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HOW IS CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTING YOUR HOME/COUNTRY? by City Tech Blogger Yocelyne Portillo

Global Warming’s rising threats toward the USA

Climate change has caused great damages to many places around the world including the United States of America. The U.S. has been impacted by global warming in different sectors of business such as trading, production and infrastructure. These impacts can be greatly seen in the effects of climate change. For instance, in 2014, it was predicted that there would be a rise in sea levels near coastal cities leading to more flooding in the future years. However, those years have come closer than expected as seen in Hampton Roads, VA where heavy tidal flooding occurred. Besides heavy flooding, there has also been an increase in ocean temperatures as observed back in 2012. This caused an increase in lobster production in Maine for which the fishing industry was not prepared.

The cost of the damages from climate change effects in the U.S. could be up to the hundreds of billions of dollars. This includes damages from heat waves, coastal floods, and increased extreme weather. However, only a couple of states are acting to adapt to climate change impacts, but even they are not taking as much action as they should. Some places like Louisiana and Alaska, residents are adapting to rising sea levels and extreme weather patterns by changing their development patterns.

The U.S. does not only suffers from the damages global warming causes to the country, but it also suffers from the damage it causes to other countries. When other countries are affected by natural disasters, as a friendly neighbor or as a simple act of kindness, the U.S. assists these countries and provides aid when they need it most.

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  1. Coastal flooding has been one of the major damages affecting the U.S. in the past few decades. The U.S. coastal infrastructure is vulnerable to various levels of flooding that exceed the height of the average daily highest tide at about 0.5 to 1.2 meters. Average days of flooding on east coast regions has increased 20-34 days per year. Areas in the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, sea level has increased twice as much due to sinking ground. Mid-Atlantic regions suffered the highest number of coastal flooding as well as the largest increase in flood threshold. The natural geological extraction force from the underground water and oil speed up the process of sinking. It restricts the communities with access to food, water, shelter and medical emergencies. Cities like Atlanta have invested over $200 million in flood-control projects alone. Especially low-lying cities, the tide gauge showed higher and longer tidal levels, which have become potential hazards toward the coastal communities. Data collected by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) was compared to flood thresholds. The global sea level rise has been estimated as an average of 8 inches in the past century, according to the National Climate Assessment. While flooding threshold data cannot define confirmation on flooding occurrence, the gauge reading on the tidal measurement showed reliable estimation on the increase of coastal flooding.

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