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Westhampton Beach High School 6 th Science Symposium at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center May 11, 2006 Climate Change, Katrina, and us ! (or: why do we need to care about disasters ?) Klaus Jacob <[email protected]>

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Westhampton Beach High School

6th Science Symposium at the

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center

May 11, 2006

Climate Change, Katrina, and us !

(or: why do we need to care about disasters ?)

Klaus Jacob

<[email protected]>

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University

Palisades NY



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  • How did I get involved with Disasters ?

  • As a Kid, roamed around outdoors/woods

  • High School: Failed in English – Bio/Earth Sc.

  • Geology, Geophysics, Physics/Math/Eng. – B.S.


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  • How did I get involved with Disasters ?

  • As a Kid, roamed around outdoors/woods

  • High School: Failed in English – Bio/Earth Sc.

  • Geology, Geophysics, Physics/Math/Eng. – B.S

  • M.S. Applied Geophysics / BP - Learned English


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  • How did I get involved with Disasters ?

  • As a Kid, roamed around outdoors/woods

  • High School: Failed in English – Bio/Earth Sc.

  • Geology, Geophysics, Physics/Math/Eng. – B.S

  • M.S. Applied Geophysics / BP

  • Earthquakes & Plate Tectonics PhD


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  • How did I get involved with Disasters ?

  • As a Kid, roamed around outdoors/woods

  • High School: Failed in English – Bio/Earth Sc.

  • Geology, Geophysics, Physics/Math/Eng. – B.S

  • M.S. Applied Geophysics / BP

  • Earthquakes & Plate Tectonics PhD

  • Columbia post-doc / long 1 year = 38 years !


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  • How did I get involved with Disasters ?

  • As a Kid, roamed around outdoors/woods

  • High School: Failed in English – Bio/Earth Sc.

  • Geology, Geophysics, Physics/Math/Eng. – B.S

  • M.S. Applied Geophysics / BP

  • Earthquakes & Plate Tectonics PhD

  • Columbia post-doc / long 1 year = 38 years !

  • Pakistan: Dams, Reservoirs and Earthquakes


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  • How did I get involved with Disasters ?

  • As a Kid, roamed around outdoors/woods

  • High School: Failed in English – Bio/Earth Sc.

  • Geology, Geophysics, Physics/Math/Eng. – B.S

  • M.S. Applied Geophysics / BP

  • Earthquakes & Plate Tectonics PhD

  • Columbia post-doc / long 1 year = 38 years !

  • Pakistan: Dams, Reservoirs and Earthquakes

  • Alaska: Earthquakes and Volcanoes - Seals


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  • How did I get involved with Disasters ?

  • As a Kid, roamed around outdoors/woods

  • High School: Failed in English – Bio/Earth Sc.

  • Geology, Geophysics, Physics/Math/Eng. – B.S

  • M.S. Applied Geophysics / BP

  • Earthquakes & Plate Tectonics PhD

  • Columbia post-doc / long 1 year = 38 years !

  • Pakistan: Dams, Reservoirs and Earthquakes

  • Alaska: Earthquakes and Volcanoes - Seals

  • NYC Equ.Eng.+Seismic Building Code – 11 years


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  • How did I get involved with Disasters ?

  • As a Kid, roamed around outdoors/woods

  • High School: Failed in English – Bio/Earth Sc.

  • Geology, Geophysics, Physics/Math/Eng. – B.S

  • M.S. Applied Geophysics / BP

  • Earthquakes & Plate Tectonics PhD

  • Columbia post-doc / long 1 year = 38 years !

  • Pakistan: Dams, Reservoirs and Earthquakes

  • Alaska: Earthquakes and Volcanoes - Seals

  • NYC Equ.Eng.+Seismic Building Code – 11 years

  • NY Equ. Loss study / NYSEMO T.A.C. Chair


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  • How did I get involved with Disasters ?

  • As a Kid, roamed around outdoors/woods

  • High School: Failed in English – Bio/Earth Sc.

  • Geology, Geophysics, Physics/Math/Eng. – B.S

  • M.S. Applied Geophysics / BP

  • Earthquakes & Plate Tectonics PhD

  • Columbia post-doc / long 1 year = 38 years !

  • Pakistan: Dams, Reservoirs and Earthquakes

  • Alaska: Earthquakes and Volcanoes - Seals

  • NYC Equ.Eng.+Seismic Building Code – 11 years

  • NY Equ. Loss study / NYSEMO T.A.C. Chair

  • Climate Change Impact on NYC / SLR Infrstr.


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  • How did I get involved with Disasters ?

  • As a Kid, roamed around outdoors/woods

  • High School: Failed in English – Bio/Earth Sc.

  • Geology, Geophysics, Physics/Math/Eng. – B.S

  • M.S. Applied Geophysics / BP

  • Earthquakes & Plate Tectonics PhD

  • Columbia post-doc / long 1 year = 38 years !

  • Pakistan: Dams, Reservoirs and Earthquakes

  • Alaska: Earthquakes and Volcanoes - Seals

  • NYC Equ.Eng.+Seismic Building Code – 11 years

  • NY Equ. Loss study / NYSEMO T.A.C. Chair

  • Climate Change Impact on NYC / SLR Infrstr.

