Last week the Orange County Register turned to Blum Center coastal flooding expert Brett Sanders to understand the cause of recent flooding in Newport Beach.

Why might high tidal waters be flooding the coastal Californian town during summer months when waves are small, there are no recent storms, and tide charts predicted lower water levels? Dr. Sanders says it’s the return of El Nino meaning warmer water that reaches higher levels.

Dr. Sanders also emphasizes that these conditions – warmer waters, higher water levels – are a sort of foreshadowing of what the the whole California coast  will see as sea level rises in the future due to changing climate. He warns that such conditions, now and in the future, can lead to major erosion events along the California coast if paired with big wave events like storm surges.

Read the full OC Register article here.