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Property News

Suggested flood frequency and how to prepare

February 16, 2012

In very recent memory extreme weather has been felt all over the world - turbulent hurricanes in the United States, a deep freeze in Europe and of course flooding in Australia.

The occurrences have many people wondering how soon the next big storm will hit and what they can do to prepare themselves.

A recent study of climate change, conducted by MIT and Princeton University researchers suggests that weather patterns are changing - to the degree that today’s "500-year floods" could start happening once every 25 to 240 years.

If the findings are correct, it may mean that Australians will have to alter the way in which they build residential and commercial property in areas located close to water.

Simulating tens of thousands of storms under a variety of climate conditions, the scholars found that overwhelming storm surges could develop every three to 20 years.

Lead author of the recent published issue of Nature Climate Change and MIT postdoc Ning Lin suggested that urban planners may be able to account for the possibility of floods in their structural designs if they know it is a likely scenario.

He said: "When you design your buildings or dams or structures on the coast, you have to know how high your seawall has to be, you have to decide whether to build a seawall to prevent being flooded every 20 years."

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