Disappointing forecast. Devastating floods, rare for 100 years, will become annual events

Researchers fear rising sea levels will lead to more severe and frequent extreme flooding along the coast.

Severe coastal floods may seem quite rare, in fact that’s why they’re called “100-year floods.” But IFLScience writes that scientists now fear it may occur on Earth much more frequently than we previously assumed.

Floods that have been occurring in coastal areas for 100 years can be caused by many factors, including storms, tides and waves. But scientists believe there is a much more dangerous, long-term threat that could cause these rare events to occur almost every year.

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Note that the term “100-year flood” is not actually accurate; These disasters can affect the same region more than once every hundred years or so. On the contrary, do not touch it at all. But, according to scientists, this does not reduce their seriousness in any way. These actually represent extreme water levels that have a 1% chance of being exceeded in any given year.

Researchers now believe that the frequency of these events may be affected by rising sea levels caused by the climate crisis. Observations show that global sea levels have risen by almost 10 centimeters in the last 30 years alone, and this is due to climate change.

In previous flood prediction studies, scientists often used a concept called stationarity. It is based on historical data used to predict sea level rise and 100-year floods. Unfortunately, the authors of the new study believe that this concept is no longer applicable.

According to the study’s lead author, Hamed Moftakhar, he and his colleagues believe that patterns observed in the past will not change, but climate change conditions add many new factors that model different patterns. In fact, scientists say they can no longer assume that coastal flooding is constant.

During the research, scientists used data from three hundred tide gauges around the world. They analyzed sea level trends and then predicted future sea levels under two carbon emissions scenarios, ignoring stationarity. The first assumes that carbon emissions will continue to rise until the end of the century, and the second assumes that they will peak in 2040.

In either scenario, the future looked pretty bleak for most regions. According to Moftahari, the team predicts that the once-in-a-hundred-years threshold will likely be exceeded much more frequently; Simply put, these events will no longer be called 100-year events.

The team believes that rising sea levels will likely lead to an increase in 100-year events, and in some coastal areas these events will actually become annual events. It is assumed that we will encounter events of this magnitude on average every 9-15 years.

Previously Focus He wrote that the West Antarctic ice shelf was holding on with all its might.

Source: Focus


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