Rising Seas and More Intense Storms Likely to Cause Major Flooding Spike

Rising seas and increasingly frequent and intense storms along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts could interact to produce alarming


Sea temperature increases along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts
spikes in the extent and duration of floods, according to a study published in Nature Climate Change. The study projects that coastal flooding could possibly shoot up several hundred-fold by 2100, from the Northeast to Texas. Even the study’s most conservative calculations, based on greatly reduced greenhouse gas emissions over the next 85 years, suggest a 4- to 75-fold increase in the the combined heights and durations of expected floods. Over the past century, the East Coast has experienced sea level rise far beyond the 8-inch global average — up to a foot in much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, including New York City. Most projections call for a further 2- to 4-foot rise by 2100, and some estimates go as high as 6 feet. At the same time, other studies suggest that in the future the largest North Atlantic storms may become more intense because warmer waters contain more energy.