Catastrophic, Sandy-like floods could hit New York City every 5 years due to sea-level rise
Catastrophic flooding in New York City similar to destruction from Hurricane Sandy is predicted to become far more common in the coming decades, according to a study published Monday.
Rising sea levels from man-made climate change could prompt devastating, 8-foot floods that used to occur once every 500 years to happen once every 5 years by 2030 to 2045, the research said.
"Flooding in the nation’s largest city will be much higher and more frequent because sea levels will continue to rise at an accelerating rate," the study said.
Five years ago this month, Sandy barreled into the Northeast, killing dozens of people and swamping parts of New York City under as much as 9 feet of water. In all, the storm caused $70.2 billion damage.
Anywhere from 5 inches to 11 inches of sea-level rise is likely in New York City between 2000 and 2030, the study found.
The researchers based their analysis on multiple models that factored in predictions for sea-level rise and possible changes in the paths of future hurricanes.
Sea level has risen nearly 8 inches worldwide since 1880. Here's why: As the Earth's temperature warms, so do the seas. Heat-trapping greenhouse gases cause more land ice — glaciers and ice sheets — to melt and water to expand. Warmer water simply takes up more room than cooler water.