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Title: Impacts of climate change on hurricane flood hazards in Jamaica Bay, New York
Abstract Sea level rise (SLR) and tropical cyclone (TC) climatology change could impact future flood hazards in Jamaica Bay—an urbanized back-barrier bay in New York—yet their compound impacts are not well understood. This study estimates the compound effects of SLR and TC climatology change on flood hazards in Jamaica Bay from a historical period in the late twentieth century (1980–2000) to future periods in the mid- and late-twenty-first century (2030–2050 and 2080–2100, under RCP8.5 greenhouse gas concentration scenario). Flood return periods are estimated based on probabilistic projections of SLR and peak storm tides simulated by a hydrodynamic model for large numbers of synthetic TCs. We find a substantial increase in the future flood hazards, e.g., the historical 100-year flood level would become a 9- and 1-year flood level in the mid- and late-twenty-first century and the 500-year flood level would become a 143- and 4-year flood level. These increases are mainly induced by SLR. However, TC climatology change would considerably contribute to the future increase in low-probability, high-consequence flood levels (with a return period greater than 100 year), likely due to an increase in the probability of occurrence of slow-moving but intense TCs by the end of twenty-first century. We further conduct high-resolution coastal flood simulations for a series of SLR and TC scenarios. Due to the SLR projected with a 5% exceedance probability, 125- and 1300-year flood events in the late-twentieth century would become 74- and 515-year flood events, respectively, in the late-twenty-first century, and the spatial extent of flooding over coastal floodplains of Jamaica Bay would increase by nearly 10 and 4 times, respectively. In addition, SLR leads to larger surface waves induced by TCs in the bay, suggesting a potential increase in hazards associated with wave runup, erosion, and damage to coastal infrastructure.  more » « less
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Journal Name:
Climatic Change
Page Range / eLocation ID:
2153 to 2171
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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