We’ve known for a while that sea levels are rising, and it’s a complicated issue – we’re not here to get into the how and why of the situation. However, what is interesting is to take a look at the cities more affected by these rising levels.
Most major cities in the US are on a coastline, after all – think New York, Miami, LA, and San Francisco. What is going to happen in 50 or 100 years when sea levels continue to rise, and those ‘beachfront’ properties are underwater… literally?
Some climate change websites have done the math, and the future isn’t looking good for those currently enjoying their position at the shore. After studying FEMA’s 100-year flood plan, looking at coastal areas that have been hit previously by major flooding, and taking into account the population of the areas, a list has been generated that includes the major cities in the US that will suffer the most.
Unsurprisingly, New York ranked at number one when it comes to most at-risk. That’s because real estate is so expensive, the area is so densely populated, and it is so close to the coast. If major coastal flooding were to happen today, 245,000 people would be at risk.
If major flooding were to happen in 2050, however, approximately 426,000 people would be at risk. This is due to sea levels rising, though obviously this is simply a prediction. If trends continue and emissions are not restricted, this is where we will find ourselves.
If you’re not in New York, should you care? Beyond general empathy, of course. And the answer is yes! Just because you’re not in the hardest-hit city doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about it.
Miami comes in second for at risk of major flooding today, with 126,000 people at risk if a major storm were to come through. This is why meteorologists are so scared of a hurricane hitting Miami – with such a large population and so many big buildings, it could be disastrous.
Number 3 on our list for vulnerable today is Pembroke Pines, Florida, with 116,000 at risk, then Coral Springs, Florida, with 115,000, and finally, Miramar, Florida, with 93,000.
The projected at risk for 2050 changes it up, however. By 2050, Hialeah, Florida is set to be number two with 204,000 at risk. Miami comes in third with 154,000 residents. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is fourth at 127,000 and pulling up the rear is Pembroke Pines, Florida, with 120,000.
Florida pretty much dominates the top ten, and for good reason – these are destinations that people love to retire to, homes are built right along the coastlines, and populations there are deceivingly large.
Millions are at risk for major flooding as sea levels continue to rise. Who knows where the best beachfront properties will be in 2050? It certainly won’t be at the beach anymore!