Climate Central Analysis Featured on ‘Katrina 2065’
The most deadly and destructive aspect of Hurricane Katrina was its storm surge, and it's a trait that's only going to get worse as sea levels rise. The Weather Channel turned to Climate Central's sea level rise group to help with an analysis of what a Katrina-like storm would do 50 years from now and the results paint a worrisome picture for the Gulf Coast.
Sea levels have risen 8 inches since the 1890s and are projected to rise 18-24 inches more by 2065. That might not sound like much, but that rise exposes vastly more people and property to the hazard of storm surge.
In three coastal communities in Mississippi that The Weather Channel and Climate Central looked at, the extra lift would send Katrina's surge up to a mile and a half further inland and turn certain neighborhoods into islands, cut off from the rest of the city. The Gulf Coast is already one of the most vulnerable places in the U.S. to sea level rise and the poor are most at-risk. The analysis serves as a stark reminder that people who narrowly missed the worst of Katrina's impacts will face even greater challenges in the future as the climate changes.