Extreme Coastal sea levels more likely to occur, new data, advanced modeling techniques suggest

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Due to the integration of a new set of data on events dealing with elevated sea levels to a study, Co-authors Thomas Wahl (Assistant Engineering Professor at the University of Central Florida) and Ivan Haigh (Associate Professor at the University of Southampton in the UK), were able to locate regions were rising sea levels would contribute to and magnify the effects of extreme events. The damage brought about by extreme sea levels, whether it is storms, hurricanes, waves or high tides, costs billions of dollars in damages and great loss of life yearly and still there is no clear grasp as to the probabilities of the development, severity or location of these events. Wahl led the study as a part of a greater research endeavor to try to plan and prepare communities for these dramatic occurrences in a world where climate is changing and sea levels are rising. A sample of 20 different methods for predicting these extreme sea level events were used with a specific focus on the variables of uncertainty that follow these types of forecasting studies.

These rising sea levels (worldwide) mean that smaller amounts of energy or force will be necessary during these dramatic events (such as typhoons) to cause a great deal of damage to the nearby coastal areas. Particularly susceptible regions as dictated by the study were the west coast region of the US and large sections of Europe and Australia. Their studies further suggested to greater frequency of these extreme occurrences as near future as 2050, whereas previously these events would happen on an average of every century, but now possibly every decade or every year.

The researchers hope that their results will contribute to the coastal impact studies currently being conducted in order to develop more effective plans to protect and save lives and infrastructures from the worst of these catastrophic events through the use of dikes, zoning restrictions, building codes, pumping systems, barriers and the like.

More info: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170707133824.htm

Last Modified: 2017/08/11