Oct 31, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen
1 big thing: Sinking values and rising seas

The evidence keeps mounting that home valuations are vulnerable to sea level rise.

Why it matters: The U.S. is a rich country that's in a better position to handle climate change than our less fortunate neighbors. But even the richest countries on Earth will have to deal with the economic consequences of these projected impacts.

The big picture, via Axios science editor Andrew Freedman:

  • Global sea level has risen by about 8 inches since 1900. The rate of sea level rise is now greater than any in at least 2,800 years, according to a 2017 federal report.
  • Global average sea levels are expected to increase by 1 to 4 feet by 2100, with higher amounts possible if ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica occurs faster than expected. 
  • Sea level rise will be higher along the East Coast than it will be in many other parts of the world, because of ocean currents and other factors.

Driving the news:

  • WSJ investigation out today: "In 40 of the 66 counties in the analysis, the prices of homes in high-risk flood zones failed to keep pace with those in areas not deemed at risk of flooding."
  • University of Colorado in May: "Homes exposed to sea level rise (SLR) sell for approximately 7% less than observably equivalent unexposed properties equidistant from the beach."
  • Bloomberg in June: "Between 2007 and 2017, average home prices in areas facing the lowest risk of flooding, hurricanes and wildfires have far outpaced those with the greatest risk..."
  • Axios in August: "[H]ousing values in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut dropped $6.7 billion from 2005 to 2017 due to flooding related to sea level rise."
Expand chart
Data: First Street Foundation; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The bottom line: Scientists have been revising their sea level rise projections upward as more becomes known about the instability of the world's ice sheets.

2. Pic du jour
Photo: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Families of the victims of Lion Air flight JT 610 visit an operations center in Jakarta, Indonesia, to look for personal items of their relatives.

3. What you missed
  1. Robert Bowers has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 44 counts, including hate crimes, for the killing of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Go deeper.
  2. The Turkish government has issued its first official account explaining how Jamal Khashoggi was murdered. They say he was strangled immediately upon entering the Saudi consulate. Go deeper.
  3. President Trump doubled down on birthright citizenship, claiming it "will be ended one way or the other," after telling "Axios on HBO" that he plans to issue an executive order that would attempt to remove the right. Legal experts and historians have tended to disagree. Go deeper.
  4. The new U.S. commander in Afghanistan says "now is the time to start working through" the political process of ending the war in Afghanistan. Go deeper.
  5. 1 pod thing: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff joined Axios' Pro Rata podcast today. Listen here.
Mike Allen