Articles on Coastal flooding

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Coastal wetlands are an effective first line of defense and act by slowing down storm surges and reducing flooding. Kelly Fike/USFWS

As communities rebuild after hurricanes, study shows wetlands can significantly reduce property damage

New research by scholars, conservationists and the insurance industry shows that coastal wetlands provide hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of protection from flooding, boosting the case for protecting them.
Houston’s Interstate Highway 45 was totally submerged in the deluge. REUTERS/Richard Carson

Is Hurricane Harvey a harbinger for Houston’s future?

The unpredictability of hurricanes makes it hard to say for sure whether climate change is making them worse. But we do know that sea-level rise and increased evaporation will worsen the impacts.
All tropical cyclones in the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, with their locations shown at six-hour intervals and color representing maximum wind speed. Cyclonebiskit/Wikipedia

Getting ready for hurricanes: 6 essential reads

Major hurricanes threaten millions of people and billions of dollars in property along the Atlantic coast. Here experts advise on preparing, understanding forecasts and recovering after a storm.
The original conflict between development and preservation of natural assets is broadening as the risks of climate change become ever more obvious. Crystal Ja/AAP

Contested spaces: conflict behind the sand dunes takes a new turn

Conflicts over coastal areas have largely been between development and preserving what makes these attractive places to live. Rising sea levels are now complicating our relationship with the coast.
In the aftermath of 2012’s deadly Hurricane Sandy, New York launched a US$20 billion plan to defend the city against future storms as well as rising sea levels. David Shankbone/Flickr

Sea level rise is real – which is why we need to retreat from unrealistic advice

Managing the impacts of rising seas for some communities is being made more difficult by the actions of governments, homeowners – and even some well-intentioned climate adaptation experts.
Gamba Grass is altering fire regimes in the Top End, threatening human life and property, natural assets including Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, and compromising savanna burning programs. Samantha Setterfield

Setting priorities for environmental research is daunting when the questions are so huge

One of the Australian government's new research priorities is "environmental change". But can be hard to know how to tackle such huge and interlinked issues as climate change and species extinctions.
Flooding during Hurricane Sandy devastated New York City’s transportation and power infrastructure. Jason Howie/flickr

Flood severity along US coastline has worsened

Study finds higher risk of flooding from a combination of storm surge and heavy precipitation, particularly along the East Coast of the US.
Cyclone Pam struck the developing island nation of Vanuatu in March 2015. Poorer nations are more exposed to environmental dangers so are more concerned about impacts that might increase the risk. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Wealthy nations overlook the dangers of climate change

Who cares more about environmental issues: people in rich countries, or not-so-rich countries? A survey suggests it's those in poorer places who are more vulnerable to issues like climate change.
A king tide in New Zealand, part of a project documenting what future sea level rise might look like. Witness King Tides/Flickr

15 years from now, our impact on regional sea level will be clear

Human activity is driving sea levels higher. Australia’s seas are likely to rise by around 70 centimetres by 2100 if nothing is done to combat climate change. But 2100 can seem a long way off. At the moment…
At some point, the postman will not always get through. Dan Anderson

Rising sea levels will be too much, too fast for Florida

It is amazing for me to see the very aggressive building boom underway in south Florida; on the beaches and barrier islands, throughout downtown and in the low western areas bordering the Everglades. They…
Stack ‘em high: big, health reefs take the sting out of stormy seas. Dennis M. Sabangan/EPA

Coral reefs work as nature’s sea walls – it pays to look after them

Coral reefs: fragile, delicate, and in danger? Actually coral reefs can be the first line in defence against incoming storms, reducing the power of incoming waves by 97%, even during hurricane-force winds…

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