APR 18, 2017 4:43 AM PDT

Not only coastal cities have to worry about sea level rise

Coastal city residents are not the only people who should be directly concerned about climate change driven sea level rise. With a displacement number as high as 13.1 million people, we must logically think about where those sea level rise refugees will go. And according to a recently published study in Nature Climate Change, Atlanta, Houston and Phoenix are the top cities that should be aware of the surge of coastal immigrants.

(Above: Estimated net migrants (in-migrants minus out-migrants) for counties and core based statistical areas under the 1.8 m scenario and no adaptation. Photo: Nature) 

The new study looks at estimates of populations at risk from sea-level rise within a migrations systems simulation in order to determine the number and destinations of potential sea-level rise migrations in the U.S. over the coming century.

Although there has been much research into sea level rise and the best ways to go about preparing for the future (i.e. what infrastructure needs to be built or changed), previously there has been little investigation into where migrants would move to.

Photo: New Scientist

"We typically think about sea level rise as a coastal issue, but if people are forced to move because their houses become inundated, the migration could affect many landlocked communities as well," said the study's lead author, Mathew Hauer, who completed his doctoral degree in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of geography.

Globally we have seen and continue to see how environmental stressors directly cause conflict, including but not limited to migration. In certain circumstances, migration may be temporary, but in the case of sea level rise, habitable land will become permanently uninhabitable, explains Phys. This will undoubtedly cause crowding issues, and with them even more scarcity for valuable resources.

"Some of the anticipated landlocked destinations, such as Las Vegas, Atlanta and Riverside, California, already struggle with water management or growth management challenges," Hauer said. "Incorporating accommodation strategies in strategic long-range planning could help alleviate the potential future intensification of these challenges."

Sources: Phys, Nature

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
SEP 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
Saving Myanmar's Critically Endangered Turtles
SEP 10, 2020
Saving Myanmar's Critically Endangered Turtles
New images of hatchling Burmese roofed turtles have renewed hope to save this critically endangered species. Late last m ...
SEP 21, 2020
Neuroscience
Scientists Compare Structural and Functional Evolution with First Atlas of Cavefish Brains
SEP 21, 2020
Scientists Compare Structural and Functional Evolution with First Atlas of Cavefish Brains
Cavefish are fish that dwell in caves, unable to access the outside world. Often, they were separated from their closest ...
DEC 04, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Fusions in Action: Scientists Confirm a Different Way the Sun Produces Energy
DEC 04, 2020
Fusions in Action: Scientists Confirm a Different Way the Sun Produces Energy
Since its formation, the Sun has been the main power source for all objects within its irradiation range, putting out 3. ...
DEC 14, 2020
Earth & The Environment
The luck behind our survival
DEC 14, 2020
The luck behind our survival
A study published in the Nature journal Communications Earth & Environment comments on the reasons why Earth ha ...
JAN 10, 2021
Earth & The Environment
What does species extinction have to do with the extinction of human languages?
JAN 10, 2021
What does species extinction have to do with the extinction of human languages?
Is there a connection between the extinction of species and that of human languages? Ecologists have long recognized a g ...
JAN 16, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Monitoring sea surface temperatures in the Pacific
JAN 16, 2021
Monitoring sea surface temperatures in the Pacific
New research published in Geophysical Research Letters reports more glum climate news: the northwestern Pacifi ...
Loading Comments...