End in Sight for Hurricane Season; What to Expect Next

As seas rise, what can coastal residents anticipate in coming months?
2:25 | 11/30/12

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Transcript for End in Sight for Hurricane Season; What to Expect Next
And, we turn next to news today about the changing climate. Hurricane season ended today, and it is official. This was the third worst season since records began 161 years ago. A typical year, there are 12 named storms. This year, we had 19. Among the monsters like isaac in the gulf and sandy in the east. Tonight, abc's dan harris tells us what this means for the future. eporter: A SURGE OF STORMS Pummelling the american coastline. Watch this year's busy hurricane season play out in just seven seconds. One storm, piling on after the other. Leaving people whose lives were uprooted by sandy -- we are extremely frustrated. This is what you need to understand. Reporter: -- Coming to terms with the harsh new reality that may affect millions of americans who live near the water. It's not safe for us to live there. The next storm that hits, everybody is going to be vulnerable. Reporter: For these people, meeting with government officials thursday night, today's hurricane season statistics are not just numbers. So, this year was bad and there's every reason to believe that the next year and the year after that and the year after that could be bad? I think it's pretty safe to expect continued years of busy hurricane seasons. Reporter: So, what's going on here? Not only are we in a naturally-occurring active period for hurricanes, but then, there's also climate change, which makes the waters warmer, which can make the storms stronger. And just this week, a new study, saying climate change is also causing the polar ice sheets to melt three times faster than they were 20 years ago. Look at this time lapse footage from the new documentary, "chasing ice." As this ice melts, it drives up water levels along the coasts, which makes hurricanes worse. It was coming in, rushing like a rapids. Reporter: In sandy, it was that surging water, not the wind, that caused most of the death and destruction. Just to put a fine point on this, the house was there. Right. Reporter: And the water pushed it all the way over here. For a lot of people, climate change really seems like this distant threat. But we're actually seeing it right here and right now. Reporter: Even though hurricane season is technically over, we could still see some more action. In the past decade, there have been four named storms in december, diane.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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