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Mitigating coastal storm destruction

NSF Award:

Adaptation to Climate Change in the Lake Champlain Basin: New Understanding through Complex Systems Modeling  (University of Vermont & State Agricultural College)

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Who doesn't love a trip to the beach? Our nation's coastlines are one of its most valuable assets, but they are quickly becoming a liability. Longitudinal research suggests that hurricanes are hitting U.S. coastlines more frequently and with greater intensity than ever before. Hurricane Sandy, which travelled up the East Coast in 2012, devastated parts of New York and New Jersey, and caused an estimated $50 billion in damage and lost revenue.

Research by Asim Zia of the University of Vermont indicates that coastal communities need to reevaluate land-use policies to help combat the effects of global climate change. Zia reported his findings in his paper, "Land Use Adaptation to Climate Change: Economic Damages from Land-Falling Hurricanes in the Atlantic and Gulf States of the USA, 1900-2005." The research emphasized that global warming increases the intensity of land-falling hurricanes and necessitates a societal shift in coastal housing density and commercial use to help mitigate the economic impact of hurricane damage.

This research can aid policymakers as they design and implement land-use strategies in coastal regions traditionally affected by hurricanes.

The paper was published in the journal Sustainability.

Image

  • satellite view of hurricane sandy
Satellite image of Hurricane Sandy.
NASA

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