Rising seas could push some U.S. migration to areas far from coast: study




  • In US
  • 2017-04-19 01:24:08Z
  • By By Tom James
A beachgoer photographs the waves as a band of Hurricane Matthew arrives in Daytona Beach
A beachgoer photographs the waves as a band of Hurricane Matthew arrives in Daytona Beach

By Tom James

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Rising sea levels caused by climate change may drive U.S. coastal residents to areas far from the seaboard, not just to adjacent inland regions, according to a study published online in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Even landlocked states such as Arizona and Wyoming could see significant increases in population because of coastal migration by 2100, and may be unprepared to handle the surge, said the analysis from a University of Georgia researcher.

"We typically think about sea-level rise as being a coastal challenge or a coastal issue," Mathew Hauer, author of the study and head of the Applied Demography program at the University of Georgia, said in an interview on Tuesday. "But if people have to move, they go somewhere."

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted in January a 1-to-8-foot (0.3-2.5 meter) increase in sea levels by the year 2100. Previous research by Hauer and others has put the number of Americans displaced by rising seas over the same period as high as 13.1 million.

While a movement of residents from low-lying coastal regions to adjacent inland communities will likely occur, Hauer said that according to his model, even landlocked states such as Nevada, Arizona and Wyoming will see an influx.

Nevada's Clark County, home to Las Vegas, is projected to see an influx of up to 117,000 climate migrants by the end of the century, and nearly every county in Wyoming is predicted to see some increase, as are many counties in western Montana, central Colorado and northern Utah, the study found.

Hauer said previous studies had shown that people permanently leaving their homes often choose destinations where they have family connections or better job prospects, even if those locations are far away.

"A lot of these places, although they might seem like they're very far (from the coast), people may have kin ties or economic ties or economic reasons for moving," he said. "People could go to school in an area and they come back years later, maybe that's closer to family."

Although municipalities typically are not considering climate migrants in their long-term planning, Hauer said, they should start to do so because the effects of sea-level rise were already being felt.

"It's not like we go from zero feet of sea-level rise to 6 feet right at the end of the century - it's an incremental process," he said.

(Reporting by Tom James; Editing by Patrick Enright and Peter Cooney)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Tribes bash proposed Trump budget cuts to Native Americans
Tribes bash proposed Trump budget cuts to Native Americans

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Dozens of Native American tribes in six Western states expressed outrage Thursday at President Trump's proposed budget cuts to American Indian programs, saying they would erase significant progress on child welfare and climate change and gut social services and education on reservations across the U.S.

In Europe, Trump feels the heat on climate
In Europe, Trump feels the heat on climate

At every stop in Donald Trump's whirlwind of summit meetings in Europe, the issue of climate change -- and the US president's threat to ditch the 196-nation Paris Agreement -- is never far from the surface. "I am still trying to convince the doubters," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday at informal 30-nation climate talks in Berlin, where China's climate tzar, Xie Zhenhua, also urged the United States to stay the course. Newly minted French President Emmanuel Macron, on the eve of his May 7 victory, likewise vowed to "do everything possible" to keep the former reality TV star on board.

Here's what we'll lose with Trump's proposed NASA budget cuts, and why one expert is calling it out
Here's what we'll lose with Trump's proposed NASA budget cuts, and why one expert is calling it out

If congress agrees with Trump's latest budget proposal, NASA will have about $561 million less to work with in 2018 than it did in 2017. With that said, significant programs will meet the chopping block because of it: NASA's education program will completely shut down, along with at least four other missions related to studying asteroids or understanding Earth's changing climate. NASA's acting administrator, Robert M. Lightfoot Jr., didn't sound all that concerned.

Pope Francis just threw some serious papal shade at Donald Trump
Pope Francis just threw some serious papal shade at Donald Trump

It's well known that Pope Francis and President Donald Trump don't exactly see eye-to-eye on global climate change.  The pope recognizes the issue as a moral and religious challenge that must be addressed in order to make progress in alleviating poverty and other global goals.  And Trump, well

China urges balance on environment, economy in Antarctica
China urges balance on environment, economy in Antarctica

BEIJING (AP) - A Chinese leader on Tuesday urged international representatives to strike a "proper balance" between environmental and economic interests in Antarctica, as the frozen continent's vulnerability to climate change raises worries that some nations could seek to exploit its natural resources.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.