…thanks largely to climate change, sea level is about 13 inches higher in the New York area than it was a century ago. The greatest damage from hurricanes comes not from high winds and torrential rains — although those do cause a lot of damage. It’s from the storm surge, the tsunami-like wall of water a hurricane pushes ahead of it to crash onto the land. It was Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge, not the wind or rain, that destroyed New Orleans back in 2005.
With an extra foot of sea level to start with, in other words, Irene’s storm surge is going to have a head start. And climate change is a big part of the reason why.
The source article Irene's Potential for Destruction Made Worse by Global Warming, Sea Level Rise was published August 26, 2011 by Climate Central .