Science

More Storm Surges Like Hurricane Sandy Predicted

By Rodney Rafols , Oct 11, 2016 03:00 AM EDT
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Global warming is changing our climate. Many scientists are saying that with global warming, stronger hurricanes and typhoons would be coming. Computer simulations have been run to show the effects of global warming, and a recent study has been conducted showing the U.S. East Coast possibly facing stronger hurricanes with more storm surges.

Researchers from the University of Princeton and University of Rutgers along with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have made a computer simulation on how flooding on New York and its coastline would be like during hurricanes like Sandy down the line. The worst case seen is that the frequency of such flooding could increase as much as 17 times by 2100.

The new simulation created could also predict storm surges that would be coming in the next century more accurately than before, according to Phys Org. Long-term flooding has been seen as sea levels rise and storm activity increases because of climate change.

For the simulation, researchers used sea level data taken from the Battery in New York City and other locations near the Mid-Atlantic coast. The data taken from it was added into models of hurricanes' size and intensity, as Pacific Standard notes. Models of storm surges from the National Centers for Environmental Protection were also used.

With the data provided, the simulation showed that Sandy-like surges could occur once every 400 years in 2000. By 2100 that rose dramatically to once every 90 years. The simulation only took into account sea levels and have not yet fully taken into account the effects of climate change on hurricanes.

"The frequency of Hurricane Sandy-like extreme flooding events has increased significantly over the past two centuries and is likely to increase more sharply over the 21st century, due to the compound effects of sea level rise and storm climatology change, Ning Lin, an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University and lead author of the study said.

Lin also said that there is need to prepare for future hurricanes and know which areas would be affected. She also said that the simulation helps in seeing how such changes work over time so as to better predict such effects. The simulation though could not provide estimates to a particular location or year.

While studies are being made about hurricanes and climate change, Hurricane Matthew has given rise to storm surges in Florida. 

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