Jumat, 22 Januari 2021

Sea Level Rise Could Disrupt Air Travel, New Study Says | The Weather Channel - Articles from The Weather Channel | weather.com - The Weather Channel

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NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 05: La Guardia Airport awaits arriving flights after runways were plowed of snow on January 5, 2018 in the Queens borough of New York City. Under frigid temperatures, New York City dug out from the "Bomb Cyclone." (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

An aerial view taken in 2018 of New York's La Guardia Airport, one of several in the U.S. considered at risk for coastal flooding, according to a recent study.

(John Moore/Getty Images)
  • The research looked at 14,000 airports worldwide.
  • Hundreds are at risk of flooding.
  • Up to 20% of flight routes could be disrupted.

Flights at hundreds of airports worldwide are in danger of being disrupted by rising sea levels, according to a new study.

More than 260 airports around the globe are currently at risk of coastal flooding, and dozens could be below mean sea level by the turn of the century, the research published in the journal Climate Risk Management found.

Hundreds more could be in danger depending on the amount of sea level rise driven by global warming between now and 2100.

Airports in Asia and the Pacific topped the list. Those most at risk in the U.S. include Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans, La Guardia Airport in New York, Newark Liberty International Airport and Key West International Airport.

(MORE: EPA Says Amount of Toxic Chemicals Released in Environment Dropped in 2019)

Researchers looked at several different factors to come up with the rankings, including the likelihood of flooding from extreme sea levels, flood protection and the impact on flights.

They found that up to one-fifth of air travel routes could be affected.

“These coastal airports are disproportionately important to the global airline network, and by 2100 between 10 and 20% of all routes will be at risk of disruption," Richard Dawson, co-author of the study and a professor of earth systems engineering at Newcastle University in England, said in a news release. "Sea level rise therefore poses a serious risk to global passenger and freight movements, with considerable cost of damage and disruption.”

The study adds to a vast library of research that warns of threats to airports and other critical infrastructure due to sea level rise.

Sea level rise is fueled by ocean warming and higher atmospheric temperatures that cause ocean water to expand and glaciers and ice sheets to melt, according to NOAA. Global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions drives the higher temperatures.

The most recent Sea Level Rise Report Card from William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences shows that sea levels are rising faster and some areas are on track for the worst effects of sea level rise.

Sea level rise can also make the impacts of extreme weather worse by pushing deadly and destructive storm surges farther inland, and by increasing the rate of coastal flooding from high tides combined with sea level rise, also known as "nuisance flooding."

Globally, NOAA's worst-case scenario predicts sea levels could be as much as 8.2 feet higher in 2100 than they were in 2000. A rise of at least 1 foot by 2100 is considered very likely, even on a low-emissions path.

The Newcastle University researchers analyzed the location of more than 14,000 airports around the world and their exposure to storm surges at current and future sea levels.

They found that 269 airports are at risk of coastal flooding today. Depend on the amount of global warming in the coming decades, as many as 572 airports could be at risk by 2100.

And it's not just air travel that would potentially be affected.

“Moreover, some airports, for example in low-lying islands, play critical roles in providing economic, social and medical lifelines," Dawson said.

“The cost of adaptation will be modest in the context of global infrastructure expenditure. However, in some locations, the rate of sea level rise, limited economic resources or space for alternative locations will make some airports unviable.”

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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January 22, 2021 at 11:43PM
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Sea Level Rise Could Disrupt Air Travel, New Study Says | The Weather Channel - Articles from The Weather Channel | weather.com - The Weather Channel

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