Kudos to David Abel’s excellent reporting of complex science (“Rising sea level a threat to East,” Page A1, June 25), and to the Globe for recognizing the importance of the story. Boston is experiencing three to four times higher rise in sea level than the global average, a difference that “will continue when seas start to rise” faster as a result of climate change.
As Abel reports, the City of Boston is already taking steps to prepare for sea level rise, but it should be noted that these plans are based on conservative projections, which the US Geological Survey study and other new science call into question.
The draft multi-hazard mitigation plan for metro Boston, for example, assumes an increase of only 23 inches by the end of the century. Current science now projects global rise between about 30 and 75 inches, assuming massive ice shelves in Greenland and Antarctica remain stable. Even in this so-called better case, Boston must assume a far higher local rate than current planning takes into account.
When North Carolina scientists projected a modest local increase of 39 inches, the state Senate passed legislation to outlaw the particular methodology employed. Let’s hope that Massachusetts politicians act more responsibly.