, Volume 104, Issue 3-4, pp 575-597
Date: 12 Jan 2010

Global warming and hurricanes: the potential impact of hurricane intensification and sea level rise on coastal flooding

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Abstract

Tens of millions of people around the world are already exposed to coastal flooding from tropical cyclones. Global warming has the potential to increase hurricane flooding, both by hurricane intensification and by sea level rise. In this paper, the impact of hurricane intensification and sea level rise are evaluated using hydrodynamic surge models and by considering the future climate projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. For the Corpus Christi, Texas, United States study region, mean projections indicate hurricane flood elevation (meteorologically generated storm surge plus sea level rise) will, on average, rise by 0.3 m by the 2030s and by 0.8 m by the 2080s. For catastrophic-type hurricane surge events, flood elevations are projected to rise by as much as 0.5 m and 1.8 m by the 2030s and 2080s, respectively.