25 Jul 2011:
U.S. Land in Flood Plains
Could Increase 45 Percent, Study Says
The amount of U.S. land located within flood plain zones is expected to increase by 40 to 45 percent
by the end of this century, according to a study of the impacts of climate change on the federal flood insurance program. The study, which will be released later this summer, projects that a widening threat of rising waters along ocean coastlines and in river valleys as a result of climate change — including rising seas, greater downpours and more intense coastal storms — could double the number of policies in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by 2100, ClimateWire
reports. The federal program now insures about 5.6 million homes and businesses and is valued at $1.2 trillion. Mark Crowell, a geologist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), told a conference that the findings suggest “a need for FEMA to incorporate the effects of climate change more directly into various aspects of the NFIP.” A recent study predicted that rising sea levels could inundate 9 percent of the land in 180 U.S. cities
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Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
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A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.