The year is 2050 or 2060, and as climate change progresses, extreme weather is getting worse. If you live in the U.S., you might be tempted to move to another city or state—but where should you go?
By midcentury, the number of massive wildfires in California could increase by 50%. The sea level along parts of the Florida coast might rise as much as 34 inches; throughout the coastal U.S., sea-level rise could put hundreds of thousands of homes at risk from chronic flooding. Colorado could face severe droughts and lose millions from the ski industry. Michigan will face more extreme heat, droughts, and flooding. South Carolina, like many states, is likely to face a steep increase in the number of dangerously hot days each year, along with the risk of more intense hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires.
Many of the impacts, of course, are already happening now—and in the wake of some recent disasters, people are already starting to move. “I don’t think we should worry about the future; we should be terrified about the present,” says Camilo Mora, a researcher at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who led a study that examined 3,000 scientific papers about climate impacts, identifying 467 separate impacts that humans are already experiencing, from deadly heat waves to food insecurity, the spread of disease, and infrastructure damage. (The study found, unsurprisingly, that these impacts will continue to get worse, and will be particularly terrible if emissions continue on their current path.) We looked at a few of the biggest risks across the country to see if any areas may fare slightly better than others.