Examining Climate Change, Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding: A Look at Recent Findings from Leading Policy Makers and Scientists

The RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation is pleased to showcase the recent work of scientists and policy makers who are examining the impact of climate change on sea level rise, severe weather and coastal flooding, and who offer solutions for building more resilient communities today and in the future.

Columbia University Professor Sizes Up Hurricane Sandy and Impact of Climate Change - Adam Sobel, a Columbia University professor of earth and environmental sciences, applied physics and applied mathematics, has devoted years to the study of climate and weather. In his timely new book, Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, our Changing Climate, and the Extreme Weather of the Past and Future, Sobel examines the destructive events of Hurricane Sandy and explores what this unprecedented megastorm means for the future of our planet. Sobel shared highlights of his book and other notable research with the attendees of the Northeast Risk and Resilience Leadership Forum in October 2014, at which Sobel participated in a panel discussion on the changing view of risk in the Northeast. An extended interview with Professor Sobel about his book and his takeaways from the Stamford Forum is highlighted here.

NOAA Study Projects Severity of Sea Level Rise – In December 2014, NOAA released the findings of its study which found that by 2050, a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened by 30 or more days of flooding each year due to dramatically accelerating impacts from sea level rise. Based on the study findings, policy makers will be forced to make decisions on mitigation strategies that could range from retreating further inland to building coastal fortification, or a combination of both. Click here for the full report.

New York City Department of Planning releases Guide on Retrofitting Buildings for Flood Risk – The most comprehensive analysis of retrofit options available for buildings in the New York City floodplain to date was released in October 2014. The guide reflects the major impact Hurricane Sandy had on the city and underscores the importance of adapting New York City's coastal neighborhoods to withstand and recover quickly from future storms and other climate events. Click here to access the guide.

National Wildlife Federation Report Offers Key Recommendations in Building Safe and more Resilient Communities – The report, entitled Achieving Resilience in Coastal Communities: Resources and Recommendations, was released in August 2014 and is the culmination of a year-long study of coastal Louisiana's tools, projects and attitudes toward "nonstructural measures" that mitigate flood risk and reduce the impacts of storm surge. Click here for the full report.

In the coming months, the RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation will continue to chronicle the latest developments in science and public policy in this area with a goal of helping keep people and property safe from the effects of weather-related perils and other disasters.

To view past Risk Mitigation Leadership Forum Series presentations on topics related to severe weather, coastal flooding, and disaster risk mitigation, click on our "Forums Info" tab above. We also encourage those interested in mitigation best practices to Join Us Now.

"FEMA Won't Help States That Don't Plan For Climate Change", by John Upton, Climate Central – Mar. 19, 2015
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"Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Sees the Power of Partnership in Urban Flood Control", by Joanna Pope, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Nebraska – Mar. 19, 2015
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"International recognition for risk mitigation group", by IBO – Mar. 19, 2015
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"Focus of climate change discussions shifts from mitigation to adaptation: UC Santa Cruz climate conference panel address coastal resilience and 'wicked tradeoffs", im Stephens, UCSC – Mar. 16, 2015
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"Portland not as prepared as Japan for major earthquake", by Keely Chalmers, KGW.com – Mar. 11, 2015
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"Floating homes developer targets flood-prone Berkshire site", by Keith Cooper, Construction News – Mar. 9, 2015
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"Sea Isle City recognized as a leader in flood mitigation", by Cindy Nevitt, Press of Atlantic City.com – Mar. 6, 2015
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"Investing in disaster resilience vital for sustainable development – senior UN official", UN News Centre – Mar. 4, 2015
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"NIST funds center to model disaster recovery strategies", by GCN Staff, GCN – Mar. 4, 2015
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"How Climate Change Will Alter New York City's Skyline", by Neel V. Patel, Wired.com – Mar. 3, 2015
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"UN Names Hoboken Role Model for Resilience", by Marielle Mondon, Next City- Mar. 3, 2015
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"Watch Out NY, Houston: Floods Could Be Headed Your Way", Texas A&M Today – Mar. 3, 2015
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"U.S. insurers may start feeling the heat on climate change mitigation", by Sam J. Friedman, Property Casualty 360 – Mar. 2, 2015
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"Florida Proposal Aims to Ease Sting of Soaring Flood Insurance Rates", by Josh Boatwright, Tampa Tribune – Feb. 23, 2015
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"Paving the road to a new global climate agreement", by Lean Alfred Santos, Devex – Feb. 20, 2015
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"Before the storm: Shifting federal disaster policy toward mitigation", by Jason Barnosky, Brookings – Feb. 19, 2015
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"Experts brainstorm ways to fund cities to withstand disasters", by Alisa Tang, Reuters – Feb. 16, 2015
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"As Climate Change Strains Federal Funds, FY16 Budget Request Invests in Resilience", by Andrea Vittorio, Bloomberg BNA – Feb. 2, 2015
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"Preparing for Climate Change: President's Budget Misses Opportunity", by Rob Cowin, Union of Concerned Scientists – Feb. 2, 2015
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"In major shift, Obama administration will plan for rising seas in all federal projects", by Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post – Jan. 30, 2015
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"Army Corps calls for more flood protection on N.J. back bays", by Carolyn Beeler, Newsworks – Jan. 28, 2015
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"The Great Marsh: Nature's Flood Insurance – How NWF and its partners are bolstering coastal Massachusetts' best defense against natural disasters", by Doug Stewart, National Wildlife Federation – Jan. 26, 2015
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"FEMA head: Rebuild wisely after disasters", by Ledyard King, Tallahassee Democrat – Jan. 27, 2015
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