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Joint Projections of US East Coast Sea Level and Storm SurgeFuture coastal flood risk will be strongly influenced by sea-level rise (SLR) and changes in the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones. These two factors are generally considered independently. Here, we assess twenty-first century changes in the coastal hazard for the US East Coast using a flood index (FI) that accounts for changes in flood duration and magnitude driven by SLR and changes in power dissipation index (PDI, an integrated measure of tropical cyclone intensity, frequency and duration). Sea-level rise and PDI are derived from representative concentration pathway (RCP) simulations of 15 atmosphere- ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs). By 2080-2099, projected changes in the FI relative to 1986-2005 are substantial and positively skewed: a 10th-90th percentile range 4-75 times higher for RCP 2.6 and 35-350 times higher for RCP 8.5. High-end Fl projections are driven by three AOGCMs that project the largest increases in SLR, PDI and upper ocean temperatures. Changes in PDI are particularly influential if their intra-model correlation with SLR is included, increasing the RCP 8.5 90th percentile FI by a further 25%. Sea-level rise from other, possibly correlated, climate processes (for example, ice sheet and glacier mass changes) will further increase coastal flood risk and should be accounted for in comprehensive assessments.
Document ID
20150019769
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
Little, Christopher M. (Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Horton, Radley M. (Columbia Univ. New York, NY, United States)
Kopp, Robert E. (Rutgers Univ. Piscataway, NJ, United States)
Oppenheimer, Michael (Princeton Univ. New York, NY, United States)
Vecchi, Gabriel A. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Highlands, NJ, United States)
Villarini, Gabriele (Iowa Univ. Iowa City, IA, United States)
Date Acquired
October 27, 2015
Publication Date
September 21, 2015
Publication Information
Publication: Nature Climate Change
Subject Category
Oceanography
Meteorology and Climatology
Report/Patent Number
GSFC-E-DAA-TN27002
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NA11OAR4310101
CONTRACT_GRANT: NNX14AB99A
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
cyclones
risk
hazards
coasts
floods
tropical storms