Tuesday, March 15, 2016

13 Million Americans at Risk of Floods from Rising Sea Levels

The figure from the paper maps the population in the 48 contiguous states at risk from 0.9m of sea level rise. The map is divided up into states (black lines) and individual counties (grey lines). The darker the orange shading, the larger the number of people projected to be at risk in that county. (Credit: nature.com) Click to Enlarge.
Up to 13 million Americans along the coast are at risk of floods from rising seas due to climate change, says a new study released Monday.

Based on population forecasts for the year 2100, a six-foot sea level rise would expose more than 13 million people to flooding and other hazards from rising seas.

Florida faces the most risk, where up to 6 million residents could be affected. One million people each in California and Louisiana also could be impacted.

"Projections are up to three times larger than current estimates, which significantly underestimate the effect of sea-level rise in the United States,” said study co-author Mathew E. Hauer of the University of Georgia.

“In fact, there are 31 counties where more than 100,000 residents could be affected by 6 feet of sea-level rise,” he said.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed British journal Nature Climate Change.

Millions of people may need to relocate, with the expected migration similar to that of the 20th-century Great Migration of southern African-Americans to the North, the study said.  Relocating the people would come with a price tag of $14 trillion, study authors found.

If the seas rose by three feet, roughly 4.2 million Americans would have to move.

Scientists say man-made climate change will be the primary cause of future sea-level rise.

Read more at 13 Million Americans at Risk of Floods from Rising Sea Levels

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