  • Col.Univ. Earth Institute/Urban Planning/SIPA:

  • Disaster-resilient Caracas, Istanbul, Accra, Singapore, New Orleans


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  • How did I get involved with Disasters ?

  • As a Kid, roamed around outdoors/woods

  • High School: Failed in English – Bio/Earth Sc.

  • Geology, Geophysics, Physics/Math/Eng. – B.S

  • M.S. Applied Geophysics / BP

  • Earthquakes & Plate Tectonics PhD

  • Columbia post-doc / long 1 year = 38 years !

  • Pakistan: Dams, Reservoirs and Earthquakes

  • Alaska: Earthquakes and Volcanoes - Seals

  • NYC Equ.Eng.+Seismic Building Code – 11 years

  • NY Equ. Loss study / NYSEMO T.A.C. Chair

  • Climate Change Impact on NYC / SLR Infrstr.

  • Col.Univ. Earth Institute/Urban Planning/SIPA:

  • Disaster-resilient Caracas, Istanbul, Accra, Singapore, New Orleans

  • Lessons: -- Get Good Basic Education

  • – Travel the World / Keep your Options open

  • -- Never know what the Future holds.


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The Historian - Philosopher

Will Durant (1885-1981) wrote:

"Civilization exists by

geological consent,

subject to change

without notice."


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Source: Jim Hansen, NASA/GISS: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/intro/hansen_05/


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CO http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/intro/hansen_05/2

PPM

360

340

320

300

280

260


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Climate Change, Ocean Temperature & Hurricanes http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/intro/hansen_05/


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Storm distribution with http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/intro/hansen_05/

Present atmosphere.

Storm distribution with CO2-

rich, warmer atmosphere.


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  • Hurricane http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/intro/hansen_05/Katrina - Some Facts & Numbers:

  • Aug 30, 2005, Category ~ 4 Hurricane

  • ~ 1,300 Confirmed Dead,

  • 2.5 Million Households apply for FEMA relief

  • ~0.4 Million Displaced in 4 States (~290k in Louisiana)

  • Loss of Jobs in Louisiana: ~ 400,000

  • Insured Losses: ~ $ 34.4 Billion

  • Federal Funds Authorized so far: $ 62 Billion

  • Total Economic Loss ~> $100 Billion (Estim.)

  • Failed Louisiana Congressional Delegation Request :

  • Katrina Disaster Relief and Economic Recovery Act

  • ($ 250Billion Estim.)

  • Comparison:

  • 4 Years Afghan/Iraq War > $ 200 Billion


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Above MSL Below MSL http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/intro/hansen_05/

Bathymetry (in meters)


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Local Mean Sea Level Trend (in meters) http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/intro/hansen_05/

Grand Isle, Louisiana

The mean sea level trend is 9.85 millimeters/year (3.23 feet/century)

with a standard error of 0.35 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from 1947 to 1999.

  • m

  • 0.6

  • 0.3

  • 0.0

  • -0.3

  • -0.6

, LA

Local Rate of Sea Level Rise

(includes delta subsidence):

~ 1 cm/y or ~ 1 m/century


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  • Lessons (to be) Learned from Katrina: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/intro/hansen_05/

  • Mississippi Delta and New Orleans subside currently at a rate of ~3 ft per century (1cm/yr) . By the year 2100 this rate will increase to about 5 ft/century (1.5 cm/yr) due to Global Warming.

  • Storm-surge frequency will increase 3 to of 10 times.

  • The frequency of intense Hurricanes (category 4 and 5) is likely to increase.

  • Dams and Levees would have to grow in height (and width at their base) with time, with major consequences for urban land use planning & zoning.

  • Therefore: Rebuilding of New Orleans should ideally be fixed to sea-level rather than to the sinking ground. This would require novel storm-proof engineering of “mega-floats” with flexible connections to infrastructure systems.=> Prepare for this LONG-TERM solution NOW.


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  • Katrina Lessons (continued): http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/intro/hansen_05/

  • Hurricane Forecasting is Well Developed, but

  • Communicating Uncertainties will need Refinement.

  • Statistical Models of Hurricane Frequency &

  • Strength, and of Coastal Storm Surge Heights /

  • Frequency will need rethinking in relation to:

    • Climate Change / Global Warming / Sea Level Rise

    • Land Subsidence

    • Natural Protections (Barrier Islands, Mangroves,

    • Wetlands)

    • New Flood Zone Maps and Code Regulations

  • Coastal Demographic Trends and Current Coastal

  • Land use are Unsustainable (nation-wide).


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In the Northern Hemisphere the “Right Arm” of the http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/intro/hansen_05/

Hurricane has Higher Windsand Higher Coastal Storm

Surges than the “Left Arm”.

Wind Speed at the “Right Arm”=

(Vortex Velocity+ Forward Speed of Storm System)

Wind Speed at the “Left Arm” =

( Vortex Velocity- Forward Speed of Storm System).

Coastal Storm Surge Height =

Low Atmospheric Pressure Sea Surface Bulge

± (Wind Shear Coastal “Pileup” and Wave Effects).


