Climate Change and Energy Infrastructure Exposure to Storm Surge and Sea-Level Rise   [open pdf - 1MB]

"This study provides an initial assessment of the effects of the interaction of sea-level rise (SLR) and storm surge on the exposure of energy infrastructure to coastal flooding. We find that climate change is likely to substantially increase the vulnerability of many energy facilities in the coming decades. As recent hurricane events have demonstrated, this study found that an extensive amount of U.S. energy infrastructure is currently exposed to damage from hurricane storm surge. Furthermore, between 1992 and 2060, the number of energy facilities exposed to storm surge from a weak (Category 1) hurricane could increase by 15 to 67 percent under a high sea-level rise scenario from the recent National Climate Assessment. The total number of facilities that are exposed to storm surge from Category 3 storms is much greater; however, the percent increase in facility exposure due to SLR under a Category 3 storm is lower than for a Category 1 storm. Any significant increase in the frequency of intense hurricanes in a warmer climate would further exacerbate exposure to storm surge and wind damage."

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Department of Energy: http://www.energy.gov/
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