Scientists Say Rising Sea Water Will Destroy Hundreds Of Thousands Of Homes

Rising sea levels threaten 4.4 million acres of land or 650,000 different properties in the United States according to the latest data from scientists.

By Doug Norrie | Published

With climate change at the forefront of nearly every environmental debate these days, we are getting more and more a sense of the long-lasting impact of global temperatures rising. One of them is likely to be rising sea levels with the impact possibly to be seen at different shores all around the globe. And one of the latest studies from a group of scientists has it that the effects could be seen in the United States much earlier than expected with the damage almost catastrophic.

The non-profit group Climate Central released a report titled “Sinking Tax Base: Land & Property at Risk from Rising Seas”(via Futurism) that outlined some of the predicted impacts that rising sea levels will have on various areas in the United States. And because everything comes back to bureaucracy, this particular study began by looking at the tax implications that could occur if hundreds and thousands of properties are lost to the damage caused by the influx of water.

According to their data, 4.4 million acres of land or 650,000 different properties could be affected by rising sea levels and would be considered below sea level by the year 2050. In this case, below sea level is the operative term because that means the levels have risen enough to change what had been considered land able to be occupied. But if the sea level changes along the coastlines of various states, many, many properties will no longer be habitable.

The state possibly seeing the most impact from rising sea levels, according to this climate change and sea level study is Louisiana which would lose roughly half a million (or 250,000 individual properties) in the next 30 years. The reason the tax base comes into this is that if there is property loss, then the rateables or places that can be taxed by local or state governments would disappear as well meaning the difference would have to be made up by the remaining properties. This would, in turn, theoretically raise the taxes considerably for the properties remaining.

Whether tax rates and costs should be the primary piece of the puzzle when considering the damage done to coastlines because of climate change and rising sea levels, I suppose, is up for debate. It sure doesn’t feel like it should be first on the list when it comes to worries. But it does offer up another area of thought around what happens when/ if the much property or these many homes are lost (presumably for good) in such a short period of time. This isn’t like rebuilding after a major storm. This is a permanent loss.

It’s worth noting here that scientists don’t believe sea level rises will be uniform along all coastlines during this timeline. This is one reason the Louisiana area was slated to maybe see more damage and loss of property. One estimate has four to eight inches of rise along the Pacific coast, 10 to 14 inches along the Atlantic coast, and 14 to 18 inches along the Gulf (where Louisiana sits). This is another situation to monitor, geographically, when determining the impact of climate change on rising sea levels.

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