Climate Change Will Make Parts of the U.S. Uninhabitable. Americans Are Still Moving There.

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Climate Change Will Make Parts of the U.S. Uninhabitable. Americans Are Still Moving There - We The World
Photo by NASA on Unsplash

This story was originally published by ProPublica

By Lucas Waldron and Abrahm Lustgarten

Instead of moving away from areas in the climate crisis, Americans are flocking to them. As land in places like Phoenix, Houston, and Miami becomes less habitable, the country’s migration patterns will be forced to change.

Over the past year, the advent of a professional economy powered by people working from home has quickened the conversation about where to live, particularly among millennials. “Is now the right time to buy property in Minnesota?” “Is Buffalo the new place to be?”

How important is proximity to freshwater? Should you risk moving somewhere that has fire seasons? How far north do you have to go to find liveable summers?

Americans have defied the norms of climate migration seen elsewhere in the world, flocking to cities like Phoenix, Houston, and Miami that face some of the greatest risks from soaring temperatures and rising sea levels.

Those patterns seem likely to change.

New data from the Rhodium Group, analyzed by ProPublica, shows that climate damage will wreak havoc on the southern third of the country, erasing more than 8% of its economic output and likely turning migration from a choice to an imperative.

The data shows that the warming climate will alter everything from how we grow food to where people can plausibly live.

Ultimately, millions of people will be displaced by flooding, fires, and scorching heat, a resorting of the map not seen since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Now as then, the biggest question will be who escapes and who is left behind.

Read more about the fretful future in ProPublica’s story titled: New Climate Maps Show a Transformed United States and other stories filed under The great Climate Migration.

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