People take refuge on a sports ground following flooding caused by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique.
Rising populations and a warming climate mean storm surges from super cyclones are likely to affect increasing numbers of vulnerable people.
The Marshall Islands and other small island nations are urgently threatened by rising seas.
Climate change is a true existential threat for small island nations, but the US has done little to help the Marshall Islands, which it administered for decades.
Fiji National Disaster Management Office
At the start of the cyclone season in the Pacific, weather forecasters are changing their warnings to focus less on weather information and more on the damage expected from an impending storm.
Storm surge can push water levels well above normal sea level during a hurricane.
Sean Rayford/Getty Images
How destructive storm surge gets depends on both the hurricane and the shape of the land.
Floods as a result of Hurricane Irma in Fort Lauderdale.
Can maps of people’s flooded properties convince them that rising sea level is a threat?
As sea levels rise, it becomes easier for ocean waves to spill further onto land.
For every ten centimetres of sea level rise, the chances of a 100-year coastal flood increase three-fold. This means we’ll have to build flood defenses or retreat from the coast.
Storm-damaged beachfront homes along Pittwater Road at Collaroy on the northern beaches of Sydney in June 2016.
A particular brand of climate denial among coastal property owners presents a conundrum for councils and governments trying to plan for sea-level rise.
Half the deaths from Atlantic hurricanes are down to storm surge. People in vulnerable regions need to be aware of what it is and how it threatens their safety.
As global warming intensifies violent weather events, the most vulnerable countries affected need help to respond more effectively.
King tides now regularly breach seawalls meant to protect Torres Strait Island communities, and it happened again last week.
King tides and rising seas are an increasing and predictable threat, but adaptation plans to limit the damage to coastal property are still not managing the political obstacles.
Tampa residents take a rare chance for a stroll on the seabed.
Pictures of ocean bays emptied of water as Hurricane Irma moved through the Caribbean and Florida show that storm surges can move away from the coast, as well as onto it.
A taste of things to come? Storm damage on Sydney’s northern beaches in 2016.
The ocean warming that might increase the threat of a catastrophic storm could also create the conditions for a natural defensive barrier.
Scientists correctly realised there was an increasing risk of major flooding. But they didn’t know humans were to blame.
Flooding during Hurricane Sandy devastated New York City’s transportation and power infrastructure.
Study finds higher risk of flooding from a combination of storm surge and heavy precipitation, particularly along the East Coast of the US.
Everybody’s leaving New Orleans ahead of Katrina.
Rick Wilking / Reuters
Hurricanes can be deadly to those in their path. Officials don’t want to unnecessarily alarm before solid forecasts are in place, but residents need enough time to prepare and heed evacuation orders.
Only a Category 1 at landfall, Hurricane Irene had plenty of energy.
Everybody wants a quick shorthand for a storm’s damage potential. But the index we hear used most often isn’t the best option.
Luckily, we have more to go on now than just knowing the tracks of previous named storms.
We’re no longer caught off guard when hurricanes make landfall, the way people were into the early 1900s. Better communications, measurements and observations all feed into better forecasts and more warning.