"We conclude that coastal communities are facing a looming crisis due to climate change related sea-level rise, one that will manifest itself as increased frequency of Sandy-like inundation disasters in the coming decades along the mid-Atlantic and elsewhere, from storms with less intensity and lower storm surge than Sandy," Sweet said.
The entire report contains 19 different examinations of various weather or climate events in 2012. Although 12 events were analyzed, some were investigated in multiple ways using different methodologies.
According to NOAA's Karl, this approach makes the study more robust.
"One of the things we've learned over the past decades is for us to have confidence in our results, what we need to do is to have different approaches to analyzing the data and the model results," Karl said.
This is the second time the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society has collected information on the previous year's weather extremes and tried to tease out the role of climate change in those events. The researchers involved in the effort stressed that the science of attribution, or of linking specific events to climate change, is still young and evolving.
"The more we do this in the future ... the easier it's going to get," said Peter Stott, a researcher at the U.K. Met Office Hadley Center and an editor of the report. "This is really quite an exciting research area, and it has a real potential to provide answers to people asking questions in their particular location."
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500