Affordable Housing Flood Risk Is Expected to Triple by 2050
The threat to affordable housing from flooding driven by climate change will likely triple in the next 30 years, new research shows.
The study, from Climate Central and the National Housing Trust and published in Environmental Research Letters, examined risk posed not just by extreme events like hurricanes, but also at the increasingly common threat of "sunny-day" flooding caused by sea level rise.
The threats driven by the climate crisis exacerbate the underlying affordable housing crisis — the study identified communities in which up to ninety percent of affordable housing is being put at risk.
The U.S. already lacks sufficient affordable housing, and "low-income renters typically have very few alternative housing options if a disaster damages their homes," Andrew Aurand, VP of research at the National Low Income Housing Coalition, told Thomson Reuters.
"When affordable rental housing is significantly damaged, the private market provides little incentive to repair or rebuild that housing to keep it affordable," he added.
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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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