Severe weather events are becoming more frequent in New Jersey, and climate change could be the reason why.

Higher ocean temperatures and melting ice caps will cause a rise in sea level, posing a greater risk of flooding from storm surge, says Anthony Broccoli, a professor of atmospheric science at Rutgers University.

"The baseline for coastal flooding is going to be increasing because we expect sea level to rise as much three or more feet by the end of this century," he said. "So even if the same kind of storms we've seen in the past come in the future, they'll produce greater impact."

Broccoli says while scientists aren't sure whether hurricanes will be more frequent in the future, they do expect they will be stronger.

He says policymakers need to consider the projected climate trends when examining building codes as part of the rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy.