Disappearing Communities on US Coasts by 2050 Mapped in New Study

Nature, 6 March 2024

This study combined sinking land measurements, sea-level rise projections, and tide charts to provide a comprehensive overview of potential flooding from global ice loss in 32 major U.S. coastal cities. The economic cost of home properties newly exposed to flooding by 2050 could reach $64 billion on the Atlantic, $22 billion on the Pacific, and $21 billion on the Gulf coasts, respectively. These costs exclude critical infrastructure such as airports, schools, hospitals, power plants, and roads. Authors note that although the difference between a low and high emissions scenario is relatively minimal over the next three decades, by 2100 the higher emissions pathway will have far more clear and devastating impacts. Based on today’s rate of sea-level rise, 273,000 people and 171,000 properties along US coastlines are at risk of flooding by 2050, even with current coastal-defense structures.

Full paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-024-07038-3
Plain-language briefing: https://news.vt.edu/articles/2024/01/research-sinkingcoasts.html

By Amy Imdieke, Global Outreach Director, and Pam Pearson, Director of ICCI.
Published Mar. 22, 2024      Updated Mar. 22, 2024 2:06 am