CT - Climate change arrives in Connecticut, imperiling coastal towns like Groton

Climate change has already arrived in Connecticut, as shown this summer by scorching temperatures and punishing storms. In the coming decades, its effects will only accelerate.

Along the banks of the Mystic River in Groton, Zell Steever points to landmarks he doesn’t expect to survive climate change.

A row of buildings across the water. A gleaming new structure at the end of Gravel Street. Handsome clapboard houses with wide lawns, many dating back to the mid-19th century. All are in danger, says Steever, a white-bearded environmentalist who chairs Groton’s resilience and sustainability task force.

Around the corner, West Main Street bustles with New England charm. Visitors step into boutique clothing stores, shop for books and eat doughnuts in the September sun.

“Oh, by the way,” Steever says, gesturing widely, “this will all be underwater.”

Climate change has already arrived in Connecticut, as demonstrated this summer by scorching temperatures and punishing storms. In the coming decades, its effects will only accelerate.

While the entire state will face increasing impacts of climate change, seaside communities like Groton will feel them most acutely and immediately. As greenhouse gas emissions continue to warm the planet, storms will become more frequent and more intense. Property will be damaged and people displaced. In many cases, the consequences will be particularly severe for vulnerable groups, including the poor and the elderly.

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