Climate Change Could Lead To More Coastal Flooding

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
December 7, 2012

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Rutgers atmospheric science professor Anthony Broccoli speaks at Monmouth University symposium (photo by Phil Gregory)

Severe weather events are becoming more frequent in New Jersey, and climate change could be the reason why.

Anthony Broccoli is a professor of atmospheric science at Rutgers.  He says warmer ocean temperatures and melting ice caps will cause a rise in sea level, posing a greater risk of flooding from storm surge.

 “The baseline for coastal flooding is going to be increasing because we expect sea level to rise as much three or feet by the end of this century. So even if the same kind of storms we’ve seen in the past come in the future they’ll produce greater impact. By the end of the century all of these storms if were to have clones of them in the future would produce water levels as high or higher than Sandy did”

Broccoli says while scientists aren’t sure whether hurricanes will be more frequent in the future, they do expect they will be stronger.

He says policy makers need to consider the projected climate trends when examining building codes as part of the rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy.


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