Scientists say that a series of unlikely forces combined to create Hurricane Sandy—and that such a convergence won't happen again for another several hundred years, a new study shows. (Read it in full below.)

Sandy was unique thanks to several factors, said Timothy Hall, a senior scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and co-author of the study. The perpendicular angle at which the storm struck the East Coast was abnormal, and the storm's direction was influenced by "a region of high pressure" that essentially forced Sandy into the coast.

“The sustained winds towards the coast from the direct path is continually pushing a wall of water onto the coast, and you can get a greater surge magnitude, compared to more typical in-land winds sweeping along the coast," Hall told LiveScience.

Other factors: Sandy was large, even out at sea, and a full moon that created tides 20 percent higher than normal.

So all those above-ground alien bathrooms at Coney Island are just for show? No no, scientists say, waving their hands. Not by a long shot. Global climate models show that hurricanes will only grow more intense as the earth continues to burn hotter, although there may be fewer hurricanes overall. Melting glaciers and warmer oceans will lead to more powerful storm surges, and flooding will worsen thanks to the higher water vapor content of warmer air. As we learned last week, sea levels will rise four to eight inches by 2020—possibly even 11 inches!

Bloomberg recently released a massive 430-page report detailing plans for a "Seaport City," intended to protect the East River shoreline, though the project would cost around $20 billion. Worst case scenario we can just use the report to blot up the extra water?

Sandy Study