Unlucky number 13

Hauer-et-al_-2016-Fig_3A new study reported yesterday in Nature Climate Change calculates that more than 13 million people in the U.S. will be threatened by sea level rise and related flooding during the next 80 years.

This number is three times the current estimates. Why?  Because it factors in rapid population growth trends in coastal areas, where currently more than one-third of the U.S. population lives. The study’s lead author told Carbon Brief that “impact assessments have traditionally used current populations when looking at who is at risk of sea level rise, but populations are dynamic which renders most assessments obsolete rather quickly. Coastal areas are some of the most rapidly growing areas in the US.”

Of this 13 million, about half will reside in Florida and another 20% will come from the greater southeastern U.S.  The estimated price tag for adapting to this new normal – by relocating people to higher ground – is $14 trillion.

For more specifics, read here.