Sea Level Rise & New Climate Assessment

35 Replies

Article on key findings of recently released National Climate Assessment:

http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2014/05/12/2national-climate-assessment-key-findings-part-1/

Interesting map on U.S. coastal areas and projected sea level rise:

http://sealevel.climatecentral.org/

Just wondering if anyone is taking climate change issues into account, even as a minor factor, when deciding where to invest? Came across this after someone told me my current target area, Virginia Beach, was sinking, so exacerbating any sea level rise. Turns out, it's like the 2nd most vulnerable location (after New Orleans) in the U.S. I realize 2040 or 2060 is a long way off, but we feel this may be a valid argument as our goal is to leave our property to our children. It would be frustrating to invest in rentals that are literally underwater at about the time they are paid in full.

How about invest in inland properties using these charts, the ones that are inland but by 2060 will be beach front would be most attractive to your children.

We do already have properties in Raleigh, but were hoping to invest where we plan to retire so we can manage them on our own. Just wondered if it's affecting decisions yet of others who invest in coastal areas, or if it's not really a factor. My daughter was planning to buy her first home next year, but I've told her to start researching it as maybe she would be better off long term buying investment property inland and just keep renting in Virginia Beach.

There is a lot of money spent keeping the beach as is. I am not overly worried about possibilities so far down the road. Something to watch, yes- stop me from investing in Va Bch, no.

Funny thing, I have consistently offered to by beach front property for pennies on the dollar and never a taker, even though, the experts keep telling us how these properties will be underwater. Do not believe everything you hear regarding sea level rise and such. If it were as dire as they would want to believe, then no bank or insurance company would take the risk.

The real issue is getting property on sand bars, which, by their very nature, are always moving and changing.

It's certainly something to keep in mind if you are looking at longterm buy and hold. It's not just flooding/storm surge risk, but also the increased taxation that will be necessary in able afford to the necessary infrastructure improvements. Not many American municipalities are looking realistically at this yet, but over the next decade I'll bet the it will become more of a front burner issue

If it were as dire as they would want to believe, then no bank or insurance company would take the risk.

Well, try to find any private insurer who will take on flooding as a risk.

Well, so far no real political comment, that's good, let's keep it that way.

There are intelligent people who have reasons they may not be willing to admit that will keep them from accepting facts, they are entitled to their ill conceived opinions but not to their own facts.

4 feet in two hundred years. Seems like that's not an emergency today,

But that depends where you are, it can be an emergency that has economic impacts.

Banks generally don't have issues with issues that won't impede collateral values over the term of financing, so you're looking at 30 years.

My more immediate concern is that if I were buy property to be held for future generations, my great grandkids, I'll look to the elevation and location, I doubt people will be born with gills in a hundred years.

That means I'd not be buying in Miami, D.C., Lower Manhattan, or costal inlands.

Before my properties are at risk, the State of Arkansas will have beachfront property. :)

@Curtis Mears , the issue is not really "beach front property". You're right, a property on a beach can probably easily take a few inches, or a few feet, of sea rise (especially if that sea stays calm). The areas that may have more issues are the ones on inlets and narrow channels, where a modest storm surge gets amplified by the geologic constraints. So the the effect of a storm could actually be much harsher quite a ways inland than on a bit of open coastline.

And the insurance companies are certainly taking notice.

http://insidebiz.com/news/coastal-insurance-rates-rising

http://www.universitybusiness.com/article/flood-zone-finances-insurance-costs-rising-coastal-colleges

Shhhhh, don't tell all the people who are flocking to New Orleans ;) Our market is blowing up down here!

Thanks for all the replies. Yes, the market in Virginia Beach is not slowing down much either. I just started researching after a friend mentioned it this weekend, so just curious to see if it's being taken as serious news that's affecting decisions (other than mine), or more of a factoid.

the issue is not really "beach front property". You're right, a property on a beach can probably easily take a few inches, or a few feet, of sea rise (especially if that sea stays calm). The areas that may have more issues are the ones on inlets and narrow channels, where a modest storm surge gets amplified by the geologic constraints. So the the effect of a storm could actually be much harsher quite a ways inland than on a bit of open coastline

There are lots of areas in Va Beach that would be affected (Sandbridge, Oceanfront, Croatan, etc) that would be affected before anywhere I would purchase. In addition, VB already spends lots of money on those areas to keep safe. A majority of that whole area is in some sort of flood zone.

