Are there good places to live to avoid climate change? –LX

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Parts of Florida are already experiencing regular flooding due to rising sea levels due to climate change. And it will probably get worse in just a few decades. NOAA updated its sea level rise projections in February, and its latest models bring an additional 18 inches of water along the Gulf Coast and more than 12 inches for the Atlantic Coast by 2050. .

Tampa, on the state’s west coast, will be at “serious” flood risk for the next 30 years, according to Flood Factor, an online tool created by the nonprofit First Street Foundation.

Longer term, Climate Central’s projects in downtown Tampa could be underwater after several decades, depending on global warming.

The neighboring city of St. Petersburg could turn into an island.

With some businesses already moving to higher elevations, a potential dry spot in Tampa is getting a lot of attention.

Dixie Farms, a neighborhood on the east side of town, is dotted with empty plots of land where people once lived. A mobile home park was sold and gutted; on some blocks, residents told NBCLX that their properties were in high demand.

This Earth Week, we look at how the water we depend on is also putting us at risk and what we can do to reverse the trend. And when that water moves inland, people will have to get out of harm’s way; perhaps in a region qualified as a climatic paradise.

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Scientists have predicted that sea level rise due to climate change will have massive impacts on where people live, potentially turning millions of people into climate migrants in search of drylands.

And while the greatest climate migration is yet to come, we are already seeing the effects of climate on housing in parts of the country. Businesses in low-lying areas are moving to higher ground, such as at Dixie Farms, leaving less room for affordable housing in those same areas.

“I get letters every day saying people want to buy my house,” said resident Ismael Lugo. He is staying there for now, but many of his neighbors have sold and moved out. The community has lost more than two-thirds of its population over the past two decades.

Increased demand for inland real estate is driving up costs and crowding out low-income residents. This inspired researchers Jesse Keenan of Tulane University and Marco Tedesco of Columbia University to come up with a new term for the trend: climate gentrification.

“Every year when we lose a bit of ground or a road here or a neighborhood goes under water, it really adds up,” Keenan said. “Because every home counts. Every road counts. So as sea level rise begins to take effect, it adds additional costs.

“What they’re trying to do is move inland, move to a low risk area,” Keenan said. “And so it really accelerates the concentration of industrial development and commercial development in an area that has always been a site of low to moderate income housing.”

Climate gentrification is also happening in the Florida Keys, where service workers are being billed off properties that cater primarily to the wealthy. Living on houseboats or in shared spaces is common, said Hans Lindsay, boat captain and tour guide in the area.

“Property Values [in the Florida Keys] explode, leaving less infrastructure for the working class,” Lindsay said. The workers live “five to ten deep in any place they can find”.

At Dixie Farms, some residents said they couldn’t afford a new home and didn’t want to move. And areas like the Keys will be challenged to raise enough money to protect all the infrastructure there, Keenan said.

Where are the climatic paradises?

If you’re planning to move soon, you may need to start thinking about how climate change might affect the real estate you buy. But some areas have “climate amenities” like abundant fresh water and will be insulated from the effects of sea level rise. This Earth Week, Jalyn Henderson takes you to the Great Lakes region to find out more on the future of the region as a potential haven for climate migrants.

Some people will become climate migrants by choice — others will have the wealth to move wherever they choose, Keenan said.

“It means they have the means, the wealth, the skills and the resources to be able to preemptively move to other parts of their region or even the country, to build a new home and a new community in the face of risk. “, Keenan mentioned. “Essentially they move to escape climate change, but the reality is that there is nowhere to escape climate change. What people are trying to do is think about which places will do better than others in the future.

No matter which end of the spectrum someone falls on, they will need to start considering the “climatic amenities” of where they want to live.

This brought a lot of attention to the Great Lakes region.

It is home to more than 20% of the world’s fresh water, and unlike other parts of the country, the region does not normally experience hurricanes, tornadoes, drought or sea level rise.

Cities like Duluth, Minnesota and Buffalo, New York have once been called “climate havens”; while other places like Cleveland, Ohio and Ann Arbor, Michigan are working to make their cities more sustainable, while trying to prepare for a potential influx of climate migrants.

In addition to access to water, most towns enjoy a reliable binational economy and many have infrastructure and buildings with “good bones” that could accommodate more people, said Rachel Jacobson, deputy director from the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, a group that helps cities and industries prepare for the impact of climate change on their future.

But just because the region is considered a climate paradise doesn’t mean it’s resilient to climate change.

The Great Lakes are experiencing an increase in temperature and precipitation, resulting in inconsistent lake levels; there are more invasive species in waterways; the composition of the forests is changing and many of the “good bones” of these cities are also aging and not getting any younger.

“A lot of our infrastructure is really degraded, and it’s not even able to support the people who depend on it now,” Jacobson said. “We need to upgrade and modernize our infrastructure if we want to use it to support more people.”

What else needs to happen to make these cities ready for climate migrants?

Climate experts say cities will need to tackle land-use planning policies, their relationship with the private sector, fossil fuel consumption and even social services legislation, to name but a few. some.

“Climate migration is really an opportunity for our region to envision and reflect on how we need this region to adapt to the climate impacts that we are experiencing and are going to experience,” Jacobson said. “We are really planning 30 or 50 years ahead. And that may seem like a very long time, but the things we do now, we will feel the benefits now and later.

NBC Chicago

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