Climate Change and Flooding

Increased temperatures are predicted to lead to increasing rainfall intensity during severe storms. Additionally, warmer ocean temperatures could increase the intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes which, in turn, could increase flood and wind damages. Factors such as rising sea levels, disappearing wetlands, and increased coastal development threaten to intensify the damage caused by hurricanes and tropical storms.

Increasing rainfall intensity during severe storms is also predicted to lead to increased flooding of interior rivers and streams. What was once considered a 100 year flood (i.e. occurring once every 100 years or 1% chance of occurring in any given year) are now occurring with much higher frequency. Factors such as increased impervious surface and floodplain development lead to even more intense flooding and vulnerable human populations.

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