Flooded Earth

By Peter Ward

There is a lot of talk these days about underwater real estate, where people owe more on a house than it is worth. I’ve been reading the book Flooded Earth by University of Washington scientist Peter Ward. He talks about the original meaning, where the property is really underwater from climate change. He conservatively estimates sea levels will rise about a meter over a the next century. Meanwhile there will floods and storm surges as the water rises. In an interview with Salon he said:

“Some of the very low-lying cities in the San Francisco Bay aren’t savable. San Francisco’s got high ground, but a lot of Oakland is really low ground and the entire San Jose region is hugely threatened.”

You have to think about this if you are buying Bay Area real estate. A lot of property will be worthless over the next few decades. But it is more than San Francisco; Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle are in the same fix as every seaside city considering what to do about rising sea levels.

In the meantime, property owners need to find how high they are above sea level and think about selling early rather than late.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.