USA TRIPLE THREAT

Problem

Almost half of the population of US, including our largest cities face serious floods caused by a “triple threat” of sea-level rise, storm surge and heavy rainfall, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The combination of these phenomena can potentially result in “compound flooding” that can devastate several low-lying, densely populated coastal areas inside the country.

This is the first scientific study to explore the connection between the primary and secondary effects of climate change. This means that without a drastic rise in sea levels, frequent severe floods and storms will bring the effects of climate change right into coastal cities, where nearly 40 percent of the American population now lives.

Since 1880, global temperatures have risen by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. And, over the last 100 years, the global average sea level has risen by seven inches. This increase is likely to accelerate as Antarctica’s floating ice shelves continue to melt.

http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1038%2Fnclimate2736 Increasing risk of compound flooding from storm surge and rainfall for major US cities