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Hurricane Floyd, Sept. 1999 http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/intro/hansen_05/


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“Worst Case Track” http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/intro/hansen_05/

to hit NYC


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S-S Category 4 storms could have inundations up to 30 ft (10m) above mean sea level

NYC Storm Surge Inundation Map for “SLOSH” Model Worst-Case Hurricane Tracks, Color Coded By Saffir-Simpson Categories 1-4(Source: http://metroeast_climate.ciesin.columbia.edu/ )



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for NYC 2000 years

500

50

5


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0 2000 years

10







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Costliest 2000 yearsAtlantic hurricanes, 1851-2004

Cost refers to total estimated property damage.

=====================================

Rank Hurricane Year Cost (2004USD)

_______________________________________

1 Andrew 1992 $43.672 billion

2 Fifi 1974 $20 billion (2005 USD)

3 Charley 2004 $15 billion

4 Ivan 2004 $14.2 billion

5 Hugo 1989 $12.25 billion

_______________________________________

Source: NOAA

Katrina 2005 ~$75 Billion (est.)


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  • According to the United States Land-falling Hurricane Probability Project :

  • 30% probability that NY City/Long Island will be hit with a tropical storm or hurricane in 2006. Normal value is 16%.

  • 18% probability that NY City/Long Island will be hit with a hurricane in 2006. Normal value is 9%.

  • 9% probability that NY City/Long Island will be hit with a major hurricane (category 3 or more) in 2006. Normal value is 4%.

  • 99% probability that NY City/Long Island will be hit with a tropical storm or hurricane in the next 50 years.

  • 73% probability that NY City/Long Island will be hit with a hurricane in the next 50 years.

  • 26% probability that NY City/Long Island will be hit with a major hurricane (category 3 or more) in the next 50 years.

  • According to the United States Landfalling Hurricane Probability Project:

    • 30% probability that NY City/Long Island will be hit with a tropical storm or hurricane in 2006. Normal value is 16%.

    • 18% probability that NY City/Long Island will be hit with a hurricane in 2006. Normal value is 9%.

    • 9% probability that NY City/Long Island will be hit with a major hurricane (category 3 or more) in 2006. Normal value is 4%.

    • 99% probability that NY City/Long Island will be hit with a tropical storm or hurricane in the next 50 years.

    • 73% probability that NY City/Long Island will be hit with a hurricane in the next 50 years.

26% probability that NY City/Long Island will be hit with a major hurricane (category 3 or more) in the next 50 years.


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Strapped insurers flee coastal areas Probability Project

4/26/2006 12:27 PM

By Marilyn Adams, USA TODAY

With the 2006 hurricane season starting in just five weeks, many home insurers from Texas to Florida to New York are canceling policies along the coast or refusing to sell new ones out of fear of another catastrophic storm.

In the widest insurance retreat from coastal property since Hurricane Andrew slammed Florida in 1992, insurers as far north as Long Island, N.Y., and Cape Cod, Mass., are shedding coastal homeowners policies to reduce their exposure.

Allstate Insurance says it won't write any new homeowners policies in New York City, Long Island or Westchester County. Although Long Island hasn't been struck by a major hurricane since 1938, "The probability exists for New York to be hit," says Trevino.

MetLife also is cutting back on new homeowners policies near the coast.

New York's legislature is considering a bill to create a permanent, state-run insurer of last resort to provide wind and fire insurance for coastal homes.


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  • Conclusions: Probability Project

  • Climate Change and Sea Level Rise are inevitable. Their future Magnitudes are somewhat uncertain, but their Pace can be Slowed by proper Energy Policies and Consumer Behavior.

  • Sea Level Rise and Global Warming mean greater Hazards from Stronger and More Frequent Storms in Coastal Areas.

  • Adaptation Options are: Retreat from low-lying Coastal Areas, Raising and Strengthening of structures, early Warnings and Preparedness for fast Evacuation.

  • Home Insurance for Wind, and Federal Insurance for Flood, will be ever more expensive and harder to get, and in the future, if at all available, will come with Higher Deductibles and Lower Ceilings.

  • Advice: Do not kill the Messenger(s)! Hear the Message and Prepare for its Substance! Coastal hazards are not just a Problem for Westhampton Beach, it’s a coastal Problem on a National and Global Scale. Let’s all work together. Scientists have an important public role to play. But ultimately YOU make the difference!


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Thank You ! Probability Project


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  • Facts about the 1938 Hurricane: Probability Project

  • Peak Steady Winds - 121 mph

  • Peak Gust - 186 mph at Blue Hill Observatory, MA.

  • Lowest Pressure - 27.94 in (946.2 mb) at Bellport, NY

  • Peak Storm Surge - 17 ft. above normal high tide (RI)

  • Peak Wave Heights - 50 ft. at Gloucester, MA

  • Deaths - 700 (600 in New England)

  • Homeless - 63,000

  • Homes, Buildings Destroyed - 8,900

  • Boats Lost - 3,300

  • Trees Destroyed - 2 Billion (approx.)

  • Cost - $6.2 million (1938), ~ $20 billion (2006 adj.)


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