Climate Change Hits Home
Last week, the Union of Concerned Scientists came out with a report about how climate change would affect the residential housing market in the United States. The report focuses solely on sea-level rise and flooding along US coastal states.
The results are probably what you might expect, but I particularly appreciate this kind of analysis because it ties the science to real-world results. Thus, people can start to digest it and process things in a much more real and personal way.
For example, if I told you in the year 2030--a mere 14 years from now--San Rafael, CA would lose 1,814 homes; or Miami Beach, FL would lose 2,616 homes; or Ocean City, NJ would lose 3,235 homes; or Galveston, TX would lose 1,418 homes due to chronic or permanent flooding--you hopefully might start to pay attention if you lived in one of those locations.
The bottom line of the study shows that, assuming a high level of sea rise of 6.5 feet by the year 2100, $1 trillion in residential and commercial real estate will be destroyed, and 4.7 million Americans will be displaced from those properties. One million homes in Florida will be underwater (more than 10% of the state’s residential properties) as the hardest-hit state. This does not include infrastructure such as roads, bridges, power lines, etc., many of which will also be affected.
Download the data files yourself (Excel and PDF formats):
Apologies if this was covered in a previous essay or noted in Wendy’s climate change compendium articles.