BY DAVID MARTIN SPECIAL TO THE MIAMI HERALD
South Florida’s real estate community will play a pivotal role in our region’s efforts to become more resilient. Our industry has enjoyed decades of growth and prosperity despite currency fluctuations, natural disasters and economic volatility. We now face our most significant challenge yet: showing the world how we will ensure long-term viability by hardening our infrastructure and adapting to climate change.
Local governments across South Florida have been studying solutions for protecting against climate change for years, but our real estate industry has historically been sidestepping the issue. That pattern of neglect must end now. The candid discussion among members of our real estate community during the Herald’s “Florida Priorities Summit” was an important step in the right direction.
Summer 2018 saw an unprecedented spate of extreme floods, droughts, heat waves and wildfires break out across North America, Europe and Asia. The scenes played out on our television screens and in our social media feeds. This is, as I stated at the time, the face of climate change.
It’s not rocket science. A warmer ocean evaporates more moisture into the atmosphere — so you get worse flooding from coastal storms (think Hurricanes Harvey and Florence). Warmer soils evaporate more moisture into the atmosphere — so you get worse droughts (think California or Syria). Global warming shifts the extreme upper tail of the “bell curve” toward higher temperatures, so you get more frequent and intense heat waves (think summer 2018 just about anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere). Combine heat and drought, and you get worse wildfires (again, think California).
Wall Street Journal
Property owners in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are experiencing a loss of real-estate value since 2005.
Matt Simon, Wired.com
Los Angeles derives much of its charm from its diversity, both of its people and its amenities—rolling hills here, lovely architecture there, a national forest to the north and legendary beaches to the west. But much of it is in trouble: Sea level rise is coming for Los Angeles County and its 74 miles of coast.
According to a new report from the New York Academy of Sciences, it’ll take LA as much as $6.4 billion to fortify itself against an impending increase in coastal flooding, with moves such as nourishing its beaches with extra sand and elevating its ports. The tricky thing about sea level rise, however, is the uncertainty. Climate models are getting better at predicting how high seas will rise and how quickly, but no model can deliver guarantees. Maybe sea levels will rise by a foot by 2050. Or the water might end up rising 7 feet, but not for another 200 years.