The changing climate and its effects are far-reaching—and one of its most devastating is rising seas, with coastal communities, especially, in harm’s way.
The chances of flooding in the future are swelling in tandem with waters. According to a recent report by Zillow, in approximately 25 years, more than 386,000 homes are projected to be at risk—but construction is happening in risk zones, and in areas with high projected rates of risk. Climate Central, an independent nonprofit, collaborated on the report.
Developing the most in flood risk zones, according to the report, is New Jersey, culminating in 2,682 homes at risk in 2050. The Carolinas, Florida, Louisiana and Texas are also building in high-risk zones, with anywhere from 448 to 1,233 homes at risk in 2050, based on the projections. Corpus Christi and Galveston, Texas; Charleston and Mount Pleasant, S.C.; and Ocean City, N.J., are among the cities at risk, as well as Norfolk, Va.
The extent of the flooding is illustrated on an interactive map, which can be altered in three ways: in circumstances where there are “deep carbon cuts,” “moderate carbon cuts” and “unchecked pollution.”
“The combination of Zillow’s data with Climate Central’s coastal analysis has given us our most detailed picture yet of U.S. homes at risk from rising seas,” says Dr. Benjamin Strauss, CEO and chief scientist of Climate Central. “We have discovered that many communities are growing faster in areas facing chronic future floods than they are in higher areas. It’s difficult to plan for higher seas if you are busy digging deeper holes.”
“This research suggests that the impact of climate change on the lives and pocketbooks of homeowners is closer than you think,” says Skylar Olsen, director of Economic Research and Outreach at Zillow. “For homebuyers over the next few years, the impact of climate change will be felt within the span of their 30-year mortgage.
“Without intervention, hundreds of thousands of coastal homes will experience regular flooding and the damage will cost billions,” Olsen says.
For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.