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Study: Higher tides from climate change likely to make hurricane flooding worse

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hurricane flooding to worsenHigh tides have been getting higher and low tides lower at cities around the Gulf of Mexico, according to a new study produced in part by scientists at the University of South Florida.

Those extreme swings, caused at least in part by global climate change, have increased since the 1990s, the study found. The trend for sea level rise spells very bad news for anyone living along the coast if a hurricane hits during one of those higher high tides.

"The changes ... have almost doubled the risk of hurricane-induced flooding associated with sea level rise since the 1990s for the eastern and northeastern Gulf of Mexico coastlines," noted the study, published by the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters.

If you live on the beach or in some other low-lying area, "you better pray somebody in Washington does something about this flood insurance situation," Mark Luther, associate professor of physical oceanography at the University of South Florida, said Wednesday.

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