News Analysis

Warm Globally, Flood Locally: Water Crises Loom for U.S. Cities

A statistician can have his head in an oven and his feet on ice and say that on average he feels just fine, the old chestnut tells us. Similarly, when we hear about climate change in terms of a 2°C temperature change or a one-meter sea-level rise, that might also sound just fine. Local conditions may give us greater fluctuations in daily temperatures and tides, as they always have. “Thirsty for Answers: Preparing for the Water-Related Impacts of Climate Change in American Cities,” a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), attempts to bring the catastrophic local implications of global warming—in the form of heat waves, floods, storms, and droughts—home for millions of people living in U.S. cities.

Published August 26, 2011