A new study suggests that climate change has raised the possibilities of New York City getting flooded, as a consequence of a major storm, due to the increase of sea levels. Researchers say that the difference of sea-level is considerable compared to 1,000, or even 100 years ago.
Scientists have been simulating storms and hurricanes that took place on the Atlantic Ocean from the 850’s to 1850’s to compare and analyze with the ones from the 1970’s until now, but they noticed that it didn’t show the whole picture when the sea level was taken into account. This means that these phenomenons get worse as years pass by, with an incredible rate on the past 100 years.
“This is going from something you probably won’t see in your lifetime to something you may see several times in your lifetime,” said Andra Reed to TIME, a researcher at Penn State University, co-author of the paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Also, the rise on water levels are not the only consequence of human-caused climate change. Researchers believe that storms are getting stronger. Only a month after the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, scientists fear that storms like the one that happened in 2012 will occur sooner than expected.
“We estimate that that shouldn’t happen more than once every 3,000 years. With climate change, that becomes roughly a one-in-a-century event”, said Michael Mann, MIT expert and co-author of the study.
Hurricane Sandy is the second biggest costliest hurricane in the history of the U.S., causing at least 233 deaths across the United States, the Caribbean, and Canada, and millions of dolars in damages.
Tampa Bay on the list
This isn’t the first paper to put a U.S. city in the eye-sight of major storms. A study published by the journal Nature Climate Change August this year supports the same idea. Scientists believe they can predict the frequency and intensity of storms called grey swans.
According to the study, grey swan’ tropical cyclones are defined as, “High-impact storms that would not be predicted based on history but may be foreseeable using physical knowledge together with historical data.”
The researchers reduced their study to three geographical regions that show higher risk: Cairns in northeast Australia, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and the already mentioned Tampa Bay at Florida.
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)