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Expand chart
Data: First Street Foundation; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

A sea level research and communications group's rapid analysis of the storm surge from Hurricane Florence has found that 1-in-5 of the homes impacted along the Carolina coast wouldn't have fared so badly had sea levels not risen significantly since 1970.

Why it matters: Sea level rise is one of the most significant effects of climate change that is already impacting society, and its footprint is only projected to grow. For example, the report also projects far more flooding from a similar, Florence-type storm in 2050.

The details: The First Street Foundation, a sea level research and communications group, sought to determine how many homes were affected by Hurricane Florence's storm surge compared to past storms.

  • To do this, they used data from recent federal government overflights of hard-hit coastal areas and obtained storm surge heights for 75 stations in the Carolinas and Virginia. They also relied on historical sea level elevation data.

Here's what they found:

  • Sea level rise since 1970 caused Hurricane Florence to "significantly affect" more than 11,000 additional homes.
  • Tidal data shows that the relative sea level off the Carolina coast has risen about a half-foot since 1970.
  • Hurricane Florence’s storm surge affected more than 51,000 homes by pushing water over 25% or more of each property.
  • The regional sea level, projected by the Army Corps of Engineers for just 30 years from now, is more than 1 foot above current levels. At that level, the same storm surge from Florence would have nearly double the impact — instead of 51,000 flood-affected homes, North Carolina would see 102,000 affected homes.

Take note: First Street Foundation is comprised of an unusual mix of scientists and marketers working together to communicate the risks of sea level rise. Some refer to it as an advocacy organization, but executive director Matthew Eby rejected that label in an interview with Axios, noting that it makes its methodology publicly available for review.

Go deeper: Sea level rise already causing billions in home value to disappear.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Lawmakers urge probe into DOJ's alleged racial profiling of Asians

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nearly 100 members of Congress members urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the Justice Department's alleged racial profiling of Asians, according to a letter shared with Axios.

Why it matters: The case of Anming Hu, a scientist who was baselessly targeted in an espionage probe, has renewed scrutiny of the DOJ after an FBI agent admitted to falsely implicating the Chinese Canadian.

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

The Olympic events to watch today

Katie Ledecky. Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

5 events to watch today...
  • Baseball: USA plays Israel in the opening round at 6 a.m. ET on nbcolympics.com (Watch the replay at 10:30 a.m. ET on NBC Sports).
  • Women’s soccer: USA takes on the Netherlands in the quarterfinals at 7 a.m. ET on NBC Sports (watch the replay at 6 p.m. ET on NBC Sports).
  • 🏊 🚴 🏃‍♀️ Team triathlon: The mixed team relay Triathlon makes its Olympic debut at 6:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.
  • 🏊‍♀️ Swimming finals: Watch Katie Ledecky swim the women’s 800m freestyle final and Caeleb Dressel go for his third gold at this year’s Games in the men’s 50m freestyle. Plus live action from the mixed 4x100m medley relay. Coverage starts at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
  • 🏃‍♀️ Track and field: Athletes compete in prelims and round 1 of several events, including the women’s 400m hurdles and men’s 100m.
Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

Japan tests teleporting games and "remote cheering"

NTT is using augmented reality holograms to transport an Olympic badminton match to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. Photo: NTT

Japanese telecom giant NTT is using the Olympics to show off a new generation of technologies that can transport the sporting experience to wherever fans are, instead of making them come to games.

Why it matters: Technology like this would have solved tons of problems this year, when no spectators are allowed at the actual Olympic venues. Unfortunately, it's all available only in demo form right now.

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