A new report from the non-profit research organization Climate Central suggests that millions of U.S. citizens are at risk of coastal flooding. The report posits that changes in the climate will result in storm surges and rising sea levels. Rising water could put nearly 5 million Americans at danger of floods by 2030. The report indicates that by 2050, flooding caused by rising sea levels will be much more widespread. This could cause serious problems for the insurance industry that has been battling a higher frequency of natural disasters over the past two years.
Climate Central notes that more than 280 municipalities lie below the 4-foot local tide line. This means that states in Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey and North Carolina would experience the fallout of rising sea levels. The group claims that its report, titled “Surging Seas,” is the first of its kind to provide local and national estimates of damage caused by rising seas. Climate Central cites climate change as the culprit for this potential threat.
The concept of climate change is one steeped in controversy. While politicians and other public figures are divided on the issue, the insurance industry has long reacted to the potential dangers of a changing environment. The industry does not usually restrict its practices based on popular opinions, using scientific models to determine risk instead. As such, insurers may be the first to respond to climate change.