Another day, another warning about climate change.
The report warns of widespread coastal flooding as climate change takes hold across America, especially in Louisiana and on the East Coast. But Texas gets some attention, too.
Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula could face chronic flooding in as few as 20 years, the report warns. Expect more of that up and down the coast.
By the end of the century, Corpus Christi, Port Arthur and numerous other Texas coastal cities will also face chronic inundation, meaning flooding will take place every two weeks across at least 10 percent of a community’s land area.
This fits a broader prediction for America’s coasts from the Union of Concerned Scientists. At present, about 90 communities across America face such chronic flooding. But that will nearly double to 170 communities by 2035 under moderate projections for sea level rise. By 2060, it will jump to 270 coastal communities. And by 2100, nearly 500 coastal communities.
A more extreme projection says 670 coastal communities will face chronic flooding by the end of the century.
These projections can be useful for planning purposes.
How close to the coast should communities build hospitals, refineries, schools? What land can communities set aside to ease flooding? What actions should be taken to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate warming to limit the toll a warmer world will take on future generations?
Like other reports on climate change, this coastal flooding report warns of an outsized impact on the poor as well as the business and security concerns that come with a warming world.
Globally, the sea level has risen about 8 inches over the past 140 years, the report says. But that increase has been especially pronounced on the Gulf and East coasts.
Instead of ignoring this reality (as in a Delaware-size iceberg splitting off from Antarctica recently), policymakers should be taking action to serve and protect future generations.