A recent study published in Nature
highlighted a sobering fact: The least amount of impact from climate change our planet can possibly hope for at this point is our oceans only warming 2 degrees, an increase that would raise overall sea levels by roughly 20 feet.
Some conservative models even predict a 4-degree increase, which would transform Florida's peninsula into a rounded-off little stub.
In other words, Florida is extremely screwed.
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It's impossible to accurately predict when this would happen (mostly because ice melt is hard to forecast), but the study suggests that if we continue on our current fossil fuel-use trajectory, ocean levels will likely reach these levels by 2100, which seems like a long time but keep in mind sea levels are accelerating every year.
This is bad.
And besides rising sea levels, Florida will also bear the brunt of intensified storms from warmer oceans and dry seasons with never-ending wildfires. With this in mind, a study published last year in Science Magazine
says that Florida will most likely suffer the biggest financial fallout from climate change, at $100.9 billion.
The only other state that even comes close to a loss of this magnitude is Texas, which is estimated to lose $100.7 billion. The study looked at the GDP of each state and took into account the overall loss of agriculture, tourism, etc.
All of this is problematic, especially when you consider that our president, who owns golf courses and resorts on property that will surely be swallowed by the sea, seems to love nonexistent "clean coal," says the ice caps are at "a record high," and pulled out of the Paris Treaty – a goal every developed nation (except us) agreed upon in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and lower global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees.
To pile on the misery, we also are stuck with Florida Governor Rick Scott, who supported oil drilling in the Everglades, reportedly refused to let his staff members use the term "climate change
," and slashed the state's Departement of Environmental Protection to the point the agency has reported 75 percent fewer pollution regulation cases
since he took office.
Things are certainly bleak, but with cities like Orlando committing to 100 percent renewable energy
by 2050, and Scott running in a heated Senate race this fall, at least we're not sunk yet.
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