While climate change didn’t cause Harvey, scientists say a warmer planet likely made the storm worse. Plus, higher sea levels – due to climate change and human disruptions (like oil drilling) have changed the ocean and land levels – encouraged destructive flooding as the stormwater rose.
Over the next 15 years, tens of thousands of homes in states across the US are at risk of chronic flooding due to sea-level rise. Besides the human toll, high-tide floods have the power to destroy coastal real estate.
According to a new report from the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists, chronic inundation threatens more than 100,000 of today’s coastal homes, with a collective market value of about $US52.4 billion.
Using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), researchers were able to map communities in the 2030 floodplain and estimate property damage over time. It is important to note that these findings do not include future development or new homes, nor critical infrastructure including roads, bridges, power plants, airports, public buildings, and military bases.
“The implications for coastal residents, communities, and the economy are profound,” the researchers wrote.
The nonprofit’s report outlines which states face at least $US1 billion in property damage by 2030. The 14 hardest-hit states are below.
14. Texas — $US1.2 billion
13. Alabama — $US1.23 billion
12. Georgia — $US1.38 billion
11. Washington — $US1.4 billion
10. North Carolina — $US1.5 billion
9. Connecticut — $US1.9 billion
8. Maryland — $US2 billion
7. Massachusetts — $US2.1 billion
6. Louisiana — $US2.6 billion
5. South Carolina — $US2.9 billion
4. New York — $US3.7 billion
3. Florida — $US7.9 billion
2. California — $US10.3 billion
1. New Jersey — $US10.4 billion
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