BIOS Releases Part II of Climate Change Report

On February 16, 2023, BIOS published the second half of a two-part report on the local impacts of climate change in Bermuda. The new report, titled “Climate Change and Bermuda, Part II: Impacts and Societal Risk” was produced by the Bermuda Airport Authority’s Dr. Mark Guishard, a BIOS adjunct scientist and former Director of the Bermuda Weather Service, with the support of lead donor HSBC Bermuda.

As a companion to Part I, which focuses on the science and physical hazards associated with climate change in Bermuda, this second part leverages over a decade of collaborative work with BIOS interns and scientists and compiles both local and international subject matter expertise.

“This report reveals some of the impacts that may lie ahead due to climate change based on published research, as well as openly available data and information sources,” Guishard said. “It is by no means an exhaustive outline of all the impacts we will face going forward; instead, the report is intended to be a source of information for decision-makers, from individuals to organizations, who may want to assess their risk under a changing climate.”

Key findings of the report include the prospect of rising sea level that will threaten low-lying coastal properties with more frequent flooding within a few decades, as well as changes in hurricane frequency and intensity that put the island in a more uncertain risk profile in the future. However, the report also notes the island’s response to current storms is currently well-managed by the disaster risk community. Heavy rainfall events are anticipated to create more flooding in low-lying and poorly drained areas, and some vulnerable members of the community, such as those without insurance, may feel a disproportionate impact.

In addition, the report explores the impacts of climate change on agriculture, the marine environment, supply chains, tourism and travel.

“One of the aspects that makes Bermuda unique and attractive to visitors and residents—our local climate—is changing, and that change is accelerating,” Guishard said. “One need only look at the coastal flooding events we have seen in recent years to get a glimpse at what the future will hold. It’s worth noting that this report does not advocate for a specific response to these impacts, but it aims to put the realities of climate change in front of people and organizations, to allow them to make more informed decisions about climate action going forward.”

These reports have been supported by lead donor, HSBC Bermuda, whose grant we gratefully acknowledge.