The size and scope of climate change is mind bogging. While its impact is already being felt locally and globally, our warming planet is expected to inflict vastly greater damage on the built and natural environment for decades and centuries to come. Its impact on human health, farming and the economy is projected to cost trillions of dollars annually.
PROVIDENCE — Just a few years ago, the upper estimate for sea-level rise was 3 feet. More recently, it was 6.6 feet. But a recent assessment by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projects sea-level rise to increase in Rhode Island by 9 feet, 10 inches by 2100.
Last year was the hottest on record for the planet, the third straight year of higher temperatures. It also was one of the warmest in southern New England history.
With 400-plus miles of coastline, Rhode Island features a marvelous collection of beautiful bluffs, popular beaches, favorite fishing holes and scenic waterfronts. The state’s coastal landscape also includes often-overlooked salt marshes, without which Rhode Island’s nickname would be much less tourism friendly.
PROVIDENCE — The final draft of the report recognizes progress on mitigating greenhouse gases, but mostly concludes that Rhode Island must make drastic changes to its energy and transportation sectors to meet long-term emission reductions.
A plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to pay for and elevate buildings along 28 miles of Rhode Island’s southern coast is being challenged by one of the state’s largest environmental groups.
PROVIDENCE — Before Donald Trump jolted the environmental movement Nov. 8, Ken Payne and J. Timmons Roberts were already looking to inject urgency into Rhode Island’s climate-change and renewable-energy efforts.
Homes and business across the southern shore of Rhode Island will likely be offered money to elevate their houses and buildings to protect against sea-level rise and flooding from coastal storms.
PROVIDENCE — It turns out that an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions is easier said than done. A preliminary study commissioned by the Rhode Island Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council concludes that even with the near elimination of fossil fuels to generate electricity, heat homes and power cars, Rhode Island will only be able to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions 62 percent by 2050.
With large portions of Massachusetts continuing to experience rainfall amounts remaining below average for a seventh straight month, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton has declared a drought warning for the Connecticut River Valley, Central, Northeast and Southeast Massachusetts.
KINGSTON, R.I. — A team of researchers from the University of Rhode Island is recommending that state and federal officials rethink the regulations for the installation and management of home septic systems, especially in coastal zones, in light of research they conducted that demonstrated that warming temperatures and rising sea levels will reduce the effectiveness of conventional septic systems.
The state of Massachusetts recently awarded nearly $2 million in funding to support local efforts to prepare for and reduce the impacts from coastal storms and climate change, including storm surge, flooding, erosion and sea-level rise.
WEST HAVEN, Conn. — Four characters feature in this small-scale environmental drama with its happy ending: the city of West Haven, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the West Haven Watershed Restoration Committee, and nature.
The commission's work focused on the threats to $3.8 billion worth of flood-exposed property across Rhode Island. It looked at impacts to homes, businesses, historic buildings, and the fishing industry in Providence, Newport and Westerly.