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Hurricane season has officially commenced for the Northern Atlantic Ocean which could directly affect South Florida.

A recent Miami Herald article stated that new research suggests storms of the future may look more and more like Hurricane Harvey, higher category hurricanes supercharged by warming ocean waters with drenching rains. The record-breaking 60 inches of rain from Harvey last year forced forecasters to add new colors to graphics measuring rainfall. For communities also facing the threat of sea level rise, it means more of an enemy they’re already battling — water.

By 2100, the world simulated in the hurricane study, South Florida is predicted to see between three and five feet of sea rise, according to a projection by the Southeast Florida Climate Compact. With just three feet of sea rise, nearly half a million people and $145 billion of property are at risk in Florida alone, according to Climate Central.

Our very own Director of Science for the Sea Level Solutions Center, Dr. Tiffany Troxler stated “As the water level continues to rise we’ll have more water behind those storm surge events, that translates into more powerful storm surge events.” Fighting storm surge will take strategies like protecting and planting mangroves along the coast, which break up wave energy and slow beach erosion, Troxler said.

“It will require sort of an additive approach in order to accommodate the effects of storm surge,” she said.

Read the full article to learn more about what to expect this hurricane season.