Sea Level To Rise One Foot by 2050, Says NOAA
“Sea level along the U.S. coastline is projected to rise, on average, 10-12 inches (0.25-0.30 meters) in the next 30 years (2020 -050),” says a new report from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The agency notes this “will be as much as the rise measured over the last 100 years (1920-2020).” While the report stops short of saying so, this projection is yet another excellent reason to stop subsidizing coastal living.
Sea level is rising faster as a result of thermal expansion and added water from melting glaciers caused by man-made increases in global average temperatures stemming from accumulating greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due largely to the burning of fossil fuels. Interestingly, simply extrapolating the trajectory of current observations suggests that average sea level will rise to just under 15 inches by 2050.
Whether its 10 inches or 15, however, rising sea level means that more houses and coastal infrastructure are at greater risk of damage as tide and storm surge heights increase.
However, since 1968 the U.S. government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has been subsidizing a significant number of its policyholders to build and live in flood-prone areas. As a result of losses outstripping its premiums, the NFIP is $20.5 billion in debt. In a recent article in Regulation, Peter Van Doren, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, points out that the often highly concentrated nature of flood disasters would require private insurers to charge premiums amounting to 5 to 9 times the average claim in order to remain solvent. Few people would buy such expensive policies.
Last fall the NFIP l
Article from Reason.com