Climate change exacerbates hurricane flood hazards along US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in spatially varying patterns
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One of the most destructive natural hazards, tropical cyclone (TC)–induced coastal flooding, will worsen under climate change. Here we conduct climatology–hydrodynamic modeling to quantify the effects of sea level rise (SLR) and TC climatology change (under RCP 8.5) on late 21st century flood hazards at the county level along the US Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. We find that, under the compound effects of SLR and TC climatology change, the historical 100-year flood level would occur annually in New England and mid-Atlantic regions and every 1–30 years in southeast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions in the late 21st century. The relative effect of TC climatology change increases continuously from New England, mid-Atlantic, southeast Atlantic, to the Gulf of Mexico, and the effect of TC climatology change is likely to be larger than the effect of SLR for over 40% of coastal counties in the Gulf of Mexico.