The Numbers: Sea Level Rise Will Expose 270,000 People in the Bay Area to Flood Risk

BY MICAH HILT
May 17, 2011
The king tide in Sausalito. Photo by flickr user Yanna B.

Source: SPUR report: "Climate Change Hits Home"

Tomorrow night, we open "Adapt!" an exhibition on the coming effects of climate change in the Bay Area. The show highlights key points from a SPUR policy report released earlier this month, which explains the kinds of changes we can expect to our climate — and what we need to do now to prepare. As our report explains, efforts to slow down greenhouse gas emissions have so far failed, meaning some changes to our climate are now unavoidable. One of the most profound effects scientists expect is sea level rise. By 2100, seas will rise by an estimated 55 inches, exposing 270,000 people in the Bay Area to flood risk and threatening $62 billion of development. The Bay Area is also likely to see as many as eight times the number of “extreme heat” days it currently does by the close of the century — days that our mild-weather-loving population is almost completely unprepared for. SPUR's report lists 30 strategies for handling climate change in the Bay Area, making it clear that we must act now to adapt.

Come to the exhibition opening May 18 >>

Read the SPUR report on climate change adaptation >>