Climate Scientists Reveal The Places They’d Live In The US To Avoid A Natural Disaster

Natural disasters are at an all-time high, 2017 marking a new record for natural disasters in the United States. During those 12 months, there were 16 catastrophic weather events, which had a huge impact on the communities and cities they affected. 

Those 16 events resulted in more than $306 billion in damages. 

2018 is predicted to be less severe, although six storms generated more than $1 billion in damages before the end of July. 

Scientists have found that climate change has a massive influence on natural disasters and other events, such as heavy rains, droughts, and heat waves. But, as much as scientists have learned about this over the past decade or so, there is still a ton of research being done on the connection between natural disasters, and climate change.

All things considered, some are beginning to question the safety and security of the area that they live in. 

11 climatologists were asked where they would move to avoid climate change as much as possible – and of course, no area is completely safe – but some places are on the safer side, especially compared to others that face a ton of potential for danger and damages.  

Here are some of the cities that were recommended: 

Sacramento, California

Sea levels are a rising issue at the moment, but it isn’t as much of an issue along the northwest coast of California. California Department of Water Resources State Climatologist Michael Anderson reported that Sacramento, the state capital located about two hours from San Francisco, is a good option for those who want to be in a good area of the Golden State. 

Urban-Planning Professor at Portland State University, Vivek Shandas, agreed, insisting that not only sea levels, but tornadoes, flooding, droughts, landslides, wildfires, and hurricanes are less of a concern there as well. 

Boulder, Colorado

Camilo Mora, an associate professor and biodiversity researcher at the University of Hawaii, said that two of the main factors to consider to avoid sea level rise are high elevation, and being located in the middle of the country. 

Far from the coast and at an altitude of more than 5,300 feet, Boulder, Colorado satisfies both requirements. On top of that, water usage is monitored and accounted for depending on weather changes. 

Back in July, Boulder followed suit of cities like San Francisco and Oakland, California and New York as one of the most recent cities to sue major oil producers for knowingly contributing to climate change, emitting greenhouses gases for decades and not doing anything about it.

Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota

New Jersey State Climatologist and Rutgers University Professor David Robinson noted that Minneapolis could be a great option for those looking to avoid effects of climate change. Being inland makes it less of a target to flooding, tropical storms, and hurricanes.

It might have cold winters, but according to researchers, it isn’t supposed to get a lot colder than it has been. 

Tulsa, Oklahoma

According to Richard Alley, Climate Science Professor at Pennsylvania State University, rising sea levels should have little to no effect on Tulsa. 

Even if an ice sheet collapses and devastates other cities around the U.S., Tulsa will remain intact. 

Because of a serious storm in 1984, Tulsa has protected itself from future damage. There are several detention ponds, trapping water in the case of a storm or a flood. 

Portland, Oregon

Portland might be on the coast, but still faces less potential damage from rising sea levels than other coastal cities. 

UCS Senior Climate Scientist Astrid Caldas also said because of it’s locational advantage, it doesn’t face a lot of hurricanes.

Portland was also ahead of the times in terms of preventing further climate change. Back in 1993, it created a plan to cut carbon, with the goal of reducing local emissions by 80% by 2050. It was the first city in the U.S. to come up with such a plan.

Other cities that made the cut were Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; San Diego, California; and Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Pittsburgh is said to be safe from hurricanes, and avoid the increase in drought. It has a new climate plan in place, approved earlier this year, with the goal of reducing carbon emissions as much as possible. 

Charlotte might not be hurricane proof but it does rank amongst the lowest when it comes to climate change as a whole. Most cities are heating up as a result of climate change, but Charlotte has done the exact opposite and cooled down, averaging to an annual temperature of 60 degrees.

San Diego boasts the nation’s most ideal, mild weather. Besides being nice for residents, the mild weather helps avoid a number of natural disaster and weather-related events. It does still face loss of precipitation, and that could result in a wildfire scare – but unfortunately, same goes for most cities in California. 

Hawaii, on the other hand, was warned as being one of the most dangerous places to reside.

Princeton Associate Research Scholar Hiro Murakami warned that the dream destination for people around the world is going to watch it’s tropical storm frequency double before the end of the century.

What are some other places to avoid, one might ask? 

Florida frequents the chart of cities most vulnerable to sea level rise more than any other state, with 22 of the top 25 being in Florida. Combined, these cities put more than one million people at risk. But, the sunshine state isn’t at the top of the chart. 

New York is the number one place to avoid for those who want to be escape the potential peril of coastal flooding as climate change continues to worsen, more than 245,000 people being at risk. 

Caldas asked people to take all factors of climate change into consideration when calculating the risk of a certain area. 

He reminded people that although some places might be safer than others – none are safe or entirely out of harms way. 

“There is no one-size-fits-all [prediction] when it pertains to climate change. One may move away from the coast, only to find that inland floods are a problem. One may move from the south seeking cooler climates only to be hit by extreme precipitation, or drought, or wildfires. Each person or community needs to weigh all the factors carefully and choose their level of risk-taking.”

Summing up what he said, nowhere is safe and we’re all doomed. Kidding, but also not. 

H / T – Insider, Climate Central, Grist