Patrick Cashin

NYC risks future flooding during hurricanes

Whether or not a coastal city floods during a hurricane depends on the storm, tide and sea level, and now a team of climate scientists show that the risk of New York City flooding has increased dramatically during the industrial era as a result of human-caused climate change.

"We wanted to look at the impact of climate change on sea level and storm characteristics to see how that has affected the storm surge on the Atlantic coast, specifically in New York City," said Andra Reed, graduate student in meteorology, Penn State. "Hurricane Sandy was the motivating factor."

During Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012 most of New York City's transportation tunnels flooded and the storm surge breached the seawalls on the southern tip of Manhattan Island at Battery Park, flooding subway tunnels. The high storm surge was the result of rising sea level, high tide and the storm's force. 

"Unfortunately, the storm surge record only goes back to the 1850s and we don't think that the record is reliable before the end of World War I," said Reed. "That's less than 100 years."

 

Read the full story at Penn State News: http://news.psu.edu/story/372191/2015/09/28/research/nyc-risks-future-fl...