NYC at ‘greater flood risk’ amid global warm­ing

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

New York City faces an in­creased risk of flood­ing, sim­i­lar to what oc­curred dur­ing Su­per­storm Sandy in 2012, as global warm­ing causes more fre­quent storms and sea lev­els to rise, sci­en­tists said.

Re­searchers re­ported that megas­torms on Amer­ica’s north­east coast could be­gin oc­cur­ring ev­ery 25 years or so, com­pared to ev­ery 500 years be­fore in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion, in a study out Tues­day.

And the sci­en­tists pegged the blame on global warm­ing from green­house gas emis­sions caused by hu­man ac­tiv­ity.

The re­search was car­ried out by study­ing marine sed­i­ment and com­puter mod­els that al­lowed the re­searchers to ob­serve the fre­quency and power of hur­ri­canes in the North At­lantic from the year 850 to 1800.

The re­searchers were then able to com­pare those re­sults with data from 1970-2005, ac­cord­ing to the study in the latest edi­tion of the Pro­ceed­ings of the Amer­i­can Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The re­searchers con­cluded that the storm surge, or rise of wa­ter caused by a storm, was on av­er­age 1.24 me­ters higher dur­ing the re­cent 30-year pe­riod, com­pared with the nearly 1,000-year pe­riod.

This, they said, was pri­mar­ily the re­sult of ris­ing sea level.

“Sea level is ris­ing be­cause of cli­mate change,” said Michael Mann, a co-au­thor of the study and pro­fes­sor of me­te­o­rol­ogy at Penn State Univer­sity.

“But cli­mate change also ap­pears to be lead­ing to larger and more in­tense trop­i­cal storms,” he added.

The flood­ing caused by Sandy was the re­sult of sev­eral fac­tors: ris­ing ocean lev­els, high tide and es­pe­cially the storm’s over­all size, the re­searchers said.

“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, a grad­u­ate stu­dent in me­te­o­rol­ogy at Penn State and the study’s lead au­thor.

“Sandy was the mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor,” she said.

The su­per­storm, which dev­as­tated swaths of New York and New Jersey when it struck on Oct. 30, 2012, killed 132 peo­ple and caused bil­lions in U.S. dol­lars in dam­age.

A large num­ber of road and sub­way tun­nels were flooded af­ter storm wa­ters breached Man­hat­tan’s south­ern tip at Bat­tery Park.

In late Au­gust, NASA sci­en­tists said that sea lev­els were ris­ing around the world, and the latest satel­lite data sug­gests that one me­ter or more is un­avoid­able in the next 100-200 years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.