The climate is changing. The earth is warming. Sea levels are rising. We know all of these things to be true. Today, we have a clearer picture of who could soon be inundated by the mighty oceans, and where they might go ( to a watery grave).
A new study in Nature Climate Change examines how sea level rise over the remainder of our century will affect America on a granular county-by-county basis, taking into account changing population trends and specifics of geography. The study finds that a sea level rise of 1.8 meters by the year 2100—near the high end of current estimates—would put more than 13 million people at risk, meaning that “the absence of protective measures could lead to US population movements of a magnitude similar to the twentieth century Great Migration of southern African-Americans.”
And where, exactly, can we find the vast majority of these millions of people at risk of being flooded out of their homes? In the great state of Florida, of course: the home of Marco Rubio, a climate change-denying presidential candidate.
Miami and its surrounding areas in South Florida are one of the most at-risk places in America for devastating consequences from rising seas. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Charleston, SC, and Cape May, NJ could also experience “serious levels of population impact” from such a rise, the study says.
In conclusion: climate change is causing sea level rise that could displace millions of people, particularly in Florida.