Monday, April 16, 2018

Sea Level Rise Poses Huge Threat to California, Heightening Urgency of Liability Cases

Half of the San Francisco Airport runways could be submerged by rising seas this century, a study shows.  (Photo Credit: Shaw/Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
As fossil fuel companies try to fend off climate liability lawsuits from coastal California communities, a recent study revealed some alarming flood projections for the San Francisco Bay Area, bolstering the communities’ argument that rising seas pose imminent harm.

The study looked at land subsidence, or land that is sinking, which exacerbates flooding risk as sea levels rise.  Previous flood hazard maps underestimated the land area at risk by up to 90 percent, researchers found, because they were based only on sea level rise projections.

Taking the sinking land into account adds to the urgency, and projected costs, of adaptation.

“As sea levels rise and subsidence increases, and possibly groundwater increases, we have a perfect storm of very significant challenges and problems,” said Diana Sokolove, senior planner for the San Francisco Planning Department.  “We’re looking at billions of dollars [in costs] over time.”

San Francisco and neighboring Oakland are demanding that the big oil companies—ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, and ConocoPhillips—help foot the bill.  The cities claim the companies knowingly extracted and sold a dangerous product that resulted in climate change harms like sea level rise, which constitutes a public nuisance.  For relief, the cities want the companies to pay into an abatement fund that will help cover the costs of building seawalls and other adaptive infrastructure.

Read more at Sea Level Rise Poses Huge Threat to California, Heightening Urgency of Liability Cases

No comments:

Post a Comment