Millions of Americans including people in Florida, Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey are at risk from flooding. In total more than half of the US population in more than 285 cities may be at risk including NYC. Million of people and trillions of dollars in property and infrastructure assets are located in areas that are less that 1 meter above the high tide mark.
Flooding of up to four feet could cover 3 million acres including military bases, agricultural lands and toxic waste dumps. Almost 5 million Americans live in homes at less than four feet above high tide, and 3.7 reside at less than one meter (3.3 feet) above high tide.
The Environmental Research Letters Report on sea level rises was co-author Grant Foster, he told reporters that previous estimates actually understate the gravity of the problem.
“The study indicates that this is going to be as bad or worse than the worst case scenarios of the IPCC so whatever you were planning from Cape Hatteras to Cape Cod in terms of how you were preparing for sea-level rise – if you thought you had enough defenses in place, you probably need more,” Foster said.
Hurricane Sandy made the point very convincingly and this type of storm is expected to be more common in a warmer world. Flooding poses a major risk to Americans and it is worse than initially thought. In addition to people’s homes rising sea levels also jeopardize US infrastructure and industry.
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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