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Flooding linked to climate change puts beaches, nuclear plants at risk

A hot March: Global average temperature anomalies in degrees Celsius, compared to the 1951-1980 average for that month. Chart: NASA GISS
A hot March: Global average temperature anomalies in degrees Celsius, compared to the 1951-1980 average for that month. Chart: NASA GISS

An increasing risk of flooding across the U.S. from climate change has caused lawmakers — from Hawaii to the East Coast — to consider new measures to protect at-risk areas.

The big picture: The risks span from the nation's natural jewels to some of its most important infrastructure. Rising sea levels mean that Hawaii's Waikiki Beach could be underwater within the next 15 to 20 years — and an increasing number of U.S. nuclear plants were never designed to handle the flood risk from climate change.

  • State lawmakers are considering spending millions for a coastline protection program aimed at defending the city from regular tidal inundations, AP reports.
  • 54 of the 60 nuclear plants in the U.S. aren't prepared for the flood risks expected due to climate change "Nineteen face three or more threats that they weren’t designed to handle," Bloomberg reports.

Go deeper ... EPA head: Drinking water, not climate change, is world's most pressing issue