Skip to main content

Arctic ice is melting faster than expected, and driving sea levels up around the world.

As sea levels rise, coastal flooding is expected to worsen, scientists say.

And that means that 40% of the nation's population - over 126 million people - are at risk from rising seas, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Annually, these coastal counties produce more than $8.3 trillion in goods and services, employ 55.8 million people, and pay $3.4 trillion in wages.

The potential damage to property is staggering. In about 30 years, as much as to $106 billion worth of coastal property will likely be below sea level if we continue on the current path of climate change, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Without adapting to the changing climate, some Midwestern and southern counties could see a decline in crop yields of more than 10% over the next five to 25 years, according to predictions from NOAA, a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

A report by Climate Central and Zillow says that more than 386,000 existing homes in U.S. coastal areas are likely to be at risk of permanent inundation from sea level rise alone or of chronic flooding from sea level rise plus tides and storm surges, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise unchecked. The homes are worth $209.6 billion in 2018 dollars. Based on their data, these are the U.S. cities with the most property, by dollar amount, at risk from sea level rise if we continue on the current path of greenhouse gas emissions.

Photo: Arthur Villator / Shutterstock