Florida is Extremely Vulnerable to Climate Change:
A bipartisan group of mayors from 21 cities in Florida have called on moderators of this week’s presidential debate to ask candidates how they would deal with rising sea levels amplified by climate change.
More than 60 percent of the state population lives within 10 miles of the coast, where the sea water level has already been rising with notable effects. By 2030, up to $15 billion of the state’s coastal property will likely be flooded.
Much of Florida’s critical infrastructure sits at low elevations, including roads, railways, ports, oil and gas facilities. Southeast Florida is projected to experience sea level rise of 6-10 inches by 2030 and 31-61 inches by 2100.
The mean level sea rise at the major tourist hub of Miami is projected to rise by 9.6-15.6 inchesby 2050.
Between 2003-2013, Florida witnessed storms and hurricanes that resulted in 24 major disaster declarations.
The sea level rise, coupled with more frequent and more intense hurricanes, threatens Florida’s freshwater supplies from rivers, streams and groundwater. The city of Hallandale Beach hasalready abandoned six of its eight drinking water wells.
In the past 30 years, Florida has experience about seven days per year with temperatures above 95°F. By mid century, there could be 76 such days, leading to as many as 1,840 additional deaths per year resulting from extreme heat.
Florida’s Clean Energy Efforts and Opinions:
Florida adopted statewide climate adaptation plans in 2008. However, under Governor Scott the state abolished the Florida Energy and Climate Commission, hamstringing implementation of the plan.
A majority of adults in Florida, 64 percent, understand global warming is happening and half believe it’s caused mostly by human activities. Seventy-seven percent support funding research into renewable energy.
The Clean Power Plan would require Florida to cut 24.7 percent of its power-sector emissionsby 2030. The state is party to the lawsuit against the CPP and is assessing implications of the Supreme Court’s temporary stay.
Florida gets most of its electricity from natural gas. Renewable energy accounted for just 2.3% of the energy mix in 2014.