Sea-level rise could swamp thousands of homes in the San Francisco Bay Area, most in Silicon Valley and Marin, within 30 years. A new study from the Union of Concerned Scientists, relying on federal government projections for climate change, found that more than 20,000 homes across California would chronically flood by 2045. That is about a mortgage-length’s-time from now.
UCS climate scientist Kristy Dahl, an author of the new report, says she noticed that the Bay Area homes most vulnerable to rising seas are in San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Marin counties. These are suburbs where people have typically moved to feel safe, says Dahl.
“The very suburbs people flocked to because they were affordable, you know we think of as being kind of safe havens,” Dahl says.
In one East Palo Alto zip code, more than a quarter of houses could see chronic inundation, on 26 or more days a year.
“That’s on par for example with the number of homes that are at risk in Key West Florida,” Dahl says.