New York Magazine

The “500-Year” Flood

Climate change isn’t slow. It’s very fast—centuries’ worth of disasters hitting each decade.

WAS HURRICANE HARVEY the result of climate change? The answer is complicated because weather is complicated, and probably the best science can say, really, is “In part.” But the question is ultimately semantic. As journalist Robinson Meyer and scientist Michael Mann explained very clearly and very helpfully in the aftermath of Harvey, global warming means more moisture in the air, which intensifies rainfall and flooding, and significant sea-level rise, which leads to bigger and more invasive storm surges. But the more important matter is not how much blame for Harvey we should parcel out to climate change; it is how often, in this new age of epic weather, storms like it will hit. There are complicated variables there, too, of course. But the big-picture answer is clear:

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from New York Magazine

New York Magazine4 min read
Earn Returns
ATLANTA FX. THURSDAYS. 10 P.M. ATLANTA IS THE warped reflection that an absurd country deserves. Created by and starring actor-writer-musician Donald Glover, this FX comedy about black strivers on the edges of Atlanta’s entertainment scene is a rar
New York Magazine3 min read
1 For New York’s “Spring Fashion” issue, Carl Swanson profiled Mary J. Blige, the “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul,” who received Academy Award nominations for both her performance in and songwriting for Mudbound (“Mary J. Blige Sees Herself Anew,” February 5–
New York Magazine24 min read
Worst Roommate Ever
ALEX MILLER’S SPARE ROOM had been on Craigslist for two weeks when, last March, she got the call she’d been waiting for. The man at the other end identified himself as Jed Creek. Creek was a lawyer from New York, but he had grown up just outside Phil