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12Stage 1 Over 600 million people live in coastal areas globally that are less than 10 meters above sea level, and two-thirds of the world’s cities that have populations over five million are located in these at-risk areas. IPCC Fourth Assessment 2007 In 2007 when Mosher set out to research climate change the United Nations Environment Programme and World Meteorological Organization was preparing to publish a “Fourth Assessment” on climate change researched by the Intergov- ernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This document has been the official guide for cities nationwide in preparation for climate change and confirmed that, “warming of the climate system is unequivocal and is largely due to human activities.” However, the report was also highly critiqued for being both too conservative and too optimistic. The Fifth Assessment will be forthcoming in 2014. Eve Mosher researched the Climate Change 2007 Fourth Assessment and spoke with a climate expert to develop her HighWaterLine project in Lower Manhattan. She wanted to find a way to visualize the very complex phenomenon of climate change and how both changing weather patterns and ocean currents contribute to rising sea levels and how this would impact communities in her own backyard. With increased frequency and intensity of storms, it was projected that the coastal areas could become devastatingly inundated as often as once every 4 years, rendering entire neighborhoods uninhabitable. Mosher decided that to mark the 10-feet above sea level line around Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan would direct citizens to a widely accepted measurement of the 100-year flood line, which in New York City is 9.7 feet. Another piece of research from 2001 directed Mosher to understand the likelihood of the 100 year flood could become as frequent as once in every 43 years by 2020; once every 19 years by 2050; and once every four years by 2080; on average, in the most extreme case. NOTE: Projected and actual storm surge levels, as well as frequency, are constantly being revised and updated. Actual numbers from Hurricane Sandy are currently being analyzed. Surveying the Destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy STAGE 1 Understanding Climate Change Research what climate change is and how it affects your community ACTIONS • Research the science of climate change • Consider the local impacts of severe weather events, as well as the global impacts Eve’s STORY