A new study looking back over 1,000 years finds the flooding risk along the New York and New Jersey coasts increased greatly after industrialization, and major storms that once might have occurred every 500 years could soon happen every 25 years or so… The study by Penn State, Rutgers, Princeton, and Tufts universities, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, finds that flood heights have risen nearly 4 feet since the year 850, largely because of a sea level rise. The study advocates better risk management strategies to cope with storms… “A storm that occurred once in seven generations is now occurring twice in a generation,” said Benjamin Horton of Rutgers, one of six lead researchers involved in the study. “What we do know is that as sea level rise accelerates into the future, we are going to have more frequent flooding.”… “Every inch deeper in a core takes you further back in time,” Horton said. “We can stretch this technique back hundreds of years and thousands of years.”
A gargantuan blob of warm water that’s been parked off the West Coast for 18 months is part of a larger pattern that helps explain California’s drought, Washington’s snow-starved ski resorts and record blizzards in New England, according to new analyses by Seattle scientists… The researchers aren’t convinced global warming is to blame, which puts them at odds with other experts who suspect Arctic melting upset the “polar vortex” and contributed to the misery on the East Coast the past two winters… Rutgers University research professor Jennifer Francis is among those who argue that Arctic melting destabilizes the wind pattern called the polar vortex, which normally confines frigid air to the planet’s far north. The result is a weakened jet stream with kinks that can deliver extreme weather where it’s not expected… Francis said there’s no doubt ocean temperatures in the tropics play a role, but she thinks Hartmann is wrong to leave the Arctic out of the equation. There’s good evidence that rapid warming near the North Pole intensifies high-pressure ridges, setting the stage for odd and long-lasting weather patterns.