New Website Helps People Learn About And Plan For Climate Change

Feb 24, 2014

A team at the University of Rhode Island has launched a website about climate change and its impacts to our state. The website, Rhode Island's Climate Change: Waves of Change, is designed for a range of people: from high school students to parents to business people.

University of Rhode Island

Judith Swift, director of URI's Coastal Institute and professor of communication studies, co-leads the Climate Change Collaborative Team that created the website. Swift said the goal is to build on what people already know about climate change science. She said the website lays out the science behind global warming in bite size pieces.

"What we don't want is for the public to read this and wind up saying, 'This is above me. I didn't do well in science, so I can’t understand this.' We're saying, 'Yeah, you can understand it. And once you understand this, you can understand more if you want to, but you don't have to.'"  

Once people get the science down, Swift hopes people will start to adapt to climate change. Damaging super storms like Sandy and record rains and floods like the ones of 2010 are going to be more common, said Swift.

A dedicated section of the website helps people plan for two major climate change-related threats to Rhode Island: rising sea levels and more frequent damaging storms.

"They have to know that there are things that they can do to make themselves and their loves ones more secure and to also ensure that their financial situation will be secure in the face of such things," said Swift.​

Swift said planning in advance for climate change threats may include keeping enough prescription medications on hand if you have a chronic illness, or knowing when it’s time to move your home away from the coast.

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