To say I'm a believer in Global Cooling, Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate disruption would be a vast overstatement, but at the same time common sense tells me that the huge amount of development in coastal areas, means that even normal weather conditions can and will likely cause massive dollar amounts in losses to business and home owners and insurers. Remember insurance company stocks often do well AFTER a catastrophic event. Bottomline- Coastal investment is risky whether or not there is anthropogenic climate disruption (the latest term) or not.


FWIW, the issue from a property perspective is less about general sea levels rising, but the magnification of storm effects due to both sea level rise and overall weather changes due to global warming. Whatever the cause is, there is and will continue to be more energy in the storm systems due to the warming process. That means that things like hurricanes could be both more frequent and more destructive. So, even if a beachfront home is still above sea level and livable for much of the year, it might suffer more damage on a consistent basis, making the overall cost of ownership extremely prohibitive.

In short, it won't matter if you are above sea level when the storm surge is higher and the winds are stronger. And both factors will continue to worsen in coming years, unfortunately.

Ask anyone who lives in a coastal area and goes on and on about climate change to sell you an option to purchase their house 30 years from now.

"I'll give you a thousand dollars, cash, right now, for the right to buy your house for its current value 30 years from now! What a deal, amiright? Since it will be underwater and valueless anyway?"

See just how confident they are in their, "Settled science."

Or, I suppose:

"I'll give you a thousand dollars, cash, right now, for the right to buy your house for its current value 30 years from now! What a deal, amiright? Since it will suffer more damage on a consistent basis, making the overall cost of ownership extremely prohibitive."

On a larger level, I would note that if people were as confident as they claim to be about the impact and effects of climate change, there should be any number of investment vehicles out there that would allow them to bet on that confidence, or mitigate the lass of that change.

Yet somehow, even the most ardent proponents of social and economic changes to mitigate the impact of climate change aren't willing to part with any of their current income to mitigate the impact of climate change on their personal finances.

'Tis curious.

we will build a four foot dam around the entire state of Florida.

The Chinese built that wall thousands of years ago, we can build a "short" wall.

Back in the 1970s, "all" the scientists were insisting we were heading into "global cooling" and entering a new ice age. Now, they're "all" saying it's global warming. Even though global temperatures have been dropping. Frankly, I think their egos are overinflated.

The earth has had large temperature fluctuations and changes in climates throughout history. About 5,000 years ago, the Sahara Desert was lush, fertile farmland. There are documented periods in Great Britain when they were, and then weren't, able to grow grapes for wine - it keeps going back and forth. Anyone who has taken a thermodynamics class will understand when I refer to the oceans as a "heat sink" - that is, they absorb excess heat when the atmosphere is hot and give off heat when the atmosphere is cool. The earth is capable of balancing these things, which is why organisms have been able to survive and adapt to the slow, mild changes that do occur. To think that anything we're doing is significantly impacting the climates on earth is, in my opinion, arrogant. We simply aren't that powerful. We are a drop in the bucket.

All that is stated in order to preface my opinion: I won't buy anything that is very close to an ocean that gets hurricanes, but not because of global warming. It's simply because I don't want the risk related to the possible damage and I don't want to pay for that insurance. So, it's a personal investment/risk assessment choice.

Originally posted by @David Sandrowitz :
FWIW, the issue from a property perspective is less about general sea levels rising, but the magnification of storm effects due to both sea level rise and overall weather changes due to global warming. Whatever the cause is, there is and will continue to be more energy in the storm systems due to the warming process. That means that things like hurricanes could be both more frequent and more destructive. So, even if a beachfront home is still above sea level and livable for much of the year, it might suffer more damage on a consistent basis, making the overall cost of ownership extremely prohibitive.

In short, it won't matter if you are above sea level when the storm surge is higher and the winds are stronger. And both factors will continue to worsen in coming years, unfortunately.

