Estimated rises in sea-levels and storm intensities set off by climate change are liable to flood low lying areas more often, reveals study.
Researchers from Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that regions such as the New York city metropolitan area, that experience a disastrous flood every century, could instead become submerged every one or two decades.
Using various global climate models, the team developed a simulation tool that can predict the severity of future flooding an area can expect, the journal Nature Climate Change reported.
What today are New York city's "500-year floods" -- or waters that reach more than nine feet deep -- could, with climate change, occur every 25 to 240 years, the researchers wrote, according to a university statement.
The research is not only the first to examine the future intensity of storm surges, but also to offer a tool for estimating an area's vulnerability, said co-author Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton.
"Coastal managers in cities like New York make daily decisions about costly infrastructure that would be affected by such storms. They need a reliable indicator of the risk," he said.