Sea level rise necessarily triggers more occurrences of minor, or nuisance, flooding events along coastlines, a fact well documented in recent studies. At some locations nuisance flooding can be brought about merely by high spring tides, independent of storms, winds, or other atmospheric conditions. Analysis of observed water levels at Boston indicates that tidal flooding began to occur there in 2011 and will become more frequent in subsequent years. A compilation of all predicted nuisance-flooding events, induced by astronomical tides alone, is presented through year 2050. The accuracy of the tide prediction is improved when several unusual properties of Gulf of Maine tides, including secular changes, are properly accounted for. Future mean sea-level rise at Boston cannot be predicted with comparable confidence, so two very different climate scenarios are adopted; both predict a large increase in the frequency and the magnitude of tidal flooding events.
Meteorology and Climatology; Statistics and Probability
Earth's Future (ISSN 2328-4277); 4; 12; 578-587