Brace yourselves, Boston. Climate change is coming. As a dense coastal city that knows the power of Mother Nature when it comes to ungodly piles of snow, the gradual warming and moistening of the planet is slated to hit the Hub especially hard.
That’s according to a study produced by the Weather Channel, which lists Boston sixth among a list of cities most likely to feel the impacts of climate change.
“More extreme precipitation events,” the study reads – like, for example, the record-breaking snowfall we experienced, “are expected across Massachusetts and up and down the eastern seaboard – the same areas potentially in trouble from rising sea levels and future storms.”
Authors of the weather media giant’s study used six metrics in making their rankings, among them how catastrophic rising sea levels could be and how vulnerable an area is to “urban heat islands,” or cities that are hotter than rural areas.
Climate scientists Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University, Michael Mann of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center and David Easterling of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information contributed to the rankings.
Ranking above Boston on the list are Kansas City, New York, Las Vegas and Minneapolis.
TWC gave New Orleans the top spot. No surprises there.
So what is Boston doing about this?
The study cites two city initiatives designed to combat climate change: Grow Boston Greener, a city grant-sponsored campaign to plant 100,000 new trees by 2020, and Boston Complete Streets, a program that aims to spur road design that caters to bikers, walkers and public transportation.