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."
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.