In the Northeast, the amount of rain that came down in very heavy events increased by more than 70 percent between 1958 and 2010. A new law in New York requires state agencies to start thinking ahead about increases in extreme rain and other climate change risks.
If mid-century projections of sea level rise prove true for New York City, four times as many people may be living in the 100-year floodplain than were previously estimated based only on observed changes.
We can’t immediately link Hurricane Sandy itself to climate change, says climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig, but the flooding damage we can. Partly due to global warming, sea level has climbed about a foot in the NYC area over the past century, giving storm surges a “step up” along the coast.