Crop yields will be decimated from Texas to Alabama and all the way north through Oklahoma and Kansas and into Nebraska. “The destruction was complete,” he told me. What might change? This process has already begun in rural Louisiana and coastal Georgia, where low-income and Black and Indigenous communities face environmental change on top of poor health and extreme poverty. We do not generally permit translation of our stories into another language. It was the kind of thing that might never have been possible if California’s autumn winds weren’t getting fiercer and drier every year, colliding with intensifying, climate-driven heat and ever-expanding development. Read more about how climate migration will reshape America in New York Times Magazine. Then what? One influential 2018 study, published in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, suggests that 1 in 12 Americans in the Southern half of the country will move toward California, the Mountain West or the Northwest over the next 45 years because of climate influences alone. The Great Migration — of 6 million Black Americans out of the South from 1916 to 1970 — transformed almost everything we know about America, from the fate of its labor movement to the shape of its cities to the sound of its music. The Memphis Sands Aquifer, a crucial water supply for Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana, is already overdrawn by hundreds of millions of gallons a day. Such a shift in population is likely to increase poverty and widen the gulf between the rich and the poor. If you’re republishing online, you must link to the URL of this story on propublica.org, include all of the links from our story, including our newsletter sign up language and link, and use our. ... Congress must partner with the incoming Biden administration to address the root causes of migration, including climate change. One in 10 households earns less than $10,000 a year, and rings of extreme poverty are growing on its outskirts even as the city center grows wealthier. Inchlong cinders had piled on my windowsills like falling snow. How Climate Migration Will Reshape America. Then, entirely predictably, came the drought. Let’s start with some basics. There are signs that the message is breaking through. Crop yields, though, will drop sharply with every degree of warming. By 2100, Hauer estimates, Atlanta, Orlando, Houston and Austin could each receive more than a quarter million new residents as a result of sea-level displacement alone, meaning it may be those cities — not the places that empty out — that wind up bearing the brunt of America’s reshuffling. A pandemic-induced economic collapse will only heighten the vulnerabilities and speed the transition, reducing to nothing whatever thin margin of financial protection has kept people in place. So the Florida Legislature created a state-run company to insure properties itself, preventing both an exodus and an economic collapse by essentially pretending that the climate vulnerabilities didn’t exist. Florida officials have already acknowledged that defending some roadways against the sea will be unaffordable. The story uses data from Rhodium Group and the Climate Impact Lab, and corresponds with a ProPublica piece featuring interactive maps. By 2050, only 10% will live outside them, in part because of climatic change. His article, “How Climate Migration Will Reshape America” appears on ProPublica’s website and in The New York Times magazine. How climate change will reshape America September 15, 2020 Climate change will cause the mass migration of tens of millions of Americans in the coming decades, as life becomes untenable in many parts of the country. Only after the migrants settled and had years to claw back a decent life did some towns bounce back stronger. Many insurance companies, recognizing the likelihood that it would happen again, declined to renew policies and left the state. Keenan, who is now an associate professor of real estate at Tulane University’s School of Architecture, had been in the news last year for projecting where people might move to — suggesting that Duluth, Minnesota, for instance, should brace for a coming real estate boom as climate migrants move north. Another fire burned just 12 miles from my home in Marin County. "How Climate Migration Will Reshape America" This site was opened in a new browser window. I had also helped create an enormous computer simulation to analyze how global demographics might shift, and now I was working on a data-mapping project about migration here in the United States. Mobility itself, global-migration experts point out, is often a reflection of relative wealth, and as some move, many others will be left behind. By comparison, Americans are richer, often much richer, and more insulated from the shocks of climate change. From Santa Cruz to Lake Tahoe, thousands of bolts of electricity exploded down onto withered grasslands and forests, some of them already hollowed out by climate-driven infestations of beetles and kiln-dried by the worst five-year drought on record. Lending data analyzed by Keenan and his co-author, Jacob Bradt, for a study published in the journal Climatic Change in June shows that small banks are liberally making loans on environmentally threatened homes, but then quickly passing them along to federal mortgage backers. The Sunday Read: ‘How Climate Migration Will Reshape America’ ... For two years, he had been studying the impact of the changing climate on global migration around the world. Taken with other recent research showing that the most habitable climate in North America will shift northward and the incidence of large fires will increase across the country, this suggests that the climate crisis will profoundly interrupt the way we live and farm in the United States. The Dust Bowl started after the federal government expanded the Homestead Act to offer more land to settlers willing to work the marginal soil of the Great Plains. Sitting in my own backyard one afternoon this summer, my wife and I talked through the implications of this looming American future. Three of the largest fires in history burned simultaneously in a ring around the San Francisco Bay Area. To answer these questions, I interviewed more than four dozen experts: economists and demographers, climate scientists and insurance executives, architects and urban planners, and ProPublica mapped out the danger zones that will close in on Americans over the next 30 years. Market shock, when driven by the sort of cultural awakening to risk that Keenan observes, can strike a neighborhood like an infectious disease, with fear spreading doubt — and devaluation — from door to door. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.. Atlanta — where poor transportation and water systems contributed to the state’s C+ infrastructure grade last year — already suffers greater income inequality than any other large American city, making it a virtual tinderbox for social conflict. Van Leer determined that the fire had jumped through the forest canopy, spawning 70-mile-per-hour winds that kicked a storm of embers into the modest homes of Coffey Park, which burned at an acre a second as homes ignited spontaneously from the radiant heat. Read Part 1 … You have to credit us. This article, the second in a series on global climate migration, is a partnership between ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, with support from the Pulitzer Center. It’s okay to put our stories on pages with ads, but not ads specifically sold against our stories. Barrier islands? Eight of the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan areas — Miami, New York and Boston among them — will be profoundly altered, indirectly affecting some 50 million people. The hopelessness of the pattern was now clear, and the pandemic had already uprooted so many Americans. Relocation no longer seemed like such a distant prospect. It’s an early sign, he told me, that the momentum is about to switch directions. Their decisions will almost inevitably make the nation more divided, with those worst off relegated to a nightmare future in which they are left to fend for themselves. Rural areas along the coast without a strong tax base? I awoke to learn that more than 1,800 buildings were reduced to ashes, less than 35 miles from where I slept. August besieged California with a heat unseen in generations. The challenges are so widespread and so interrelated that Americans seeking to flee one could well run into another. 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