Buying a home in Palm Beach County? Check out this interactive map on sea level rise

Marine Way in Delray Beach, Nov. 25, 2015 during full moon high tide.

In the span of a 30-year mortgage signed today, 2,400 Palm Beach County homes could face a month’s worth of flooding each year as sea levels rise and tides creep farther inland, according to a study released Monday by the Union for Concerned Scientists.

By the year 2100, the number of homes from Boca Raton to Jupiter that are vulnerable to the slow-motion threat of tidal inundation skyrockets to 60,026 properties worth a staggering $36.2 billion in today’s dollars.

The nationwide report, which used housing information from the online real estate company Zillow, looked at the years 2045 and 2100 to emphasize that sea level rise is not just a faraway challenge. A home buyer signing a 30-year loan this year for a property vulnerable to flooding could still be paying the mortgage when rising water becomes a problem.

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Florida Climatologist David Zierden points out that the report is the worse case scenario and presents numbers that are seven times higher than the global rate of sea level rise of 3 mm per year.

The Southeast Florida Regional Compact on Climate Change says South Florida’s sea level rise could be faster than the global rate because of changes in the Gulfstream current.

The compact is projecting 6 to 10 inches of sea level rise by 2030 and 14 to 26 inches by 2060 (above the 1992 mean sea level).

Homes at risk. Click on your area to see if your home will be in a risk area by 2045 and by 2100.

“For people who are making decisions right now about where they are going to live and where they will invest, 2045 is an important date,” said Nicole Hernandez Hammer, a biologist and consultant to the Union of Concerned Scientists. “If this report gets the attention of any state, it should be Florida.”

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The key results of the study, titled “Underwater: Rising seas, Chronic floods and the implications for US Coastal Real Estate,” are based on the worse-case sea level rise scenario presented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — “an appropriately conservative projection to use when estimating risk to homes,” a press release notes.

For the full story and more information about sea level rise in Florida, go to MyPalmBeachPost.com. 

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Water from the Intracoastal Waterway covers South Flagler Drive at Greenwood Drive in West Palm Beach during the king tide Thursday, October 5, 2017. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

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