The Rich Get More Aid After Floods, New Research Shows
Wealthier counties receive more federal home buyouts in the wake of natural disasters than poorer areas, regardless of whether or not these homes are at increased risk of flooding, new research shows.
A study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances analyzes 40,000 voluntary buyouts made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency since 1989, finding that federal grants were given disproportionately to counties with higher population and income.
Out TODAY in Science Advances: a national look at FEMA-funded buyouts. 49 states. 1000 counties. Rich, dense counti… https://t.co/pas1DXcgig— A.R. Siders (@A.R. Siders)1570644421.0
The study theorizes that wealthier counties have more resources to apply for and administer federal grants than poorer ones. The study also finds that within those wealthier counties, the federal money is often used to tear down homes in poorer neighborhoods — which authors posit could be due to a combination of factors, including that local officials "are using the buyouts as an opportunity to get rid of neighborhoods that they don't feel are desirable parts of their community," author A.R. Siders told the New York Times.
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By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.
Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2020, the second-warmest year the globe has seen since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. Record-high annual temperatures over land and ocean surfaces were measured across parts of Europe, Asia, southern North America, South America, and across parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. No land or ocean areas were record cold for the year. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Figure 2. Total ocean heat content (OHC) in the top 2000 meters from 1958-2020. Cheng et al., Upper Ocean Temperatures Hit Record High in 2020, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Figure 3. Departure of sea surface temperature from average in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W). Sea surface temperature were approximately one degree Celsius below average over the past month, characteristic of moderate La Niña conditions. Tropical Tidbits
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