New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 29, 2019) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor  Robert E. Kopp is available to discuss “New Jersey’s Rising Coastal Risk,” a report released today on the seventh anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s devastating arrival in the Garden State.

The research was performed by the Rhodium Group’s Energy & Climate team, Kopp, and other collaborators at the University of California, Berkeley, and University of Chicago.

While New Jersey coastal communities have a history of weathering storms and flooding, sea-level rise and changes in hurricane activity create new risks. The report quantifies the impact of changes in both hazards over the past 40 years on flood and wind exposure and expected damage at the county level. It also explores how New Jersey coastal risk will evolve in the years ahead as the climate changes.

“Sea-level rise has already increased coastal flood risk in New Jersey substantially,” said Kopp, director of the Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. “Sea-level rise over the last 40 years has already increased the number of buildings flooding each year by about 27,000; in the next 30 years, we expect that number to grow by an additional 33,000 to 58,000.”

“Exposure to flooding driven by hurricanes and nor’easters is also increasing, and this report highlights that wind damage from hurricanes is growing, too. But by integrating climate change and sea-level rise into regional planning, we can reduce the human and economic costs of these changes. And reducing global greenhouse gas emissions can significantly decrease the magnitude of the problem we have to deal with, particularly beyond 2050,” Kopp added.

Here’s an interactive based on the report: njcoastalrisk.rhg.com

Kopp, who co-authored a recent essay on future sea-level rise in New Jersey, is available to comment at robert.kopp@rutgers.edu

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