Category Archives: Climage Change

Climate Change Tools

Over the years I have collected a number of online tools that help me keep climate change in perspective. Here are some of my favorites!

Flooding risk areas. Dark blue and black are extreme risk areas with more than 5% risk increase in next 30 years. – Just enter your address and it will use a database from FEMA to give you a forecast of the possible risks your home and property face in the next 30 years. I was not surprised that my Kensington, Maryland has a low risk for fire and heat, but startled that even at my elevation of 200 feet my risk for flooding in the next 30 years was pretty high, mostly from ordinary rain runoff. This is likely because Climate Change predicts more frequent and more severe rain storms that dump more water on my property than what it has faced in the last 50 years. I was also surprised that my Heat risk is elevated from 5 days over 100-degrees F to 20 days over 100-degrees F. This could have health implications for my wife!

Risk by county. What kind of a county do you live in by income or community group? Are you Urban? Rural? Military? How will your county be affected by future hurricanes, tornadoes and floods? The above risk for sea level rise shows the expected risk distribution. My county, Montgomery County, MD has no risk….how about yours??? Other interactive maps at this site give hurricane, tornado, rainfall risks too. The map below shows counties expected to have the greatest heat stress.

Natural Disasters. The map below shows the cumulative federal FEMA payouts for all 50 states due to climate disasters between 1980 and 2020, with most of the expensive ones at more than a billion dollars each, happening since 2010.

“The South, Central and Southeast regions of the U.S., including the Caribbean U.S. territories, have suffered the highest cumulative damage costs, reflecting the severity and widespread vulnerability of those regions to a variety of weather and climate events. In addition to the highest number of billion-dollar disasters experienced, Texas also leads the U.S. in total cumulative costs (~$290 billion) from billion-dollar disasters since 1980. Florida is the second-leading state in total costs since 1980 (~$230 billion), largely the result of destructive hurricane impacts. Louisiana has the 3rd highest total costs (~$205 billion) from billion-dollar disasters, but has a much smaller population and economy than either Texas or Florida. Therefore, the relative cost and impact from extremes in Louisiana is more severe and difficult to recover. ” 

Earthquake Risk! – Yeah I know, earthquakes are not climate change events but I thought this was a neat graphic to include. If you want to see a realtime display of earthquakes in your area, go to the USGA website or the UC Berkeley Seismic Lab.

Getting back to climate change-related resources…..The practical consequences of increased disasters is your Home Owner’s Insurance. The website gives the map below of the average annual policy costs by state. My state, Maryland, is half the cost of Texas, but Texas is where everyone wants to live thanks to their excellent marketing over the last 150 years! Everything certainly is BIGGER in Texas!!

Homeowners insurance rates by 2020. The number is the average annual policy rates and the color is the rate relative to a national average of $2,300.