“New Reality” Grips America

Originally published by Architecture 2030

Hurricane Sandy’s path of destruction along the Jersey Shore.

$9.2 Trillion At Risk in the U.S. by 2070

The total value of assets and infrastructure exposed to coastal flooding in 136 global port cities of over one million people is $3 trillion. The total value of exposed assets is expected to increase to $35 trillion by 2070 due to climate change, subsidence and demographic and economic shifts.

The two countries with the most port assets at risk in 2070 are China and the U.S. with $10.8 trillion and $9.2 trillion respectively.

These estimates do not include the most recent assessments of sea level rise, which have increased since Architecture 2030 released its 2007 study examining coastal inundation scenarios for over 100 communities in the U.S. The findings of that report were clear: We are a Nation Under Siege. See the report and mapping here.

Five of the Top 10 Global Cities Vulnerable to
Coastal Flooding are Found in the U.S.

According to an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study published in 2008, five of the top 10 global cities of over one million people with assets and infrastructure exposed to coastal flooding are found in the U.S. – Miami, Greater New York, New Orleans, Tampa-St Petersburg and Virginia Beach – with a current exposure of more than $1 trillion.

Note: Nicholls, R. J. et al. (2008), “Ranking Port Cities with High Exposure and Vulnerability to Climate Extremes: Exposure Estimates”, OECD Environment Working Papers, No. 1, OECD Publishing. Exposure is in the form of buildings, transport infrastructure, and other long-lived assets. The unit for monetary amounts is 2001 US dollars (USD).

New York, NY. 3.0-meters Sea Level Rise.

Miami Beach, FL. 1.0-meter Sea Level Rise

New Orleans, LA. 1.0-meter Sea Level Rise

Tampa, FL. 1.5-meters Sea Level Rise

Hampton, VA. 1.0-meter Sea Level Rise

Galveston, TX and Hurricane Ike

Architecture 2030’s work on mapping sea level rise for the Texas Observer for Galveston, Texas was published in Nov. 2007 – That Sinking Feeling depicted 1 meter, 1.5 meters and 2 meters of sea level rise. Ike struck Galveston ten months later, on Sep 12th 2008, pushing water up against Galveston Island, and raising sea level by over 3 meters.

Sea level rise study, That Sinking Feeling, Galveston, Texas, published, Nov. 2007, Texas Observer.

Hurricane Ike, September 12, 2008, 3:59pm EDT.

Hurricane Ike, 3-meters (9ft 10in) sea level rise, Galveston Island, September 12, 2008.


re posted on Thursday, November 15th 2012


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About Pratt Disaster Resilience Network

Grassroots action and long-term planning for disaster resilience for all.

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