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Extreme coastal sea levels more likely to occur- new projections

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

Posted: 07 Jul 2017 10:38 AM PDT

…a new international study that incorporates extreme events may have just given researchers and coastal planners what they need. The study uses newly available data and advanced models to improve global predictions when it comes to extreme sea levels.

The results suggest that extreme sea levels will likely occur more frequently than previously predicted, particularly in the west coast regions of the U.S. and in large parts of Europe and Australia.

…Because of the rising sea levels, which research has confirmed has occurred steadily during the past century and is expected to accelerate in the future, extreme events that are now expected to happen, on average, only once every hundred years, could occur every decade or even every year, in many places by 2050, the study said.

“Storm surges globally lead to considerable loss of life and billions of dollars of damages each year, and yet we still have a limited understanding of the likelihood and associated uncertainties of these extreme events both today and in the future,” said Thomas Wahl, an assistant engineering professor in the University of Central Florida who led the study….

T. Wahl, I. D. Haigh, R. J. Nicholls, A. Arns, S. Dangendorf, J. Hinkel, A. B. A. Slangen. Understanding extreme sea levels for broad-scale coastal impact and adaptation analysis. Nature Communications, 2017; 8: 16075 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms16075

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