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.

"Flood concerns rise along coast as hurricane-force winds predicted: Coastal residents in Massachusetts prepare for blizzard", WCVB.com – Jan. 26, 2015
Click here to view story

"High, Wide Sand Dunes Worked During Hurricane Sandy, Report Finds", by Wayne Parry, AP, Huff Post Green – Jan. 20, 2014
Click here to view story

"Plan to Protect Manhattan from Sandy 2.0 Moves Forward", by Evan Bindelglass, CURBED – Jan. 20, 2015
Click here to view blog

"ABIR's Brad Kading on Bermuda after 2014 hurricanes, regulation, new capital, growth and more", WRIN.tv On Demand Library – Jan. 22, 2015
Click here for video

"Belief, Reality Must Converge to Fund Iowa City's Big Flood Mitigation Project", by Kathleen Sloan/The Hawk Eye, Emergency Management – Jan. 19, 2015
Click here to view story

"Pace of infrastructure planning for coastal flooding a countdown to disaster", by Jeffrey Meyer, The Coast News – Jan. 16, 2015
Click here to view blog

"Pre-storm mitigation is key to cutting damage and costs", by R. David Paulinson, The Hill – Jan. 14, 2015
Click here to view story

"Miss. legislators enact first statewide building codes to withstand greater hurricane force wind", by Jeffrey Brewer, Property Casualty 360 – Dec. 29, 2014
Click here to view story

"Climate change in Grand Rapids: Mayor George Heartwell says 'There's more water coming", by Matt Vande Bunte, MichiganLive.com – Dec. 5, 2014
Click here for blog

"6 Years After Hurricane Ike, Texas Coast Remains Vulnerable", by Duff Wilson, Ryan McNeill & Deborah J. Nelson, Reuters – November 24, 2014
Click here to view story

"Worst Places to Own a Home: The 50 worst counties for homeowners, based on natural factors", by Nick Wiltgen & Eric Zerkel, The Weather Channel – November 2014
Click here to view story

"IBHS Urges New York to Adopt 2015 Model Building Codes", by IBHS, Insurance Journal – October 20, 2014
Click here to view story

"Kading: Smart Government Investments in Resilience Save Taxpayers Dollars and Protect Citizens", PR Newswire , InsuranceNewsNet.com – Oct. 9, 2014
Click here to press release

RenRe WeatherPredict Flash Disaster Safety/IBHS