Climate change could wipe $108 billion from U.S. property market, study finds

Sea level rise will flood huge swaths of the country and submerge billions of dollars’ worth of land, according to a new report.

Sea level rise will flood huge swaths of the country and submerge billions of dollars’ worth of land, according to a new report. 

An analysis from Climate Central, a nonprofit research group, put a price tag on just how much all that land is worth — and how much local governments stand to lose when it goes underwater. The report found that nearly 650,000 privately owned parcels of land over more than 4 million acres will fall below tide lines within the next 30 years. The analysis indicates that sea level rise could reduce the value of that private land by more than $108 billion by the end of the century.  

Because all land below the tide line is, by law, state-owned, the encroachment of the tides could essentially vaporize huge amounts of private, taxable wealth. That, in turn, will decrease property tax revenue substantially in coastal areas, which experts caution could ultimately bankrupt local governments. 

For millennia, tide lines haven’t really budged. Nor has the notion that any land under water is public, which is an “idea that goes way back to Roman times,” said Peter Byrne, the director of the Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Program. “The tidelands, the sea, they’re open to the public because they’re navigable. They’re inherently public.” 

But as the planet heats, the old tide lines are climbing uphill. The study found that an area the size of the state of New Jersey that is now above water will be submerged at high tide in 2050. 

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/climate-change-wipe-108-billion-us-property-market-study-finds-rcna47325


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