Climate Indicators in Boston

Climate change is a global phenomenon, but its causes and its consequences can be observed locally in Boston.

  • Projected Sea Level Rise with emissions scenarios

    Sea-level rise projections for Boston

    Recent data suggest that the rate of sea-level rise is increasing. Projections of sea-level rise for Boston range from 2 feet to as much as 6 feet by the end of the century, depending on how fast ice in Greenland and Antarctica melt.

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  • Graph of CO2 Concentrations at Boston University (200)

    Carbon Dioxide in Allston

    On the roof of one of the science buildings at Boston University, scientific instruments have been measuring the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air eight times per second since 2007.

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  • Blue Hill Observatory Annual Temperature

    Temperature in the Blue Hills

    The Blue Hills Meteorological Observatory in Milton, one of the oldest weather stations in the United States, has been collecting weather data since 1884.

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  • May temperatures at Harvard Forest, BU and Worcester

    The Urban Heat-Island Effect

    Recent temperature data from Boston, Worcester, and Harvard Forest (located in Petersham, MA) show differences that reflect the urban heat-island effect, the difference between coastal and non-coastal locations, and small-scale variability of weather patterns in New England.

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  • Arnold Arboretum flowering times by year

    Flowering Times in Arnold Arboretum

    Warmer temperatures, especially in the spring, cause many plants to flower earlier in the year. In 2003, scientists at Boston University and the Arnold Arboretum carefully observed the flowering times of 229 individual plants in the Arnold Arboretum.

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Acknowledgments: Climate Indicators

The City of Boston received scientific guidance for these pages from Dr. Lucy Hutyra, Department of Geography & Environment, Boston University

Additional material and assistance was provide courtesy of: Dr. Richard Primack, Biology Department, Boston University; Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia Universy; Dr. Xiaoyang Zhang, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Brittain Briber, Dept. of Geography & Environment, Boston University; Michael J. Iacono, Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory