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Global warming could substantially raise sea levels around New York
City over the next century and put the Big Apple at greater risk of
being flooded by hurricane waves, a new computer model predicts.
Sea level around the city could jump 15 to 19 inches by 2050 and by
more than three feet by 2080, according to the model.
If sea levels rise as predicted, New York City would face an
increased risk of flooding by hurricane storm surge, the researchers
Storm surge is an above normal rise in sea level caused by a hurri-
The new model used data collected by the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers and the National Hurricane Center to calculate the amount
of damage hurricane-induced storm surges would inflict on the city.
A previous study in 1995 predicted that a Category 3 hurricane could
create surges of up to 25 feet at JFK Airport, 21 feet at the Lincoln
Tunnel entrance, 24 feet at the Battery and 26 feet at La Guardia
Even an increase of as little as 1.5 inches in normal sea level could
contribute to flooding many parts of the city if a Category 3 hurricane
were to strike, said Gornitz and fellow researcher Rosemary
Hurricanes are ranked from 1 to 5, with 5 being the strongest and