Climate Change and the Mid-Atlantic Region
There is mounting evidence that human activities -- particularly the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas -- have led to the buildup of heat-retaining greenhouse gases and that this, in turn, is contributing to a warming of the earth's oceans and atmosphere, glacier melting, sea level rise and other changes in our climate. While the Mid-Atlantic Region is contributing to and being impacted by the problem in much the same way as other regions of the country, this region also has its own distinctive characteristics. This Web site is meant to supplement EPA's climate change website by providing regional and local information related to those issues that are unique to this region. Some of the unique characteriscs of this region include:
- Every state in the region except West Virginia is affected by sea-level rise, bordering on either a major estuary or the Atlantic Ocean.
- The region is home to the largest estuary in the nation - the Chesapeake Bay - as well as the Delaware Bay. These estuaries are already being heavily impacted by climate change.
- Relative rates of sea-level rise in this region are almost twice the global average of 1.7 millimeters per year, with Baltimore, MD at 3.12 mm/yr., Annapolis, MD at 3.53 mm/yr., and Portsmouth, VA at 3.76 mm/yr.
- The infrastructure of the Mid-Atlantic Region is particularly vulnerable to climate change, given its high population density and extensive coastal development.
For more detail see Indicators of Climate Change in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Regional Climate Connections