03 Jan '12, 10pm

20 inches to disaster: U.S. coasts unprepared for higher seas

20 inches to disaster: U.S. coasts unprepared for higher seas

Photo: Scott Pena Cross-posted from Cool Green Science . Let's say the rise in sea level that climate change will bring us -- from melting ice caps and expanding seas -- won't be "all that bad" by, oh, the year 2080. Maybe ... just half a meter (a little under 20 inches). We can deal with half a meter, right? Well, yeah -- if we're ready to "deal with" almost 50 percent more affected people and 73 percent more property losses from a typical Category 3 hurricane -- all because of the higher storm surge that'll come from that additional 20 inches of sea level. ("Storm surge," in case you don't know, describes the ocean water that a storm's winds bring ashore, in addition to what's usually there with normal tides.) Those kinds of losses are the scenario the southern shores of Long Island, N.Y., are looking at, according to a new peer-reviewed study in the journal Natural Haza...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/climate-change/2012-01-03-are-u.s.-c...

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