Francis about the impacts the coronavirus pandemic is having on climate research.

"We will see extreme weather, no doubt about it. The hurricane is looking very concerning. There are several factors lining up to point to a busy year.

Jennifer Francis, Woods Hole Research Group climate scientist

Rising Water Levels in Coastal New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Seacoast is in the crosshairs of climate change.

What we look at is where the surface water is going to be coming in on top of the pavement structure but also, with sea level rise, there is ground water rise that is happening as well.

Jo Sias, University of New Hampshire professor of civil and environmental engineering

Planning for Flooding on New Hampshire's Coast

Some communities in New Hampshire are preparing for road closures twice a day, every day, because of flooding at high tide.

Do we fortify these further? Do we find areas of road that we may just have to abandon completely?

Tim Roache, Rockingham County Planning Commission executive director

What Ancient Ice Can Teach Us About Our Climate

If scientists know what happened 2 million years ago, they can better understand how our climate may be changing now.

There are a lot of ways in which one can reconstruct past climate.

Paul Mayewski, director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine

How What's Happening Below Ground Affects Climate Change

Soil is important to climate change, both as a place where atmospheric carbon is stored and as something that can be damaged by the more frequent downpours caused by a warming planet.

We store a lot of carbon in farms and forests and even more in soils.

Ivan Fernandez, professor at UMaine's Climate Change Institute & School of Forest Resources

Dams Are Being Put at Increasing Risk Because of Climate Change

A catastrophic dam failure in Michigan raises some questions about dams in Massachusetts, especially since downpours have increased in recent years even more here than there.

We've identified over 2,000 dams that are high-hazard potential that are deficient in this country

Mark Ogden, technical specialist at the Association of State Dam Safety Officials