Rising Sea Level Could be Costly for Coastal Communities
Scientists predict that coastal communities in the United States could eventually experience flooding from higher tides as glaciers continue to melt. It is estimated that the sea level will increase about one to four feet by the end of the century. According to scientists, sea level rise is underway in some seaside neighborhoods and there is also the potential for large storms to intensify because of climate change. Cities along the East Coast, such as Miami and Boston, face the greatest risk for flooding, but flooding is also projected to harm much of San Diego County’s coastline in the coming decades. Kristina Dahl at the Union of Concerned Scientists states,
People need to know how much time they have and be adjusting their portfolio of options accordingly. In communities where they maybe only have 20 years before this type of flooding sets in, they need to be thinking in bold new ways. Many California communities have a longer time frame before they would be chronically inundated. So there can be slower-moving strategies that focus on halting or phasing out policies that encourage development in at-risk areas.
According to a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the number of U.S. communities that would flood more than twice a month could double to 170 by the year 2035 if sea levels increase by four to six feet by the end of this century. According to the study, if the sea rises by six feet by the end of the century, more than 600 communities would experience chronic inundation, including more than 50 urban centers from Oakland to Miami to boroughs of New York City. Zillow, which is an online real estate database company, predicts that if tides rise by six feet, nearly 300 cities in the nation would lose at least half of their housing stock. Zillow also estimates that in such a situation, about 1.9 million homes could be destroyed, with combined loses of roughly $882 billion. It appears as though people need to start worrying about the future of rising sea levels and take appropriate measures to try and limit the damage if the sea does continue to rise as predicted.