When Will Coastal Property Values Crash And Will Climate Science Deniers Be The Only Buyers?

By Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, May 23, 2014

The latest scientific observations provide strong evidence we are headed toward the high end of sea level projections. And we already knew that devastating storm surges will become routine on the East Coast.

This raises the question: What year will coastal property values crash?

I first posed the question five years ago. Back then we were getting a bunch of studies suggesting sea level rise in 2100 would be 3 to 6 feet. Since then the evidence for that has become even stronger.

Just this month, multiple studies found that both the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and Greenland are poised to continue their accelerating ice loss, with WAIS apparently now in a state of irreversible collapse. This in turn has led top climatologists and glaciologist to warn that we are headed toward the high end of sea level rise projections this century and beyond.

What does that mean for coastal property? As a National Geographic article on the subject last year put it:

In a state exposed to hurricanes as well as rising seas, people like John Van Leer, an oceanographer at the University of Miami, worry that one day they will no longer be able to insure — or sell — their houses. “If buyers can’t insure it, they can’t get a mortgage on it. And if they can’t get a mortgage, you can only sell to cash buyers,” Van Leer says. “What I’m looking for is a climate-change denier with a lot of money.”…

the coastal property collapse. As a 2013 Rolling Stone explained, the region suffers from “two big problems.” First, it has “remarkably flat topography. Half the area that surrounds Miami is less than five feet above sea level.”


So even with a mere three feet of sea-level rise, “more than a third of southern Florida will vanish; at six feet, more than half will be gone.” …

contiune reading and follow links at ThinkProgress


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