Potential implications of global warming and barrier island degradation on future hurricane inundation, property damages, and population impacted
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Hurricane flooding is a leading natural threat to coastal communities. Recent evidence of sea level rise coupled with potential future global warming indicate that sea level rise will accelerate and hurricanes may intensify over the coming decades. In regions fronted by barrier islands, the protective capacity of these islands may diminish as they are degraded by rising sea level. Here we present a hydrodynamic and geospatial analysis of the relative role of barrier island degradation on potential future hurricane flooding. For the City of Corpus Christi, Texas, USA, hurricane flooding is projected to rise between 20% and 70% by the 2030s, resulting in an increase in property damages and impacted population. These findings indicate that adaptive management strategies should be developed and adopted for mitigating loss of natural barrier islands when these islands act as protective features for populated bayside communities. Finally, this study illustrates a method for applying models to forecast future storm protection benefits of barrier island restoration projects. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
author list (cited authors)
Irish, J. L., Frey, A. E., Rosati, J. D., Olivera, F., Dunkin, L. M., Kaihatu, J. M., Ferreira, C. M., & Edge, B. L.