Manhattan Streets Washed By Flood Waters

28 Sep Manhattan Streets Washed By Flood Waters

Wanted to share about a study examining the impact of rising sea levels in New York City. -Mayor Billy

 

500-Year Floods Coming to New York Every 24 Years, Study Says

INSIDE CLIMATE NEWS / BY PHIL MCKENNA / Sept. 28, 2015

Thanks to climate change and stronger storms, floods wash the streets of Manhattan much more often, study says.

New York City is vulnerable to rising seas and larger, more powerful storms that result in more frequent and intense flooding and what was once a 500-year flood prior to human-induced climate change now occurs on average once every 24 years. This is according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Flood heights are increasing and have increased since the pre-anthropogenic era, not only because of rising sea levels but also because of the impact that climate change is having on tropical cyclones,” said lead author Andra Reed of Penn State University.

Reed and colleagues made their conclusions based on climate models that simulated tropical storms and subsequent flooding for the region beginning in 850. They found that average flood height increased by more than 4 feet from 850 to 2005. When Hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012, it caused an estimated $50 billion in damage and destroyed at least 650,000 houses. Flooding from the storm reached a height of 9.2 feet in Battery Park.

Prior to 1800, such a flood could be expected to hit the city every 3,000 years. Today, a flood of that magnitude will occur on average every 130 years, Reed said. By comparison, storms that are now anticipated roughly every 24 years will have a height of 7.4 feet in Battery Park.

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Climate change could bring more Hurricane Sandy-like flooding to New York. Credit: David Shankbone via Flickr

Climate change could bring more Hurricane Sandy-like flooding to
New York.
Credit: David Shankbone via Flickr