Wednesday, October 8, 2014

US east coast cities face frequent flooding due to climate change

Suzanne Goldenberg in the Guardian (UK): Dozens of America’s east coast cities face routine tidal flooding under climate change, researchers said on Wednesday. Miami – where the habitues of South Beach are used to sloshing through water at high tide – will deploy new pumps this week to hold back the waters of the King Tides, the highest annual high tides, which are projected to crest at 3.5 feet (1.07m).

Other cities are going to have to undertake similar measures if they want to avoid soggy streets in the future, the researchers said.

The report, Encroaching Tides: How Sea Level Rise and Tidal Flooding Threaten U.S. East and Gulf Coast Communities over the Next 30 Years, from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), found most of the towns on America’s east coast will see triple the number of flooding events by 2030.

By 2045, those towns will see 10 times as many tidal floods – and those floods will seep further inland, and last longer, the researchers said. Many coastal towns already see dozens of small tidal floods every year, typically lasting only a few hours.

But the frequency of such events is marching upwards because of sea level rise – which at some points along the east coast is more than twice the global average. Some east coast towns have recorded four times as many flood days as in 1970, the report found.....

Flood and wind damage at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, from Hurricane Isabel in 2003. US Navy photo

No comments: