Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Rising sea levels could affect three times more Americans than projected, study finds

Posted By on Tue, Mar 15, 2016 at 8:15 AM

click image PHOTO BY CARVALHO VIA FLICKR
Researchers say rising seas could threaten up to 13 million people in the U.S., three times more people than previously estimated. 

The study, published in Nature Climate Change on Monday, shows Floridians account for half of the 13 million people who could potentially be affected, especially in the southern half of the state, the Miami Herald reports. 

"For the first time, a team of researchers looked at ongoing population growth in areas where the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has created flood maps that more accurately reflect local conditions," according to the Herald. "What they found was startling: projections that failed to factor in population growth in dense states like Florida hugely underestimated the number of people at risk and the cost of protecting them."

The study suggests that the "absence of protective measures could lead to U.S. population movements of a magnitude similar to the 20th-century Great Migration of Southern African-Americans." 

If you didn't think we were already in hot water, stew on this: Florida, the most susceptible state to rising sea levels, is also the state whose governor allegedly banned the words "climate change" and whose senator said on national TV last week, "As far as a law that we can pass in Washington to change the weather, there's no such thing."

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