Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

DC Deluge?

PostedFebruary 3, 2013

Download File (mp3)

Anchor Lede: The past week’s strange D-C weather may or may not be a sign of global warming. But a University of Maryland engineer says we better prepare.

Randy Atkins: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says increasing ocean temperatures will cause rising global water levels. Bilal Ayyub, a University of Maryland engineer, used their 2007 report along with local geographical data to predict future effects in Washington D-C.

Bilal Ayyub: The impact is going to be significant.

Randy Atkins: Even using low end estimates, Ayyub says within a century areas that could be inundated with water – especially in a storm surge – include the airport, Kennedy Center, Archives, National Gallery, and some embassies.

Bilal Ayyub: This is not counting the Metro and flooding in the tubes and even flooding utility lines.

Randy Atkins: He says we should start planning now…

Bilal Ayyub: …see if engineering is ready to start offering solutions that are cost effective to deal with the situation that we have a changing climate.

Randy Atkins: With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.

Study in the journal Risk Analysis
University of Maryland news release
Washington Post Capital Weather Gang Blog story