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Ellen Douglas MAS 2018


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Presentation for 2018 Massachusetts Sustainable Communities and Campuses Conference in Plymouth, MA

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Ellen Douglas MAS 2018

  1. 1. Climate Change Adaptation Planning in Boston Ellen M. Douglas, PE, PhD Associate Professor, School for the Environment University of Massachusetts Boston
  2. 2. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5, 9/27/13) finds that: • it is “unequivocal” that Earth’s climate is warming. • Since the 1950’s, it is “extremely likely” that human emission have been the dominant cause of the rise in global temperature. Source: IPCC Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis—Summary for Policymakers. Climate change is happening and humans are the predominant cause.
  3. 3. 20th century contributors to GMSL rise IPCC AR5 2013 Thermal expansion of ocean water and glacier melt has been the biggest contributor to GMSL. 0.9 ± 0.4 mm/yr Antarctica: 0.3 ± 0.1 mm/yr Greenland: 0.3 ± 0.1 mm/yr 1.1 ± 0.3 mm/yr 0.4 ± 0.1 mm/yr Impoundment & groundwater
  4. 4. Potential 21st century contributors to GMSL rise IPCC AR5 2013 Ice sheet melt and the ice-sheet “finger print is potentially the biggest contributor in 21st C. 0.6 m ~60 m Greenland: 7m West Antarctic Ice Sheet: 5m East Antarctic Ice Sheet: 52m
  5. 5. Sea-level rise in New England is not (and will not) be the same as GMSL rise  Mass redistribution (elastic gravitational and rotational effects)
  6. 6. ICE SHEET “FINGERPRINT’ A DC B Figure 1-1. Fingerprints of spatially variable sea-level rise arising from melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (A), the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (B), the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (C) and alpine glaciers and ice caps (D). The location of Boston is shown with a star. Shading represents the meters (arbitrary units) of sea-level rise that would occur if each of these land-based ice reservoirs were to contribute a meter of equivalent GMSL rise. (DeConto et al., 2016: Chapter 1 in BRAG report)
  7. 7. Coastal Flooding and Environmental Justice: Identifying Vulnerable Communities and Feasible Adaptation Strategies for the Boston Metro Area Ellen Douglas1, Paul Kirshen2, Chris Watson1, Jack Wiggin1, Michael Paolisso3, Ashley Enrici3 1University of Massachusetts, Boston 2Battelle 3University of Maryland, College Park
  8. 8. East Boston Adaptation  Protection: “hard”(sea walls) or “soft” (beach/dune) measures  combination of the two most likely. Lots of constraints (ie., DPA, densely urbanized).  Accommodation: “floodproofing” of homes and buildings  residents can’t afford this on their own; many are residents are rentors, not property owners.  Temporary evacuation:  Current plan inadequate, facilities flooded, tunnel access, no place to go.  Retreat:  Absolutely not an option for East Bostonians
  9. 9. 10 Climate Change Adaptation in East Boston; Workshop I, Understanding the Issues Paul Kirshen, NOAH and others May 13, 2014 Objective: Exchange of the values and points of view of neighborhood and agency stakeholders in creating an East Boston that is resilient to the present and future impacts of sea level rise, coastal storms, and extreme precipitation.
  10. 10. Neighborhood Delegate Groups: • Orient Heights/Star of the Sea • Eagle Hill and Central Square • Maverick Landing and Jeffries Point Implementation Agency Groups: 11 What is Important to Protect?
  11. 11. Regional Solution for 2100 1N, 4N, 4S 12 Flood Wall Temporary Road Barrier Landscaped berm
  12. 12. Innovative Barriers 13
  13. 13. Building Floodproofing 14
  14. 14. 15
  15. 15. 16 ClimateCARE 2016- 2018
  16. 16. Ellen Douglas, PE, PhD Paul Kirshen, PhD Rebecca Herst, PhD Avery Palardy Robyn Hannigan, PhD, Dean School for the Environment, UMass Boston CLIMATE READY BOSTON Results from Boston Research Advisory Group (BRAG)
  17. 17. Sea Level Rise Coastal Storms Extreme Precipitation Extreme Temperatures CLIMATE RISK FACTORS
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  20. 20. VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT Best available science (models) by hazard Emissions scenarios Climate projections Vulnerability assessment RCP 2.6, 4.5, 8.5 SRES B1, A1Fi
  21. 21. CRB Pilot Projects
  22. 22. MassDOT-FHWA Pilot Project: Climate Change and Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Options for the Central Artery/Tunnel System Boston, Massachusetts
  23. 23. 25 Boston Harbor & Tip O’Neill Tunnel Exit/Entrance Ramps
  24. 24. | Leading the Nation in Transportation Excellence | 26 Tip O’Neill Tunnel Exit & Entrance Ramps
  25. 25. | Leading the Nation in Transportation Excellence | 27 Vent Building 1 – Detail of Air Exchange Vent
  26. 26. Why existing maps are not good enough
  27. 27. Storm Climatology Tropical Storms  Data set provided by WindRiskTech (Emanuel, et al., 2006)  Select storms used to develop a surface response function  Increased storm intensities for 21st century based on climate models Extra-Tropical Storms  Data set developed by examining Boston tidal residual water levels  Re-analysis data used to feed a balanced wind model • A Large Statistically robust set of storms. • No need to determine joint probabilities. Causes of flooding
  28. 28. Hydrodynamic modeling
  29. 29. Flood exceedance probabilities
  30. 30. Winter Storm Grayson / East Squantum St. (Quincy) Courtesy of Kirk Bosma, Woods Hole Group, East Falmouth, MA
  31. 31. Winter Storm Grayson / Morrissey Blvd. (Boston) Courtesy of Kirk Bosma, Woods Hole Group, East Falmouth, MA
  32. 32. Winter Storm Grayson / Neponset Circle (Boston) Courtesy of Kirk Bosma, Woods Hole Group, East Falmouth, MA
  33. 33. Winter Storm Grayson / Revere St. (Winthrop) Courtesy of Kirk Bosma, Woods Hole Group, East Falmouth, MA
  34. 34. QUESTIONS?