Maine climatologists warn of more frequent king tide flooding without storms

Climate change-induced sea level rise is expected to lead to more frequent high tides that cause flooding, according to climatologists from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI). The phenomenon was visible when WMTW observed a royal tide occurring around midnight Thursday. , a clear moonlit night over Casco Bay in Portland. The 12 foot royal tide resulted from the astronomical effect of the moon being closer to the earth. On a street in the Old Port, water rose through storm drains and spilled onto the asphalt, flooding the block within an hour. The flooding had nothing to do with storm surge or precipitation. The last rain Portland had seen was two days before, and it was only a quarter inch. “Last night was a window into the future of what we’re going to see a lot more often,” Gayle Bowness said. , manager of GMRI’s municipal climate action program, said in an interview Thursday. in a year right now where we’re going to have about 12 feet, which is the flood threshold at Portland Pier, where you saw last night. With only a foot of sea level rise, we are going to experience this flood level about 100 times a year. “The Gulf of Maine recorded its warmest mean sea surface temperature on record last year, more than 4 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Portland’s low Bayside neighborhood. Bowness said: ” Since sea levels are singing faster than they have in the past, and although we as a planet can make decisions to reduce our carbon emissions, we are locked into a part of this augmentation. So even if we were to reduce carbon emissions today, we’re still going to see sea level rise play out for the next 30 years. the range increases, our vulnerability to flooding when storms occur will only increase,” Bowness said. “We can’t avoid water. The water is coming. We can’t keep him out.”

Climate change-induced sea level rise is expected to lead to more frequent high tides that cause flooding, according to climatologists from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI).

The phenomenon was visible when WMTW observed a royal tide occurring around midnight Thursday, a clear moonlit night over Casco Bay in Portland.

The 12 foot royal tide resulted from the astronomical effect of the moon being closer to the earth.

On a street in the Old Port, water rose through storm drains and spilled onto the asphalt, flooding the block within an hour.

The flooding had nothing to do with storm surge or precipitation. The last rain Portland had seen was two days before, and it was only a quarter inch.

“Last night was a window into the future of what we’re going to see much more often,” said Gayle Bowness, GMRI’s municipal climate action program manager, in an interview Thursday.

Bowness said the GMRI and Maine’s climate action plan calls for a potential one-and-a-half-foot increase in Gulf waters by 2050.

Bowness said: “We have about 10 times in a year right now where we’re going to have about 12 feet, which is the flood threshold at Portland Pier, where you saw last night. With one foot of sea level rise, we’re going to experience that flood level about 100 times a year.”

The Gulf of Maine recorded its warmest average sea surface temperature on record last yearmore than 4 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.

High tide flooding also occurs regularly on sunny days in Portland’s lower Bayside neighborhood.

Bowness said: “Given that sea levels are rising faster than in the past, and although we as a world can make decisions to reduce our carbon emissions, we are stuck in part of this rise. So even if we were to reduce carbon emissions today, we’re still going to see sea level rise play out for the next 30 years.”

GMRI has an interactive online tool for viewing sea level rise projections in Maine.

“As this tidal range increases, our vulnerability to flooding when storms occur will only increase,” Bowness said. “We cannot avoid the water. The water is coming. We can’t keep him out.

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