Mission 2021
Preparing Coastal Communities for the Effects of Climate Change

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Terrascope Program

What is Mission 2021?

Terrascope is a freshman learning community at MIT, focused on solving complex, real-world problems. Mission 2021 has been tasked with creating adaptation plans for two coastal communities – MIT’s host city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and southern Bangladesh – to prepare for the negative effects of climate change over the course of the century. We present an analysis of the threats climate change poses to such communities and propose solutions to address them.

Why Cambridge & Bangladesh?

Threats & Risks

Coastal communities face three major threats as a result of climate change: rising temperatures, severe weather, and sea level rise. Each climate threat introduces site-specific risks to coastal communities, depending on the area’s unique vulnerabilities.

Threats & Risks


We’ve produced a series of solutions detailing climate change adaptation plans for both MIT’s host city of Cambridge, Massachusetts and for southern Bangladesh. You can browse by region, by type of solution, or simply view all solutions together.

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The Threats of Climate Change

Though different coastal communities face different climate risks depending on their vulnerabilities, all communities face the same three threats which arise as negative effects of climate change: extreme weather, rising temperatures, and sea level rise.

Click to learn more about the risks associated with each climate threat.


Worldwide weather is trending towards the extreme: storms becoming less regular and more intense. Coastal communities experience the majority of the problems that arise due to extreme storm events.

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By 2080, global temperatures are expected to rise by 4°C. This change has the capacity to create heat waves that cause serious damage to humans, infrastructure, agriculture, and the environment as a whole.

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Global temperature is predicted to cause a 105 centimeter increase in sea level by the year 2080. In addition, the severity of storm surge is predicted to increase, resulting in more devastating floods.

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Our Solutions

Site-specific solutions denote how each coastal region could adapt to climate change.

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