As climate change ramps up and the sea level rises, more and more communities will find themselves without homes.
Whether you like it or not, regardless of your personal beliefs or political inclinations, sea levels are rising across the globe. That's a fact—a measurable, well-documented fact. And it's already putting entire communities at risk.
Small islands which stand just a few feet above sea level are already seeing the tides creeping in, and already floods are destroying their roads and infrastructure. The Republic of Kiribati in the Pacific Ocean, for example, has lost its only paved road to the rising sea, which is going up at a rate of half an inch every year. If this trend continues, the islands will be uninhabitable in just a few years.
And since this is happening all over the planet, it's not just islands that will be affected (though they will be the first to suffer). Coastal cities all around the world will come under siege from high tides and flooding, including cities in the U.S.
In June 2018, the Union of Concerned Scientists from Cambridge, Massachusetts published "Underwater," a detailed analysis of scientific data to predict the chances of different American cities, county subdivisions, or coastal communities to be flooded and completely inundated in the coming decades. Here are their results:
Miami Beach, Florida
This particular location is one of the riskiest places to live in a world facing rising seas, with 74.5% of its homes expected to be flooded by 2100, with over 94% of its habitable land completely inundated. By 2060, 39,547 homes within its boundaries, or 30% of its houses, and 58.5% of its habitable land, will be underwater. That's more than $19 billion worth of property at risk in the next four decades—just from Miami Beach alone.
Hoboken, New Jersey
By 2060, it's likely that about 14,747 homes will be at risk of flooding, with that figure rising to 21,814 (or 43.6% of its total) by 2100. Nearly half of Hoboken's habitable land will be underwater in the next forty years, with more than 70% becoming uninhabitable at the turn of the century.
That translates to $4.5 billion at risk in this area in 2060.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
13,687 of Atlantic City's homes will be at risk in 2060, and by 2100 that number will rise to 21,373—with 92.8% of the city's habitable land underwater then. All that amounts to $1.1 billion property value at risk in 2060.
Long Beach, New York
In the next four decades, 3,588 homes will likely flood in Long Beach, New York, costing more than $730 million in property damage. Over 16,000 of all current households and 95.5% of its inhabitable land will be underwater by 2100.
Key West, Florida
More than 35% of Key West's households will likely be underwater by 2060, and 54.6% will have that exact fate at the end of the 21st century. All in all, 62.6% and 94.4% of its habitable land will flood in 2060 and 2100 respectively, costing more than $3.2 billion in damage.
Galveston will probably lose over 10,000 homes in 2060, and 20,000 more (adding to 30,000, or 61.7%) in 2100. More notably, 45.1% and 90% of its habitable land will be underwater by 2060 and 2100 respectively, with more than $2 million of current property at risk in the next few decades.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. More than 30 other U.S. locations will have over 10% of their habitable land experience chronic flooding, including Hilton Head Island (South Carolina), Lower Keys (Florida), Mount Pleasant (South Carolina), Chesapeake (Virginia), and La Marque-Hitchcock (Texas).
What's worse, the previous figures are considering only currently-existing homes in the regions. The losses and property damage could rise considerably if more houses and infrastructures are built in the coming years. All in all, more than 300,000 homes, jointly worth over $117 billion, could be lost in the next 30 years—a figure that could rise to 2.4 million homes and more than $1 trillion property damage by 2100 (not counting household which will surely be built in these areas in the next decade or so).
Let's hope something is done before so much is lost. Especially for the sake of those who stand to be most affected, in the U.S. as in the rest of the planet.
You might want to take a look at these other articles:
The World Is Quickly Running Out Of Fish Due To Relentless Overfishing
Gucci Is Now Entirely Carbon Neutral In Effort To Fight Climate Change
Greta Thunberg Delivers Poignant Speech To World Leaders: "We Will Never Forgive You"