FL - Data: Climate Change Will Heavily Impact Florida Counties
As temperatures increase, rising seas will affect coastal communities and a large amount of the area's population. Volusia, St. Johns and Flagler counties will see 2% of current property end up below the high tide line.
(TNS) - Perhaps in as little as 20 years, climate change could dramatically impact the economy and lives in Volusia, St. Johns and Flagler counties — mostly as a result of rising seas and higher temperatures.
That's the conclusion of a recent ProPublica study using county-by-county data from the Rhodium Group, an independent research provider that combines climate and economic information to analyze and predict trends. ProPublica is a national, nonprofit newsroom that focuses on investigative projects.
Of the 3,141 counties and county equivalents the study analyzed in the United States, Volusia County ranked as the 42nd most affected by climate change, St. Johns County ranked 44th, and Flagler County ranked 126th.
But don't think about moving just yet. As with most analysis involving climate change, the study's predictions are theoretical. Still, the study's conclusions are concerning, area officials said.
Flagler County Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord said the information is worrisome “to say the least,” and is thankful that the county is prepared to adjust if the effects of climate change begin to heavily affect the area.
“We’re looking for ways we can mitigate and limit those impacts. We can’t stop it, but we can adapt,” Lord said. “We know the climate is changing, and we need to make sure we have steady, critical infrastructure, and make sure it won’t be put in places that will be affected by things like sea level rise."