Sea Level Rise Will Displace Communities in Every Corner of the Bay Area

Sea level rise is already flooding communities with such regularity that many residents are deciding to leave. The sea level rise tipping point will expand its reach as the climate changes.
July 15, 2017, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Tom Hilton

"Coastal neighborhoods in several Bay Area cities are likely to face such frequent flooding from rising sea levels over the next century that residents will simply pack up and leave, according to a new study of the effects of climate change," reports Kurtis Alexander.

Those findings are from a report issued earlier this week by the Union of Concerned Scientists [pdf], which is "the first nationwide effort to identify the point at which coastal communities face the no-win decision of having to flee or fight sea level rise."

The report assumes a "point of no return"—when  "at least 10 percent of a community experiences flooding 26 days a year, or one day every two weeks," explains Alexander. "Already, more than 90 communities across the nation have hit a point of disruption that’s driving people away […] Eighty more are expected to reach that threshold within 20 years if global warming continues at a moderate rate."

Planetizen shared resources on the issues of "managed retreat" earlier this year, and documented the experience of the Alaskan village of Shishmaref, which voted last year to relocate entirely.

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Published on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 in San Francisco Chronicle
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