A trio of phenomena attributed at least in part to climate change—sea-level rise, storm surges, and heavy rainfall—poses an increasing risk to residents of major U.S. cities including Boston, New York, Houston, San Diego, and San Francisco, according to new research published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
“Call it a triple threat,” Steven Meyers, a scientist at the University of South Florida and one of the paper’s authors, told the Guardian.
Using historical data on rainfall, tide gauge readings, and extreme weather occurrences, the scientists explored
the combined risks that endanger broad stretches of the U.S. coasts. Specifically, they looked at scenarios in which heavy rainfall combines with so-called “storm surges”—the
abnormal rise of water generated by a storm—
to create “compound flooding.”