When the oceans rise up and devour us all, where will you go? Where will any of us go?
It's fairly well known that millions of Americans living in coastal regions will need to either evolve into Kevin-Costner-esque-Waterworld-fish-humans or relocate in the coming decades. In a recent study, Dr. Mathew Hauer, doing his best Seinfeld impression, asked the question, "Who are these people? Where will they go?" (Which is actually two questions.)
Hauer used data from the IRS and the US Census Bureau to look at the current relocating habits of Americans (within the US) and applied those tendencies to estimations of people who are likely to be displaced by sea level rise between now and the year 2100.
Now, before we go any further, do yourself a favour and check out Figure 3 in the paper—it is a doozy! One of the dooziest figures I have ever seen. Hauer must have one fantastic graphing calculator.
So, who are these climate migrants? Well, they are predominantly Floridians (and most of those from Miami). Roughly 6 million Floridians are projected to relocate due to sea level rise, with over 2.5 million of them leaving the state entirely.
The states with the most people exodusing (minus the parting of the seas) will be Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Virginia, and California. And, despite the fact that approximately 400,000 Texans are projected to relocate, Texas is expected to see a net gain of sea level rise migrants of about 1.5 million. Roughly half of those are expected to settle in Austin.
Austin, Texas... The city so keen, they named it after Brian Austin Green!