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US high tide flood forecasts show rapid growth and extreme months

A mobile van in an urban flooded area of ​​Honolulu, Hawaii. Credit: Hawaii Sea Grant King Tides Project.

A study released today, led by the University of Hawaii at Manoa, could see a rapid increase in the number of days of storm surge floods (HTFs) in several coastal areas of the United States in the mid-2030s. Natural climate change.. The combined effect of sea level rise (SLR) and natural fluctuations in the tidal range is expected to cause a turning point in the frequency of HTFs.


Floods occur repeatedly at high tide in the coastal areas around the United States, especially along the Atlantic coast. The effects of HTF accumulate over a large number of seemingly minor outbreaks and can outweigh the rare extreme effects over time. These effects are subtle. For example, the loss of revenue from repeated road and business closures is compared to the physical damage to assets and infrastructure associated with extreme events from storms.

“The fastest growth is expected to be along the coastline of the US Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico, including Hawaii and other Pacific Islands. This is the point at which high tide floods move primarily from regional or regional issues. That’s why it’s important, and it’s a national issue that affects most of our country’s coastline, “said lead author Phil Thompson, director of the UH Sea Level Center, and UH Manoa Ocean. Said an assistant professor of marine science at the School of Earth Sciences and Technology (SOEST).

Thompson and researchers across the country analyze tide gauge data from 89 coastal areas of the United States, including 10 locations in Hawaii and the US-related Pacific Islands, and develop a new statistical method that combines tide level changes with NOAA sea level rise. Did. A 21st century scenario for making high tide flood forecasts.

Continue sea ​​level rise If present, it exacerbates the problem and will cause repeated storm surge floods in more places in the coming decades. In addition, the research team found that the annual cycle of tides and sea levels, combined with oceanographic anomalies, could produce many storm surge flood episodes in a short period of time, creating extreme months in clustered events. I found.

US high tide flood forecasts show rapid growth and extreme months

Vehicles on flooded roads. Credit: Hawaii Sea Grant King Tides Project.

The results of the survey directly address how coastal communities can plan their future.

“Scientists, engineers, The person who makes the decision Is accustomed to thinking about rare, high-impact events such as the 100-year storm, but that it is important to plan extreme months and seasons where the number of flood episodes is exceptional, not the scale. is showing. “Thompson said.

In addition, scientists have found that naturally occurring fluctuations in the tidal range from one decade to the next decade alternately reduce and exacerbate the effects of sea level rise.

“Understanding and communicating this phenomenon reduces complacency and the likelihood of inaction during periods of reduced impact and prepares for periods of increased impact,” Thompson added. “As many of our infrastructure and economies are vulnerable to sea level rise, these results are important to understanding how the impact of sea level rise will evolve in Hawaii over the next few decades.”

Such studies provide sound, science-based information that underlies plans for decision makers to adapt to sea level rise and mitigate the effects of regional and regional floods.


Studies have found that coastal changes exacerbate annoying floods on many US coastlines.


For more information:
Rapid increase and extreme months in US high tide flood forecasts, Natural climate change (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41558-021-01077-8 , www.nature.com/articles/s41558-021-01077-8

Quote: U.S. High Tide Flood Predictions Taken From https://phys.org/news/2021-06-high-tide-rapid-extreme-months.html on June 21, 2021 And the extreme month (June 21, 2021)

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US high tide flood forecasts show rapid growth and extreme months

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