Hurricane Idalia shows nature may provide the best shoreline protection – NPR

"Living Shoreline" large dome artificial reefs are ready to be positioned off the coast of Florida (by Amanda Nalley, courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife via Flickr).

When Hurricane Idalia slammed into Florida’s Gulf Coast in August (2023), one of the hardest hit areas was Cedar Key. A nearly 7-foot storm surge battered the small fishing community…(NOAA) says Idalia caused an estimated $3.6 billion in damage…But on Cedar Key, when the water receded, scientists found some good news amid all the damage. Nature-based “living shoreline” projects built to protect roads, buildings and other structures were relatively undamaged…

How sea level rise made Idalia’s storm surge worse – the Washington Post

Geo Color imagery of post-tropical Cyclone Idalia (courtesy of NOAA, public domain).

In mid-November 2021, a great storm begins brewing in the central Pacific Ocean north of Hawai‘i. Especially warm water, heated by the sun, steams off the sea surface and funnels into the sky.

A tendril of this floating moisture sweeps eastward across the ocean. It rides the winds for a day until it reaches the coasts of British Columbia and Washington State. There, the storm hits air turbulence, which pushes it into position—straight over British Columbia’s Fraser River valley….

10 years later, see how Superstorm Sandy changed the Northeast – National Geographic

Restore The Shore Seaside Heights, New Jersey (by Hypnotica Studios CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).

“When Sandy hit, New York City had zero coastal protections,” says Daniel Zarrilli, special advisor for climate and sustainability at Columbia University…”I credit Sandy as that pivotal moment that not only launched billions of dollars of resilience investments across the city…It also provided the spark for a whole range of other climate policies…”

How sea level rise contributes to billions in extra damage during hurricanes – Yale Climate Connections

Storm Surge (by Scott Pena CC BY 2.0 via Flickr)

Had Ian hit a century ago, when sea levels were about a foot lower, the storm probably would have caused billions less in storm surge damage, judging by the results from two studies looking at storm surge damage from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy in New York. Taken together, the study results suggest that rising seas left a huge portion of U.S. coastal infrastructure – much of it built during the 20th century – vulnerable to storm surges.

Small increases in storm surge can cause huge impacts…