Our planet is sinking, and at an alarmingly rapid rate. Climate change skeptics have lost their most valued theory. In fact, if we don’t act fast to reverse the trend studies, that the odds of New York getting flooded by a combination of heavy rain and surging ocean tides has more than doubled in the last eight decades.
And it’s not just New York, if global carbon emissions continue to increase at the current rate, it could lead to an increase in sea levels of up to 23 feet by the end of this century, submerging more than 1,400 cities and towns in the U.S., including Miami, Virginia Beach, Sacramento and Jacksonville, a study published in Climate Central (2013) claims.
Indeed, and another new researcher have recently published a paper in the journal Nature Climate Change to discuss that the combination of mass precipitation and equally massive storm surge have “increased significantly” for a major portion of the coastal United States.
And so lead study author Thomas Wahl notes, “Cities need to come up with revised methods [of planning for floods.]” The professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg also goes on to say, “The actual impact of these compound events depends very much on the local situation: what infrastructure is in place, how much drainage is available.”
However, he also notes that such projections “may result in an underestimation of the flood risk.”
Indeed, he tells, “Our study shows that the two main drivers for flooding in coastal areas are not independent from each other, and often occur simultaneously. “Usually it requires an extreme storm surge to cause flooding or an extreme rainfall event but the combination of two events that are not really extreme on their own may cause larger damages than one of the two events alone.”
Yes, at the end of the day the researchers are unsure of the exact connection of between sea-level rise and heavy rainfall and storm surge; it is just too early in the study to understand it. Still, they agree that there is definitely a connection worth investigating.