Study eyes coastal impacts of El Niño cycles


If climate change intensifies El Niño and La Niña, it could have big impacts on coastal erosion. @bberwyn photo.

Coastal Pacific areas seen as vulnerable to intensifying storms

Staff Report

If global warming strengthens the cycle of El Niño and La Niña events — as projected by some studies — it could lead to an increase in storm events bringing extreme coastal flooding and erosion in populated regions across the Pacific Ocean, according to a multi-agency study published today in Nature Geoscience.

“This study significantly advances the scientific knowledge of the impacts of El Niño and La Niña,” said Patrick Barnard, USGS coastal geologist and the lead author of the study. “Understanding the effects of severe storms fueled by El Niño or La Niña helps coastal managers prepare communities for the expected erosion and flooding associated with this climate cycle.” Continue reading

Climate: Groundwater another factor in coastal flooding

Coastal and island communities must consider groundwater as a potential multiplier when planning for rising sea levels. Image courtesy NASA.

New study sees groundwater as doubling the amount of flooding in some areas

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Some coastal communities may face a double whammy when it comes to climate-related flooding during the next few decades. Along with rising sea levels, there’s also the overlooked threat of inundation from groundwater sources, according to a new research done by scientists with the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that the flooded area in urban Honolulu, Hawaii, including groundwater inundation, is more than twice the area of marine inundation alone — Specifically, a 1-meter rise in sea level would inundate 10 percent of a 1-kilometer wide urbanized area along the shoreline of southern Oahu; 58 percent of the total flooded area would be due to groundwater inundation. Continue reading


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