Coming Soon to a Low-Lying Coastal Area Near You: Disastrous Flooding
The report published in the journal Nature Climate Change predicts that due to the Earth's climate changes, "regions such as the New York City metropolitan area that currently experience a disastrous flood every century could instead become submerged every one or two decades." The study noted that increases in storm intensity were accompanied by increases in frequency, a double dose of bad news for coastal communities.
The research, which used New York City as a test case to model several storm scenarios, is said to be the first study to, "examine the future intensity of storm surges, [and] also to offer a tool for estimating an area's vulnerability," said co-author Michael Oppenheimer, the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs at Princeton.
"The physical damage and economic loss that result from storm surge can be devastating to individuals, businesses, infrastructure and communities. For current coastal community planning and design projects, it is essential that the effects of climate change be included in storm-surge predictions," noted Carol Friedland, an assistant professor of construction management and industrial engineering at Louisiana State University.