How likely is it that climate change will leave your city in the dark? Researchers at Johns Hopkins University asked just this question, analyzing which cities will be more likely to suffer from hurricane-related power outages in the future.
Using historical data and a range of potential future storm scenarios, researchers created a computer model to predict which cities will likely see the greatest increases in power outage risk. Seth Guikema, associate professor at Johns Hopkins and co-author of the report, said in a press release that the information will be able to help cities make plans now to reinforce their systems.
"If I’m mayor of Miami, we know about hurricanes, we know about outages and our system has been adapted for it," Guikema said. "But if I’m mayor of Philadelphia, I might say, 'Whoa, we need to be doing more about this.'"
Scientists are uncertain exactly how climate change will affect hurricanes of the future, but the team examined a range of potential impacts of changes in frequency, intensity and location to make their predictions.
"The range of results demonstrates the sensitivity of the U.S. power system to changes in storm behavior," Guikema said. “Infrastructure providers and emergency managers need to plan for hurricanes in a long-term manner and that planning has to take climate change into account.”
The team ranked the top ten cities that will likely see the greatest increase in power outage risk from hurricanes. Scroll down to see if your city was unlucky enough to make the cut!
10. New Orleans, Louisiana
9. Miami, Florida
8. Providence, Rhode Island
7. Tampa, Florida
6. Orlando, Florida
5. Hartford, Connecticut
4. Virginia Beach, Virginia
3. Jacksonville, Florida
2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1. New York, New York
Much of the New York City skyline sits in darkness after Hurricane Sandy, on October 30, 2012
The research was published in the journal Climatic Change. Johns Hopkins doctoral student Andrea Staid was the report’s lead author.