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America could spend $400 bn on a wall to hold back the rising seas — and it might not be enough by Brian Kahn June 21,2019   |  Source: Gizmodo

At the end of the day, everything about climate change is a choice. And among the most serious choices are the ones we’ll face are along our coasts.

A new report and interactive website released on Thursday by the Center for Climate Integrity lays out some the stakes for increasingly inundated coastal communities. The group’s estimates show that to defend every coastal city, town, and hamlet in the U.S. with sea walls over the next 20 years could cost $416 billion under a fairly optimistic climate scenario. Some small communities would incur cost upwards of $1 million per resident while big cities would be looking at huge, multi-billion dollar projects.

The findings reveal the uncomfortable truth that we likely won’t be able to save everything. That means in the coming decades communities will likely be forced to choose whose house is saved, whose is turned over to the rising tides, and who pays for those decisions.

The report maps out what would happen to every coastal community in the U.S. in terms of flood frequency as seas rise. It uses sea level rise projections under RCP4.5, a climate scenario where the world’s emissions peak by midcentury, after which we begin drawing down emissions and limit warming to about 2.4 degrees Celsius (4.3 degrees Fahrenheit).


© 2019 Gizmodo Media Group

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