Climate Adaptation: Avoiding Sea Level Rise by Relocating to Higher Land in Your Area

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Climate change will drastically alter your life over the next many decades, regardless of where you reside. It will get hotter and dryer, and homes near the coasts will be at risk of flooding as sea levels rise. If you aren’t ready, don’t do it Despite the dangers, stay in your seaside property, it’s time to think about relocating to a higher elevation in your area — and to learn about the considerations that should affect your decision.

Flooding, erosion, and saltwater intrusion into wells and municipal water sources are all threats to coastlines around the world. The Southeast and Northeast of the United States are particularly vulnerable to hurricane and storm surge floods, as well as the loss of freshwater supplies as the sea level rises. Coastal erosion, which has resulted in the loss of homes on bluffs above Pacific beaches, and water supply challenges are the two most pressing concerns for homeowners who live near the ocean in the West.

Rather than uprooting and moving across the nation, most of us contemplating a relocation will want to consider living farther away from the shore to prevent additional climate change implications. Because we can’t totally avoid the effects of climate change everywhere, switching residences should be accompanied with lifestyle modifications to limit your environmental footprint.

When and where should you think about leaving?

Longer and more intense hurricane seasons, as well as extreme weather, are being driven by climate change, which may lead to There is a risk of mortality and property loss due to flash flooding in cities that are farther away from the shore. There are compelling reasons to consider relocating immediately if you reside within 15 to 20 feet of sea level in the storm-prone Southeast and Northeast — not just the possible damage, but also the incapacity to insure personal property and residences will depreciate the value of at-risk properties in these areas.

Climate Central discovered the in the year 2107 The cities that are most at danger are listed below for major or “once-in-a-100-year” flooding occurrences. The low-lying Southeast is most vulnerable to flooding, but New York City, where 245,000 people might be evacuated by a severe storm’s tidal surge, is at the top of the list. The population of Florida’s coastal cities — 1.58 million people — is the most vulnerable to hurricane storm surge and sea level rise. Not only will these cities be harmed, according to Climate Central The dwellings of low-income people will be the hardest damaged Before 2050, the chance of injury will grow by 300%.

Cities Most Vulnerable to Coastal Flooding Today
the source: Climate Central is a website dedicated to the study of climate change The dwellings of low-income people will be the hardest damaged25th of October, 2017.

Another issue that these low-lying communities confront is the depletion of freshwater supplies. The when the water level rises, the The typical groundwater flow toward the ocean has been reversed, causing seawater contamination of aquifers and wells near the coast. The aquifers in Florida are Very vulnerable Because the state is surrounded by the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, it is vulnerable to saltwater intrusion. However, it is The population is predicted to increase by 25% by 2050 over the course of the following two decades. More people with less water availability is a formula for conflict, and it will undoubtedly have an impact on property values.

Water scarcity is also a problem in the West. As the drought persists and sea levels rise, salt water pollution of low-lying homeowners’ wells and public water systems is a possibility. Important coastal wetlands will be jeopardized as sea levels rise, affecting local food supply as fish lose essential habitat.

“If you wipe out an entire system, the consequences will be felt by predators and prey species alike. “It’s astounding,” says UCLA’s Distinguished Professor of Geology According to Glen MacDonald while you’re discussing a write a research paper In 2018, he co-authored a book. Although having a generally steeper coastline, the West is vulnerable to a variety of threats.

The erosion of bluffs, which will harm houses, roads, beaches, and wildlife, is another issue for the Pacific coast. Orange County, Calif., saw its commuter and Amtrack services along the coast just this week Due to erosion, the plant has been shut down. While these may appear to be minor inconveniences that may be tolerated, the devastating effects of erosion on the Pacific area are far-reaching and affect every Pacific state.

“Many of these important coastal systems may approach ‘tipping points,’” according to the US government. In a, the Geological Service discussed coastal erosion Report for the year 2021. “At which hazard exposure dramatically rises and threatens the current form, function, and viability of communities, infrastructure, and ecosystems.”

Climate change has arrived and it is time to take stock of your options on every coastline in the U.S.

Where and Why to Move Nearby

Family, friends, career, and all of our familiar daily routines are compelling reasons to remain in the areas where we now reside. While there is a lot of talk about “climate havens” these days, it is far from guaranteed that migrating to those areas will improve life. For the most part, the best choice is to remain close to home, preferably on higher ground to avoid additional severe climatic consequences such as flash floods and increased fire danger.

Opt to live in the city

If you have a beachfront property now, you should consider relocating to the city’s central center. Overall, city life is more efficient and eliminates the need to drive. Your environmental effect will be reduced if you live in an apartment or condo with easy, car-free access to services, supermarkets, restaurants, and culture. Yet, there are trade-offs, such as the contribution of a expanding metropolis to heat island effects, which can alter local weather patterns.

However, city inhabitants They are more likely to live in smaller houses as well as their The environmental effect per capita is actually smaller compared to suburban and rural areas. House sizes in the United States’ most densely populated cities have begun to diminish, yet many expanding cities continue to see new homes grow in size PropertyShark believes this is the case. Homes in New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Miami have shrunk in size during the last century, whereas houses in the South, Southern California, and boom areas like Seattle and Portland have grown in size. When compared to a single-family house, choosing an apartment or condo has a lower environmental impact.

Hazards of Flash Floods

As a result of the remnants of, flash flooding is becoming a growing threat for communities far inland Hurricane Ida demonstrated this in the Tennessee is a state in the United States and, more recently, the New York City metropolitan area. Check the address where you intend to live on before going anyplace is a website that provides information about flooding to see the danger posed by rising water. The Federal Emergency Management Agency of the United States also provides Flood maps are maps of areas that are at risk of flooding as well as flash floods.

Extreme rainfall events, which are becoming more common as a result of climate change, have the potential to turn a little stream or a dry gully into a torrent. Check around any potential spot to determine if there are any signs of an inactive water channel. Is there a gully or canyon on the other side of the slope from the house? These harmless geological features could become dangers to the property if there is a sudden rainstorm or spring runoff. Flash floods are common in Phoenix, for example, despite its bone-dry climate 13% of the residences in the region are in jeopardy. Flash flooding threatens 20% of dwellings in Los Angeles and 19% of properties in Boise on a regular basis.

The Wildland Urban Interaction should be avoided

Finally, there is a risk of wildfire if you want to migrate to the forests far upward and inland. Throughout the last three decades, There are more than 12.6 million residences in the United States have been constructed in the WUI stands for wildland-urban interfaceEvery year that climate change continues, households in predominantly wooded regions will be increasingly endangered by wildfire. These homes are frequently surrounded by trees and dry vegetation that should be cleared at least 300 feet away on all sides, but are rarely done.

Map of the continental U.S. showing number of houses in the WUI relative to the total houses in the state
The percentage of dwellings in the WUI compared to the total number of homes in the state. The United States Fire Administration is the source of this information.

This increases the risk of fire for 46 million homes, or 38% of the US’s 120.7 million households. According to FEMA, fire destroys about 3,000 dwellings in the WUI each year. After California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania round out the top-five states experiencing increased fire danger as a result of building up against or near woods.

All of our assumptions about growth and where we live must be rethought in light of climate change. These principles can assist you in evaluating your options, but ultimately, your objectives and values will determine where and how you live. Downsizing your home lowers your energy consumption and, as a result, your carbon emissions. Living in a city or a community with well-developed public transit may also assist you reduce your environmental effect. But one thing is certain: none of us will be immune to climate change, so now is the time to start making plans to adapt.

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