Thanks to climate change, the frequency of major flooding events is increasing at an alarming rate. While many cities are doing what they can to prepare for the upcoming deluge, new research suggests that they might not be prepared soon enough: In a new study in Nature Communications, scientists report that a flood level with a one-percent chance of occurring this year (also known as a 100-year flood) will, in some parts of the world, have a 50- or even a 100- percent chance of occurring in 2050.
That’s astonishing. And what’s worse still is that previous predictions have drastically underestimated how quickly flooding rates are changing on many of the world’s coastlines, including the United States’ Pacific coast.
In the new study, published Friday, scientists at the University of Central Florida used a new modeling technique to examine the future likelihood of extreme floods. “The likelihood increases faster than we previously understood,” Thomas Wahl, a civil engineer and the lead author of the research, tells Inverse.
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