clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Climate change could temporarily make Alaska the new Florida

New, 105 comments

Detroit isn't looking so bad, either

Without coordinated global action, climate change will inevitably render places across the world uninhabitable. The good news: maybe Alaska won't be so cold for a while.

In a new article for the New York Times, Jennifer A. Kingson quotes experts who give jarring, darkly comic opinions on which places in the US will be the least devastated:

"If you do not like it hot and do not want to be hit by a hurricane, the options of where to go are very limited," said Camilo Mora, a geography professor at the University of Hawaii and lead author of a paper published in Nature last year predicting that unprecedented high temperatures will become the norm worldwide by 2047.

"The best place really is Alaska," he added. "Alaska is going to be the next Florida by the end of the century."

Other temporary safe havens might include the Midwest and Pacific Northwest, which climate refugees could migrate to by 2050 or 2100. Oregon and Washington state could become more fertile wine country, taking over after California's Napa Valley is hit by abnormally high temperatures. "People are going crazy putting in vineyards in eastern Washington right now," one expert told the Times.

Not that you'll necessarily want to build a permanent home in colder climes. Even if people begin vacating Los Angeles by 2048, as Mora's model suggests, people will be fleeing Anchorage by 2071, when the options for a comfortable vacation get even slimmer.