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Coastal Storms

image credit: NOAA

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This post reviews increases in hurricane and tropical storm (a.k.a. tropical cyclones) landfalls in and near the U.S. A recent article in Science contains an analysis of data for these storms’ behavior from the last 36 years. This analysis determined that the behavior of these storms has changed in a way that made them more likely to increase damage in many coastal areas, including the U.S., and these changes are likely to continue into the future.

Occupied coastal areas more frequently impacted by these storms, as a minimum, will need to harden their electric distribution systems and other infrastructure. Worst case: occupants and infrastructure may need to retreat from the coasts.

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John Benson's picture

Thank John for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Feb 23, 2021

Scary stuff (says this Floridian). Hopefully more leaders start to recognize the importance resilience planning and infrastructure hardening will play (no matter what we do on climate) moving forward

John Benson's picture
John Benson on Feb 23, 2021

You and the rest of the Floridians should hope that we (the world) start acting on climate change in time to keep the sea level from rising more than a few feet (which is already baked in), and changes to further intensify the impact of hurricanes. If you want to read more about what could happen, read Fire and Storms, Part 2, section 2, which is linked in the above paper.

-John

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Feb 23, 2021

Jim Hansen's forecast for the next 36 years:

Abstract: Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise, and Superstorms

"If Greenland fresh water [from icemelt] shuts down Atlantic deepwater formation, and cools the North Atlantic several degrees, the increased horizontal temperature gradient will drive superstorms - more powerful than any in modern times. All hell will break loose in the North Atlantic and neighboring lands.

"Such a situation occurred in the last interglacial period 118,000 years ago...there is evidence of superstorms powerful enough for giant waves to toss 1,000-ton megaboulders onto the shore in the Bahamas..."

(what a pessimist...soon the world will be powered by cheap solar panels, batteries, weatherproofed wind turbines, and hamster wheels!)

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