Global warming may cause major hurricanes and flooding more frequently in cities.

Hurricane Irene struck the east-cost of the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean last summer, and brought winds up to 85 mph (120 km/h) that caused mortalities and extensive damages among various communities. The tropical storm was called the ‘100-year event’, but scientists from MIT and Princeton University hypothesize that similar storms like Hurricane Irene could occur as often as every 3 to 20 years.

The study used a variety of climate model projections and found that due to global warming, flash floods and strong hurricanes could happen more frequently than we think. The research leaves a lot to think about for urban planners and architects to rethink buildings, dams and structures that can be storm-proof and prevent flooding every 20 years.

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