After all the many storms in 2005, especially Katrina, I read a lot of these same predictions, Al Gore's name pops up prominently. There were 7 major hurricanes in 2005, and since global warming was going to cause more major hurricanes. Future years would have on average something close to that number. However, the facts got in the way, especially last year when there were only two hurricanes and zero major hurricanes in the North Atlantic. Since 2005 there have been 22 major hurricanes or a 2.75 average per year. In other words the alarmists were absolutely wrong.

@Lynn M. , thanks for asking a question about who's taking climate change into consideration in regards to real estate investments. Would seem a basic question that wouldn't require argument but I knew your question would bring out the Koch brothers/Fox denialists Not everyone is capable of objective thought so it's to be expected.

I am taking climate change into account on my future plans. I like the thought about buying property that will be beach front in 30 or 100 years. Stop for a moment and ponder what exactly that beach might look like... Probably not going to be a vacation hot spot all full of buildings and fuel tanks I'm guessing. Storm intensity isn't likely to lighten too much either since a few feet of water rise isn't going to cool the oceans much at an average depth of 14,000 ft.

There's more to it than ocean rise and hurricanes as well. How about the lack of water in the Southwest and tornadoes in the central US. Floods in Colorado.

I'm going to focus my long term investments on the upper Midwest myself. Plentiful fresh water and tillable land. The great lakes are looking pretty great to me. Can anyone say Detroit! And quite frankly, a few extra degrees in Minneapolis isn't got to make too many people upset.

Nobody really knows exactly how every region is going to be affected by climate change but I'm on board with the ninety some percent of educated science professionals who realize that it IS happening so prepare.

One more thing, as to the argument that insurers aren't worried:

http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059999532

Originally posted by @Chris Christianson :
@Lynn M. , thanks for asking a question about who's taking climate change into consideration in regards to real estate investments. Would seem a basic question that wouldn't require argument but I knew your question would bring out the Koch brothers/Fox denialists Not everyone is capable of objective thought so it's to be expected.

I am taking climate change into account on my future plans. I like the thought about buying property that will be beach front in 30 or 100 years. Stop for a moment and ponder what exactly that beach might look like... Probably not going to be a vacation hot spot all full of buildings and fuel tanks I'm guessing. Storm intensity isn't likely to lighten too much either since a few feet of water rise isn't going to cool the oceans much at an average depth of 14,000 ft.

There's more to it than ocean rise and hurricanes as well. How about the lack of water in the Southwest and tornadoes in the central US. Floods in Colorado.

I'm going to focus my long term investments on the upper Midwest myself. Plentiful fresh water and tillable land. The great lakes are looking pretty great to me. Can anyone say Detroit! And quite frankly, a few extra degrees in Minneapolis isn't got to make too many people upset.

Nobody really knows exactly how every region is going to be affected by climate change but I'm on board with the ninety some percent of educated science professionals who realize that it IS happening so prepare.

One more thing, as to the argument that insurers aren't worried:

http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059999532

Once again nasty little facts get in the alarmists way. Despite the predictions that weather would get worse and worse tornado activity was down substantially in 2012 and 2013. Thus far in 2014 it looks to be below both those years. Yes, 2011 was an abnormally high year for tornadoes, but it was matched by 1973, a year which saw about twice as many stronger tornadoes as 2011. I'd be willing to bet that the alarmists blamed global cooling for all those strong tornadoes back in 1973.

OK @Cal C. Pretty sure this thread was about if or how you might be letting climate change affect your business strategy. I'll take it that it's not affecting yours.

Since you're obviously a PHD in climatology I won't waste my time on a cherry picked fact finding mission with you. I guess I and arguably, 97 percent of the scientific community are all wrong. Could you post your phone number so everyone can call you for the truth next time something comes up? That would be great.

Thanks

Agreed @Chris Christianson The question at hand is:

Just wondering if anyone is taking climate change issues into account, even as a minor factor, when deciding where to invest?

So, lets please avoid any further discussion about whether or not you believe this is a real phenomenon or the science and stick to responding to this question. "No, because I don't think its real" is a perfectable acceptable answer.

No, because it's not been proven to be real.

@Chris Christianson thanks for the article link. Hadn't considered that insurance companies are already looking for ways out of covering claims or focusing on getting governments (taxpayers) to reimburse them. So likely I need to factor in much higher rates for coverage in the future.