The Science

HighWaterLine uses art to help communities visualize how climate change is and will be impacting their communities. HighWaterLine does this by using art as an innovative tool to help visualize otherwise hard to grasp scientific climate data, facilitate stakeholder dialogue and ideally spark community resiliency initiatives.

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Since climate change impacts regions differently, HighWaterLine invites local communities to adapt HighWaterLine to their local regions and cultures. The criteria uniting the diverse HighWaterLines is that all the art is grounded in sound scientific data.

When Eve first created the HighWaterLine|NYC in 2007, she used the Metro East Coast Assessment which repeatedly pointed out how climate change would create more frequent floods in areas ten feet above sea level. Prophetically, much of the area she demarcated in 2007 was inundated in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy.

Since Miami is the most climate vulnerable coastal city in the United States, communities realizing HighWaterLine|Miami in 2013 examined how sea level rise and extreme storm surges will impact their greater community. HighWaterLine|Miami based its 26 mile art piece on the various levels of sea level rise calculated by Climate Central.

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With the acceleration of global warming and the unprecedented melting of land ice (glaciers, ice caps & ice sheets), many other global communities might also find themselves using HighWaterLine to illustrate how sea level rise and extreme storm surges will impact them. This is especially true since over half of the world cities are now vulnerable to sea level rise and increased flooding. However every place is different. For example, for  HighWaterLine|Philadelphia, flooding is intense along both the Schuylkill and the Delaware rivers. The Schuylkill flooding is the result of more intense storms overwhelming the drainage system, and the Delaware flooding is intensified by sea level rise that is already occurring on the estuarial Delaware.  HighWaterLine|Bristol will be demarcating potential flooding along the Avon River caused by both increased sea level rise and increased extreme rainfall occurring in the region as a result of climate change.

Each HighWaterLine project will focus on its own specific issues related to water. In each case the community undertaking the project will conduct the research to identify the best science that illuminates how they will be impacted locally by climate change. They all however, are united by using new creative ways to help their communities visualize climate change and spark community solutions.

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