Climate change will cost U.S. coastal areas twice what analysts had predicted, according to a new study. Researchers had estimated that preparing coastal cities, repairing property damages, and relocating inhabitants could have a roughly $500 billion price tag by 2100.
Storm surge from tropical cyclones can cause additional sea level rise; that figure hits about $1 trillion, researchers report in Climatic Change. Researchers modeled the combined effects of sea level rise and U.S.-striking tropical cyclones on coastal property around the country. They chose 17 multicounty areas on the Gulf, East, and Pacific coasts and then estimated the impacts to the remaining, nonmodeled coastal areas based on how the modeled areas closest to them were impacted.
The team also assumed that society would spend billions on adaptation measures, which studies suggest could be a cost-effective policy measure. Among these measures are abandoning properties in low-level areas, adding more sand to beaches, and building barriers to reduce beach erosion. The costs from sea level rise and storm surge together, including adaptation, total $930 billion to $1.1 trillion nationally by 2100