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article imageMajor floods will happen more often, due to climate change

By Tim Sandle     Sep 3, 2019 in Environment
So-called '100 year floods' will have far more frequently due to climate change, according to new research in relation to the U.S. These means coastal communities need to be better prepared.
For the new study, climate scientists reviewed data relating to storm surge, sea level rise, and the predicted increased occurrence and strength in hurricanes. This enabled the Princeton University scientists to produce a map of flood hazard possibility across the U.S. East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. This enabled a new assessment of the so-termed '100 year floods' (which doesn't mean a flood will only occur once very one hundred years, but more there has typically been only a one percent chance that a flood of such proportions will occur in any given year).
The new model shows that the risk of serious floods could not happen between one to 30 years along the southeast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico shorelines. This is happening because climate change results in an interbasin variation of cyclone characteristics.
Speaking with Laboratory Manager magazine, lead researcher Dr. ing Lin said: "The historical 100-year floods may change to one-year floods in Northern coastal towns in the U.S."
The researcher adds: "For the Gulf of Mexico, we found the effect of storm change is compatible with or more significant than the effect of sea level rise for 40 percent of counties. So, if we neglect the effects of storm climatology change, we would significantly underestimate the impact of climate change for these regions."
Due to the extent of climate change, the researchers think that understanding the basin to global scale variation of tropical cyclone flood hazards and their future evolution is critical.
The new research has been published in Nature Communications and it is titled "Climate change exacerbates hurricane flood hazards along US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in spatially varying patterns."
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