South Floridians will face some of the most visceral effects from climate change in the future, including rising sea levels, increased storms, flooding and so-called king tides.
The New York Times explores the state’s king tides, or the highest predicted tide of the year that occurs when the sun, moon and earth are properly aligned. While coastal areas have traditionally experienced these once or twice a year, the Times reports that climate change is bringing them more frequently to southern Florida—and residents have to adapt. Twenty percent of these residents are foreign-born, most from Latin America, and the majority live in South Florida.
“Already, life … has changed considerably, depending on the moon cycle, the month, the wind and the rain,” the story explains. “Residents are already gearing up for the next king tide. It arrives next month.”
One family, the Lafrattas, moved into their Fort Lauderdale home just three months ago. They’re originally from Brazil and knew the flooding was bad, but it is worse than what they had expected. Now, they must examine tidal charts to prepare for each day. They can’t leave garbage cans too close to the curb, or flooding may carry them away. “I forgot them one time,” Sergio Lafratta told the Times, “and there was garbage everywhere.”
The effects of climate change will impact the entire state—as evidenced by Hurricane Matthew and the ongoing Zika epidemic. One in eight Florida homes will be underwater by 2100 if sea levels rise as much as climate scientists predict, according to real estate research site Zillow. However, those closest to the water will feel the impacts much sooner and harder.
Read the complete story here.