A recent report conducted by Tufts University paints a very grim picture of Florida’s future if we don’t take swift action to fight climate change. According to the report, South Florida will be particularly vulnerable to warming effects.

Throughout the report, the researchers discuss two scenarios; the first, known as “rapid stabilization”, is the most optimistic scenario in which global emissions decrease at least 50% by 2050 and U.S. emissions decline at least 80% by the same period. The second scenario, referred to as “business-as-usual”, is a pessimistic scenario that projects the damages to our state if we continue to take little action.

Some of the reports noteworthy conclusions in the “business-as-usual scenario”:

  • Within vulnerable zones:
  • residential real estate now valued at over $130 billion
  • half of Florida’s beaches
  • 99% of Mangroves
  • Sea level could rise by as much as 23” by 2050 and 45” by 2100
  • 70% of Miami-Dade would be under water
  • 99.6% of Monroe would be under water
  • The Everglades would be almost completely inundated by salt water, and effectively destroyed
  • Heat waves will become more severe and more common, with new record temperatures and a gradual decline in nighttime cooling. The average heat index in summer will increase by 15-20% in much of the state. Miami will become several degrees warmer than Bangkok (probably the world’s hottest, most humid major city today) and daily highs in many Florida cities will exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit for nearly 2/3 or the year.
  • Annual statewide economic losses (that’s right…this is per year)
  • $92 billion by 2050
  • $345 billion by 2100
Of course there are those within the rapidly dwindling skeptic community that feel the negative effects of climate change are nothing that good ‘ol human ingenuity can’t solve. Such a reliance on technology to fight nature’s fury is such a dangerous and fleeting philosophy. The Miami-Dade County Climate Change Task Force’s Science and Technology Committee had this to say in the Tufts Report:

“The highly porous limestone and sand substrate of Miami-Dade County (which at present permits excellent drainage) will limit the effectiveness of widespread use of levees and dikes to wall off the encroaching sea.”

However, even if levees and dikes did present a viable option for fighting rising sea levels, it would be inordinately expensive to build such infrastructure in a state with over 1,200 miles of coastline (this doesn’t even factor in Lake Okechobee and other vulnerable watersheds).

This is serious business we’re talking about here. If we don’t start taking swift action to fight climate change, we all lose. Environmentalists lose for obvious reasons, business interests suffer as insurance rates skyrocket, tourism declines, and billions of dollars tied up in real estate become threatened. If you’re indifferent, you’ll still suffer from unprecedented heat and humidity, extremely high costs of living due to insurance and energy price hikes, and more frequent major hurricanes that threaten the lives of us all.

This makes the recent vote to move the UDB line all the more disgraceful. If there is any place that should be leading the fight on climate change, it’s South Florida and Miami-Dade County. Few places are as vulnerable geographically and no other region on Earth can lay claim to an ecosystem like the Everglades. However, this hasn’t stopped self-interest and incompetence from making South Florida one of the most sprawling, unsustainable regions in all of North America.

Click here to download the full report, “Florida and Climate Change: The Costs of Inaction”.

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5 Responses to Tufts Report: Miami could be Hottest Major City on Earth by 2100

  1. Anonymous says:

    I attended the Climate Activist Training yesterday at MDC. The speakers were amazing Bill McKibben, Harvey Ruvin, and others.
    I knew the climate crises was real, but I didn’t know how incredibly serious it will be for Florida. The impact in the short run is quite extreme, and that will not allow for much of a future. So change must begin immediately, and starting with the UDB locally is necessary to try to curb this crises.
    Thanks for posting, I’d like to see a massive campaign to get commissioners to stop expanding the county development boundary.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Once again, a bunch of environmentalist trying to exaggerate the facts and make everything seems like a problem, when it isn’t.


  3. Ryan Sharp says:

    …and may I ask what you support that statement with?


  4. Anonymous says:

    the other side?….mayb? something that always seems to be lacking here on this issue.


  5. Anonymous says:

    you know, even if you do say they are exaggerating the facts does’t mean you cannot help the environent. You are just scared and in denial. I pity you.


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