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Skipped Showers, Paper Plates: An Arizona Suburb’s Water Is Cut Off

For hundreds of Arizona homeowners, the American dream has become a climate-driven nightmare. A fierce competition for water amidst decades of drought has left residents of upscale Rio Verde without running taps. What is your half-million-dollar home really worth when your toilets are flushed with rainwater and you’re eating off paper plates?

“Is it just a campground now?” one resident asked The New York Times. The answer might be yes. As one of her first acts, new Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs unsealed a report concluding Phoenix’s fast-growing West Valley is well short of the 100-year supply of water required by law — a revelation throwing tens of thousands of planned homes into doubt.

“It’s a cautionary tale for home buyers,” Arizona State University’s Sarah Porter told the Times. “We can’t just protect every single person who buys a parcel and builds a home. There isn’t enough money or water.”

Clearly, the calculus for home builders and buyers alike has changed. Proper due diligence not only requires developable land or proximity to schools, but also secure supplies of fresh water and related climate adaptation measures. Visit www.climatealpha.ai to learn more about how our tools can help home builders — and soon, home buyers — incorporate these factors into future planning.

#climaterisks #megadrought #climateadaptation #extremeheat #watermanagement

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Climate Data Startups Take Science Off Campus and Into Boardrooms

Bloomberg Green’s Eric Roston names Climate Alpha a startup to watch in Bloomberg Businessweek’s annual Year Ahead issue. “As climate science has moved out of the lab, private companies and nonprofits offering insights to decision-makers have proliferated, and demand for useful information will only grow in 2023,” he writes, noting roughly $375 million in VC and PE investment flowed into the sector during the first three quarters of 2022 alone. (Climate Alpha closed its own $4 million seed round in Q4.) 

“Climate science is in an awkward teenage phase,” says Kelly Hereid, director of catastrophe R&D at Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. “The next step is thinking not just about how the climate is going to change, but how that’s going to affect society.”

Exactly. As the only company of its kind combining migration and socio-economic variables with climate models, we’re uniquely positioned to help our customers understand the second- and third-order effects of a changing climate — starting with pockets of resilient geographies that were previously overlooked. Visit www.climatealpha.com to learn more about how our tools are already informing decision-makers in finance, real estate, insurance and government on what lies ahead in 2023 — and beyond.

#climatetech #climaterisks #climatescience #climateadaptation

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Which “Zoomtowns” are Tomorrow’s Boomtowns?

Which cities possess the right combination of resilience, quality of life, plentiful housing, and accessibility to a major metro (and points beyond)?

Using Climate Alpha’s proprietary Resilience Index™ scores and forecasting tools, we’ve identified five communities across the U.S. poised to reap the long-term benefits of a remote future, ranging from cities such as Portland, Oregon and Colorado Springs to greener pastures in Michigan, Virginia, and Kentucky.

 

 

 

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The First Microgrid Communities in California

KB Home has launched America’s first all-electric, solar-powered micro-grid neighborhoods at its master-planned community in California’s Inland Empire.

Designed in partnership with the US Department of Energy, SunPower, the University of California at Irvine, Southern California Edison, Schneider Electric, and Kia, each home boasts EV charger-ready wiring and batteries connected to a local smart grid.

It’s a win-win for all involved, as residents benefit from a potential 40% reduction in energy use while worrying less about more frequent blackouts. And for homebuilders like KB Home, the combination of rising interest rates, single-family rentals, and zero-energy ready home standards has made it easier than ever to build new, more resilient housing at scale. The only question is where.

And that’s where Climate Alpha comes in. For developers and homebuilders, our suite of analytics can not only identify the optimal regions for homes powered by renewables, but also calculate the risk-adjusted valuations out to 2040 that will help justify these investments in the present.

Visit www.climatealpha.ai to learn more about how our tools will help found the resilient communities of tomorrow.

#realestate #climateadaptation #microgrids #ZERH #SFR #MPC

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Population Growth Is Making Hurricanes More Expensive

Why has the number of hurricanes causing $1 billion or more in damage more than doubled since the 1980s? And why has the total cost in damages risen eleven times?! The New York Times’ Ian Prasad Philbrick and Ashley Wu explore the “expanding bull’s-eye effect” — the tendency of population growth to make climate disasters costlier over time.

Coined by Villanova’s Steven Stader, the expanding bull’s-eye effect not only describes how urban sprawl makes regions more vulnerable to a mega-storm like #HurricaneIan, but also how development lessens the natural resilience of coastlines by transforming wetlands into impermeable asphalt.

The authors offer three potential solutions: mitigating greenhouse gas emissions; strengthening building codes; and encouraging migration away from high-risk areas. “But relocation is a tough sell,” they write. “Americans have flocked to Florida’s picturesque coast, despite its risks.”

They may not have that far to move. In our analysis of post-Ian Florida real estate trends, the Zip codes and counties poised to grow fastest in the next two decades are those farther from the coast. Read our analysis of how and why the smart money will escape the bull’s-eye.

#bullseyeeffect #climateadaptation #climaterisks #hurricanes

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How to Build a Better Future

#COP27 won’t save the world, Climate Alpha’s founder and CEO Dr. Parag Khanna writes for Semafor, and neither will any of its successors: “Every minute spent at such summits is therefore a distraction from the only two tangible activities that demonstrate genuine commitment to a better future: Moving people to resilient geographies or shifting technologies to people in need.”

