CLIMATE CHANGE

There's more rain falling on some parts of the U.S. than there used to be, and many towns just aren't ready for the flooding that follows.

Ellicott City, Md., is one such community. Nestled in a valley west of Baltimore, the town was founded in 1772, and some Revolutionary War-era buildings still house businesses along the narrow main street in historic downtown. It also sits at the confluence of three streams.

Hurricanes are moving more slowly over both land and water, and that's bad news for communities in their path.

In the past 70 years, tropical cyclones around the world have slowed down 10 percent, and in some regions of the world, the change has been even more significant, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

That means storms are spending more time hanging out, battering buildings with wind and dropping more rain.

Public health officials are urging use of bug repellent this season as cases of tick and mosquito-borne disease are on the rise.

The insects have been expanding their range across the U.S., including here in the Northeast, and a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a significant increase in reported infections.

The irony was hard to miss.

The Aquarium MBTA station was closed due to flooding, and the aquarium itself, nearby on Boston's Central Wharf, was closed out of caution for its visitors.

Flooding in Peabody, Massachusetts, in 2011.
Rusty Clark / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/rusty_clark

Municipal leaders will meet this week in Greenfield, Massachusetts, with state environmental officials. The state is holding meetings to help cities and towns prepare for the impact of severe weather.

Floodwater rises in Marshfield during the nor'easter on March 13, 2018.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

As yet another nor'easter swept across the region — the fourth this month — two-thirds of Massachusetts voters say climate change is bringing more frequent or severe storms to the state.

It’s an elevator pitch Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has made a lot. Climate change is real. It’s man-made. And it’s here. But, he thinks the state could do better.

Some of the worst flooding during this past weekend's East Coast storm happened during high tides.

Shoreline tides are getting progressively higher. A soon-to-be-published report obtained by NPR predicts a future where flooding will be a weekly event in some coastal parts of the country.

Maple syrup might be ubiquitous in pantries and pancake houses now, but new research suggests that might not always be the case. Climate change could eventually render the sticky stuff extinct.

A short drive north of Fairbanks, Alaska, there's a red shed stuck right up against a hillside. The shed looks unremarkable, except for the door. It looks like a door to a walk-in freezer, with thick insulation and a heavy latch. Whatever is behind that door needs to stay very cold.

"Are you ready to go inside?" asks Dr. Thomas Douglas, a geochemist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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