November 5, 2012
Five years ago, a report called “Nation Under Siege” illustrated the vulnerability of 31 U.S. coastal cities to flooding. But not just to any kind of flooding — to the flooding of a permanent kind from sea level rise.
Katharine Hayhoe, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas Tech University, said it’s impossible to tease out precise effects that each climate variable, such as sea level rise, storm surge and high tide, had on the size and strength of Sandy. However, she said, the sea level rise of 7 inches this century — the IPCC estimate — made the megastorm worse.