ADVERTISEMENT

Our Flooded Future Looms [Slide Show]

One of the greatest dangers cities face from continuing climate change stems from increasingly severe floods

1 of 9

THAMES FLOOD BARRIER

Cities are starting to wake up to the threat from increased flooding due to climate change. Mayors and urban managers often have a keener awareness than national leaders of the potential effects of global warming.....[ More ]

MINOT, N.D., CLEANUP, 2011

Floods can leave behind more than just physical damage. People who are at greater risk of developing mental health problems after a flood include women and individuals who are poor, elderly, have chronic health problems, did not go to college or do not have many friends or strong family ties, according to recent research .....[ More ]

NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY FLOOD, 2008

Belowground infrastructure is especially vulnerable even when water levels on the surface are not especially high. For example, essential elements of a subway system, such as motors, relays, resistors, pumps and transformers, often must be repaired or replaced after a flood.....[ More ]

LONDON TUBE FLOOD

The growing number and severity of urban floods increasingly threaten key transportation infrastructure, such as trains, subways, highways and airports.....[ More ]

LOUISIANA FLOOD, 2008

Fast-moving floods often demand that residents make snap decisions—such as whether or not to leave a pet or possessions behind—which can mean the difference between a successful exit or a failed, and possibly fatal, one.....[ More ]

TEXAS FLOOD, 2008

A flood's massive volume of liquid and debris wreaks havoc on infrastructure, often leaving safe drinking water and ice in short supply. The 2008 Atlantic hurricane season was particularly active with 16 named storms, including eight hurricanes .....[ More ]

QUEENSLAND FLOOD, 2011

Currently about 38.5 million people living in cities around the world are at risk of suffering an extremely severe flood with water levels at the 100-year mark. By the 2070s, the number of urban dwellers affected by such severe floods could more than triple to around 150 million people , according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.....[ More ]

NORTH DAKOTA FLOOD, 2011

Residents of industrialized countries are not immune to flood damage. Preliminary estimates from the U.S. Department of Commerce put the damage from flooding in the Midwest during the spring of 2011 between $2 billion and $4 billion.....[ More ]

HAITI FLOOD, 2010

In developing countries, informal settlements are often most vulnerable to flooding—typically because poor people often find they can only make a home in flood-prone areas.....[ More ]

risk free title graphic

YES! Send me a free issue of Scientific American with no obligation to continue the subscription. If I like it, I will be billed for the one-year subscription.

cover image Subscribe Now
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Share this Article:
Scientific American Special Universe

Get the latest Special Collector's edition

Secrets of the Universe: Past, Present, Future

Order Now >

X

Email this Article

X