Climate Change Trio Exposes Major U.S. Cities To Catastrophic Flooding

Climate Changephotovision / Pixabay

The largest cities in the United States are at much bigger risk of catastrophic flooding than previously thought. According to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the way scientists traditionally analyzed heavy rainfall and storm surge grossly underestimated flood risk in coastal United States. In the past, disaster experts analyzed these two factors separately to define flood zones.

Climate change doubles the odds of New York flooding

The new study led by Thomas Wahl of the University of South Florida says the traditional methods clearly ignore the threat of “compound flooding” caused by the “triple threat” of climate change. The climate change trio — which include storm surge, sea level rise, and heavy rainfall — expose major U.S. cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Houston to a much greater degree of flooding.

Approximately 40% of the U.S. population lives in coastal cities, where floods caused by storms are already proving costly. It is the first study that combines the risk of the climate change “triple threat” over broad stretches of the American coast. Researchers found that the risk of flooding due to the three factors of climate change has doubled in the last 60 years.

Are all three factors inter-connected?

They found that a 4-feet of storm surge combined with 5-inch of rainfall would occur in the New York City every 42 years, compared to once in 100 years in the 1940s. Thomas Wahl said all the three factors were “somehow interconnected.” A rise in sea levels would have an effect on storm surges, which in turn, have an effect on compound flooding. That means it wouldn’t take a heavy rainfall to flood the New York City. A storm surge could do that alone.

However, Wahl noted that it was too early to say whether the increased risks were entirely due to climate change. Researchers estimated the risk of future flooding based on weather records and tide gauges.



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About the Author

Vikas Shukla
Vikas Shukla has a strong interest in business, finance, and technology. He writes regularly on these topics. - He can be contacted by email at or on Twitter @VikShukla10

8 Comments on "Climate Change Trio Exposes Major U.S. Cities To Catastrophic Flooding"

  1. The new study on sea level rise predicts 10 feet rise by 2050. Surges will be another 5 feet and hurricaine level surges 10 to 30 feet. So is the plan to let half the county drown and the other half fight for whats left? What about all those nuclear plants?

  2. blah blahblah blahblah blah…. And on and on and on. Give me a freaking break with the damn scare tactics. You guys have every blue haired lady on any coast getting out of their easy chair and looking out the window to see if the ocean has reached their yard. Why don’t you cut the crap because that is all you are peddling. All of these articles are piling on anyone who doubts our honest government, 97% of the honest climate scientist getting grant money and last but by no means least the good old corrupt United Nations. With all the BS articles you people are producing with all the speculative possibilities is just that,”BS”. Even the author of this stupid article is a what??? a “value investor”, right and I will believe anything he spouts. Any person in the world that has lived for at least ten years through shear human curiosity should be skeptical of this hoax to fleece the world financially. It is not the Koch brothers or big oil or coal that is planting the idea of denial in everyday Americans, it is all of your coulda, woulda shoulda articles that contradict each other most of the time. You are bankrupt in the trust department. Everything to do with climate change is possible but no more possible than this whole thing being a complete hoax.

  3. The alarmists have been screaming about all the catastrophes since the 1970’s. They said all the crops of food would be gone by 2000 due to global warming. Didn’t happen. We were also told the oceans we’re going to rise because of melting glaciers and we would be devastated by 2013. This is why nobody gets behind this. It’s all predicated on the end of the earth as we know it but it never happens. Even if all this climate change was caused by man they have no idea how to stop it. Most pollution is caused by China, India and Russia. The U.S. Does its part. But the environmental wackos are afraid to go over to these countries and protest. They climbed on one Russian ship and spent 6 months in jail. Never tried it again. It’s all about getting our money. Every article tells us what computer models tell them based on the information these wackos gave the models.

  4. It isn’t that bad since the UN still wants their HQ in NYC and that is a coastal city! Algore and BS have their villas slong the coast!

  5. At the present rate of warming it will take 500 years for the surface temperature to rise 2.0C according to the following data which comes from the last UN sponsored IPCC Report in 2013.
    See the IPCC Report here below.

    IPCC AR5 FINAL Ch. 9, p. 769, para.1Box 9.2 Climate Models and the Hiatus in Global Mean Surface
    Warming of the Past 15 Years
    “The observed global mean surface temperature (GMST) has shown a much smaller increasing linear trend over the past 15 years than over the past 30 to 60 years. Depending on the observational data set, the GMST trend over 1998–2012 is estimated to be around one-third to one-half of the trend over 1951–2012. For example, in HadCRUT4 the trend is 0.04ºC per decade over 1998–2012, compared to 0.11ºC per decade over 1951–2012.”

    At the present + 0.04C per decade:
    0.04C / 10 years = 0.004C per year

    Only atmospheric CO2 levels and the gap between observed temperatures and model temperature predictions is increasing and the Earth has been much cooler with much higher CO2 levels many times.

    When yearly temperature change has to be measured in (+) or (-) thousandths of a degree, that change is statistically insignificant.

    The earth has been in a warming phase for the last 20,000 years.
    A warming rate of 0.004C per year is not a problem unless support for a political scam supported by a short lived science hoax overwhelms good judgment.

  6. Just so I can stay up to date on all this climate change science, would someone tell me just one UN IPCC computer climate model which predicted the 18 year “hiatus” in global warming and actually works in hindcast, and matches the temperature records of the twentieth century. Just one…..anybody? After all, if 97% of scientists are convinced that man made carbon dioxide is responsible for climate change, at least one of those over 100 computer models ought to match reality, right?

  7. Uh Oh! The weather chickens are running in circles again!

  8. This garbage copy and paste lazy journalism is criminal level exaggeration!

    WANTING climate change science’s 34 years of 97% certainty to have been actual certainty of this misery for our children was not “progressive”.
    Who’s the fear mongering neocon?
    Get up to date;
    *Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.
    No matter how much you peace loving libs HATE Republicans.

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