Posted by: Peter Black | March 16, 2009

480,000 People, $1.4 Billion in Critical Infrastructure at Risk from Sea Level Rise in California

So says the Pacific Institute, which recently released a bunch of online maps on the topic.

The institute used the same exact data as I did when I produced maps for the entire lower 48.

I found it interesting that the county I currently reside in (San Mateo), will be the most affected county in all of California.



  1. Isn’t it rather significant that the 3 airports in the Bay Area will be significantly under water when the rise occurs.
    Time to buy that house in the country, instead of trying to fly out of the country!

  2. Forget about the airports…look at San Mateo County and the Hayward area. Foster City in particular will suffer. Downtown Redwood City could be submerged. In the already crowded flats of the Bay Area, this is a serious issue. I wonder if there’s a way to warn every single residence, business, etc inside the new flood zones.

  3. The best way would be to go through the Emergency Planning/Response Committees/Teams in each city.
    I always thought that the building of Foster City, although quite attractive, was not a particularly brilliant idea. A pod of whales, lost in the bay, would probably flood Foster City.

  4. Simple solution – move IF it happens. There you go. 1 Hurricane displaces more than 480k people and costs more than 1.4 billion. Anyone who lives in that area already know the risks of living there; hard to feel sorry for them.

  5. I expect that when the insurance companies take seriously this risk and either increaase insurance costs, or refuse to offer coverage, then people will face the risk they are accepting by living where the ocean may soon be. Doesn’t it still feel like most people are in major denial? I don’t think the reality of this is sinking in.

  6. Most people don’t know. That’s my guess. The Wall Street Journal just published a brief that says that all insurance companies must disclose risks from climate change:

  7. It astounds me that people comment on the fact that one can just up and move “IF” it happens. Life is not as easily manipulated as that. There are jobs, families and health to consider when one makes a move. We all take risks. Life changes are not that easy Mr. Payne.

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