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This Just In: NY, SF, LA, And Boston Could All Go Underwater Due To Global Warming

It's not just Florida anymore.

A new study published Monday (June 27) in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that New York, Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco, San Diego and Boston are at a much greater risk of flooding due to climate change than scientists previously thought.

One of the scientists who co-authored the study told The Guardian that this is due to the potential "triple threat" posed by rising sea levels due to climate change, storm surges (the way water rises during a serious storm), and heavy rainfall, which could combine to create "compound flooding." This study was one of the first to look at what might happen if all three of those things happen at the same time.

Hurricane Sandy flooding and recovery in New York City / Getty

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The study found that in New York City, the risk of a major flood has doubled over the past 60 years due to that "triple threat," and indicated that the city might now expect to see serious flooding -- like four feet of storm surge water combined with 5 inches of rainfall -- every 42 years. The Guardian reports that in the 1940s, New York city only expected to see a major flood about once every 100 years.

Almost forty percent of the US population lives in coastal areas that could be affected by this sort of flooding, and floods are the number-one-occurring natural disaster in the US. FloodSmart.gov reports that from 2010 to 2014, the average flood insurance claim was nearly $42,000, and that from 2005 to 2014, total flood insurance claims averaged more than $3.5 billion per year.

The authors of the study hope that knowing what to expect and how often to expect it might help cities become better prepared to deal with these types of major flooding events.

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