Climate Change 101

What is the greenhouse effect? Natural Greenhouse Effect The term greenhouse is derived from the glass houses people build to trap heat inside to create a warm environment in which to grow food. The Earth’s atmosphere, much like a greenhouse, traps heat, but in a different way. Gases high in …

What is Sea Level Rise?

As the Earth warms up, the oceans warm up too—very slowly but significantly. Water expands as it warms. As the oceans are heated, the water they contain takes up more volume, causing the level of the seas to rise. The seas also rise when ice sheets and land based glaciers …

Can We Stop Sea Level Rise?

In the short term, no. Because people have been burning fossil fuels since the industrial revolution, CO2 is already in our atmosphere. These gases can remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years before being removed by natural processes. The warming influence of CO2s will go into the next century. Unfortunately …

Hurricanes and Extreme Storms

While hurricanes are a natural part of our climate system, recent research suggests that their destructive power, or intensity, has been growing since the 1970s, particularly in the North Atlantic region. Since the mid-1970s, the number of hurricanes that reach Categories 4 and 5 in strength—the two strongest classifications—has roughly …

Storm Surge

Storm surge created by hurricanes is the biggest risk to life and property during a storm. Storm surge happens along the coastline when hurricane winds or the winds from an extreme storm push water towards the coast. The surge intensity depends on many factors including storm strength, speed, angle of …

Extreme Rainfall

Climate change creates warmer air which is capable of containing more water vapor than cooler air. When this air becomes a storm, it produces more precipitation. Extreme rainfall often leads to extreme flooding. The most extreme climate impacts predicted in Europe are an increased likelihood of extreme rainfall events and …

Frequent Flooding

Climate change and it’s subsequent sea level rise, stronger storms and more extreme storms all add up to more frequent flooding for many coastal cities. This inundation of water creates chronic problems for homes and a city’s infrastructure. So-called “nuisance flooding” has increased in coastal communities, flooding occurs now with …