Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Global warming prognosis not rosy for New England if left alone

Bill Cummings in the Stamford Advocate (Connecticut): It's near the turn of the 22nd century, and much of coastal Fairfield is underwater, leaving the town's once-bustling beaches a distant memory, along with roads and homes. Along the Connecticut shoreline, it's a similar scenario as the rising waters of Long Island Sound cover marshlands and low-lying areas, threatening homes, transportation arteries and sewage treatment plants. ….All of those predictions represent worst-case outcomes as the climate in Connecticut and New England slowly changes over the coming decades.

…A new strategy gaining popularity sounds simple: Adapt to the coming changes. But that means moving bridges, rails and roads, changing building codes, building higher structures along the shoreline, and moving sewage treatment plants and other facilities.

…A report on infrastructure calculates that unchecked climate change will bring $18.7 billion in damage to residential property and businesses. Everything as diverse as electrical transmission lines and airports and the state's water supply would be affected, the report concludes.

The report cites public acceptance, water usage, politics and economics, such as the high cost of relocation, as key barriers to adaptation….

Bridge superstructure of the bridge that carries Riverside Avenue over the Metro-North Railroad tracks next to the Riverside in the Riverside section of Greenwich, Connecticut. Shot by Noroton

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