From: University of Central Florida
Published July 7, 2017 02:20 PM

Advanced Modeling Technique Suggests Extreme Coastal Sea Levels More Likely

Improving projections for how much ocean levels may change in the future and what that means for coastal communities has vexed researchers studying sea level rise for years, but a new international study that incorporates extreme events may have just given researchers and coastal planners what they need.

The study, published today in Nature Communications  uses newly available data and advanced models to improve global predictions when it comes to extreme sea levels. The results suggest that extreme sea levels will likely occur more frequently than previously predicted, particularly in the west coast regions of the U.S. and in large parts of Europe and Australia.

“Storm surges globally lead to considerable loss of life and billions of dollars of damages each year, and yet we still have a limited understanding of the likelihood and associated uncertainties of these extreme events both today and in the future,” said Thomas Wahl, an assistant engineering professor in the University of Central Florida who led the study. He is also a member of UCF’s Sustainable Coastal Systems Cluster.

The study was conducted to make data about extreme events a part of the ongoing research and planning required to help communities prepare now for conditions that may be dramatically different in the not-too-distant future.

Read more at University of Central Florida

Image: UCF Engineering Assistant Professor Thomas Wahl demonstrates new modeling technique. (Credit: UCF, Kimberly Lewis)

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