Sea-Level Rise, Heavy Rainfall And Storm Surge: The 'Triple Threat' That Might Devastate Coastal US Cities
Nearly 40 percent of America’s population, including those living in some of its biggest cities, is facing the threat of 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 in the country.
While several studies have, in the past, examined the correlation between sea-level rise and an increase in floodings, the latest study is the first to explore the connection between the primary and secondary effects of climate change.
“When storm surge and heavy precipitation co-occur, the potential for flooding in low-lying coastal areas is often much greater than from either in isolation,” the study warned. However, even now, “long-term sea level rise is the main driver for accelerated flooding.”