The host of #COP28 — the United Arab Emirates — at least offers a glimpse of what such a future might look like:  “A melting pot in a melting geography, a mix of sea walls and air conditioning, the UAE is perhaps the foremost template for how more habitable regions will need to reprogram themselves into an archipelago of centers for our future civilization.”

This was the inspiration for Climate Alpha — creating the tools we’ll need to map humanity’s future. Click through to read more of Parag’s vision for tomorrow.

 #climateadaptation #climatemigration #resilientcommunities

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Can Cities Adapt to an Era of Extreme Heat?

As the northern hemisphere turns to winter, summer in the south half of the globe means another potentially devastating season of fires, drought, and extreme heat in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Australia, and beyond. Cities feel the latter most acutely, as urban heat island effects raise temperatures higher than their hinterlands and retain it in concrete and asphalt at night.

In response, seven cities around the world — including Melbourne and Santiago de Chile — have named “chief heat officers” to advise mayors and other elected officials on  public education, heat mitigation, and urban redesigns. With support from the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation’s Resilience Center — whose director Kathy Baughman-McLeod sits on Climate Alpha’s board — these heat officers are rethinking how urban governance should function in a future of climate change.

There’s always bureaucracy and red tape that makes things slower,” Athens mayor Kostas Bakoyannis told The Financial Times. “Also, the fact that we’re living with the legacy of the economic crisis . . . We’re trying to move as quickly as we can.”

Climate Alpha offers tools for public officials and private investors alike helping to steer investments in climate resilience and understanding heat-induced migration. Our Resilience Scores identify local strengths and weaknesses, while our Climate Price™ analytics platform forecasts migration patterns to account for future shifts to cooler climes. Visit www.climatealpha.ai to learn more about how we can help you prepare for a warming world.

#extremeheat #heatwaves #climateadaptation #megadrought

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New report paints dire picture of America’s future as climate crisis accelerates

A draft of the next National Climate Assessment was published last week in anticipation of President Biden’s appearance at #COP27. Although the final report won’t be published until late next year, the 1,695 draft released for public comment notes “the things Americans value most are at risk” — starting with their homes. Summarizing the draft’s key takeaways, CNN contributor John D. Sutter paints a dire picture in a recent article of what’s to come, including:

• The U.S. is warming faster than the global average. Underscoring the need to invest in climate adaptation now rather than cling to dreams of total mitigation.

• Climate disasters are getting worse. “In the 1980s, the country experienced on average one (inflation-adjusted) billion-dollar [extreme weather] event every four months,” the draft report states. “Now, there is one every three weeks, on average.”

• It hits the most vulnerable the hardest, as frontline communities face the brunt of climate disasters due to decades of discrimination and displacement. They urgently deserve investment in adaptation.

• It’s playing a role in migration and economic woes. “Millions of people,” the report states, will be displaced by floods, fires, and rising seas. Those are numbers not seen in the United State since the Dust Bowl.

Taken together, these and other factors point to the clear and present need to invest in climate adaptation — and migration — using both public funds and private capital. At Climate Alpha, we’re building the tools investors, planners, and strategists need to identify and build the resilient communities of tomorrow.

Visit www.climatealpha.ai to learn more about how our Climate Price™ analysis suite can help.

#climateadaptation #climatemigration #realestate #climaterisks 

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The U.S. is Running Short of Land for Housing

Improbably, America is running out of land. Developable land, that is.

“Land-use restrictions and a lack of public investment in roads, rail and other infrastructure have made it harder than ever for developers to find sites near big population centers to build homes,” writes Konrad Putzier in The Wall Street Journal. “As people keep moving to cities such as Austin, Phoenix and Tampa, they are pushing up the price of dirt and making the housing shortages in these fast-growing areas even worse.”

Vacant land prices in the Sun Belt have more than doubled in the last two years, even as Austin and Phoenix are becoming markedly hotter and Tampa lies squarely in the path of #HurricaneIan — potentially the worst storm to strike the city in a century.

Torn between the need for land in fast-growing regions and valuations that don’t take climate change into account, developers risk paying a premium today for discounted locations tomorrow. Fortunately, Climate Alpha combines climate, demographic, and economic data for a 360-degree view of the most desirable locations in 2040 and every year in between. Visit Climate Alpha’s Products Page to learn more before it’s gone.

#resilientcommunities #extremeheat #megadrought #climateadaptation #zoomtowns #climatemigration

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Cities Brace for This Season’s Colliding Climate Disasters

Bloomberg News Article on climate disasters has identified May to October as the “danger season” — when the US is most at risk of experiencing back-to-back climate disasters like heat waves, wildfires, drought and storms.

The real danger isn’t an isolated wildfire, heat wave or flood — but mounting, overlapping disasters that diminish the capacity to respond. For example, Bloomberg News CityLab’s Linda Poon notes that since May, 116 U.S. counties were under multiple alerts from the National Weather service, of which nearly three-quarters had concurrent heat + heat alerts, while 18 others faced flood + heat and another 15 counties had fire + flood.

While other tools can identify a region’s vulnerability to a single climate, our analysis platform at Climate Alpha is able to gauge resilience against multiple threats in light of multiple demographic and economic scenarios — helping make danger season a little less dangerous. Visit us at Climate Alpha’s Product Solutions to learn more.

#extremeheat #megadrought #hurricaneseason2022 #climaterisks #climateadaptation

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