Florida, From Paradise To Hell

12 Jan

climate_usaFlorida will become far less a paradise in which to live (via The Guardian) in the future due to climate change.

The Southeastern region is exceptionally vulnerable to sea level rise, extreme heat events, and decreased water availability. The spatial distribution of these impacts and vulnerabilities is uneven, since the region encompasses a wide range of natural-system types, from the Appalachian Mountains to the coastal plains. It is also home to more than 80 million people, and draws hundreds of million visitors every year (U.S. Census Bureau 2010) .

The region has one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the country (Miami) and four of the ten fastest-growing such areas (U.S. Census Bureau 2010). Three of these (Palm Coast, FL, Cape Coral-Fort Meyers, FL, and Myrtle Beach area, SC) are along the coast and vulnerable to sea level rise and storm surge.

The Gulf and Atlantic coasts are major producers of seafood and home to seven major ports (Ingram et al. 2012) that are also vulnerable. The Southeast is a major energy producer of coal,  crude oil, and natural gas, and the highest energy user of any of the National Climate Assessment regions (Ingram et al. 2012).

The Southeast will change the most drastically due to climate change, but other regions, like Alaska, are vulnerable. On water, it’s particularly dire. “Decreased water availability exacerbated by population growth and land-use change will continue to increase competition for water and impact the region’s economy and unique.” Water on three sides, and not a drop to drink. That’s hell!

The NCA will hold a meeting in Tampa on February 19.

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