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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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Americans Are Moving Into Danger Zones

Americans “are flocking to fire,” declares a new study documenting their decades-long migration to areas increasingly prone to extreme heat and wildfires. The attraction of these areas is well understood, but perhaps ignorance of the risks is also to blame?

“They’re attracted by maybe a beautiful forested mountain landscape and lower housing costs somewhere in the wildland-urban interface,” the paper’s lead author, University of Vermont environmental scientist Mahalia Clark, told Wired. “But they’re just totally unaware that wildfire is something they should even think about. That’s not really something that the realtor is going to tell them about, or that’s going to be on the real estate listing.”

But as Climate Alpha and others have found, when Americans are presented with data demonstrating the risks, they will take action. Before turning to disincentives and even managed retreat, as the study’s authors suggest, we need better tools for illuminating climate risks and affordable housing in more resilient regions. That’s why Climate Alpha has developed our risk-adjusted valuations for real estate — including residential property out to 2040 — and is working with customers such as Lennar to identify the fastest-growing markets of tomorrow. Visit www.climatealpha.ai to learn more about how we transform risks into opportunities.

#climaterisk #wildfires #extremeheat #climateprice #wildlandurbaninterface

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Internet Outages Could Spread as Temperatures Rise. Here’s What Big Tech Is Doing

The Metaverse will offer no respite from climate change — not when soaring temperatures are causing Google and Oracle data centers to crash in the UK and Twitter briefly shut down its servers in the American West this summer for similar reasons. Climate is already forcing technology giants to rethink the geography of computing, CNET’s David Lumb reports:

“When selecting a site for their data centers, companies like Microsoft and Amazon prioritize access to low-cost energy, which they’ve historically found in places like Silicon Valley, northern Virginia and Dallas/Fort Worth, though Atlanta and Phoenix have been growing. They also look for internet infrastructure from telecoms AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink, along with fiber providers like Charter and Comcast, to keep data flowing. They assess the risk of floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, too.”

Drought has become another major factor, given the need for large quantities of local water for cooling. “One-fifth of the data centers in the country get their water from moderately to highly stressed regions supplying water in the dry western US, per an April report from Virginia Tech,” Lumb writes. “US cities are already getting nervous.”

As climate change becomes an increasingly important driver in the site selection process — even for the infrastructure powering the Metaverse — Climate Alpha offers tools for locating new geographies that balance resilience with proximity to customers. (Because every microsecond of latency counts.) Visit www.climatealpha.ai to learn more about our Resilience Scores, risk-adjusted real estate valuations, and scenario forecasters and how they can help build the Internet of tomorrow.

#extremeheat #heatwaves #climateadaptation #megadrought #climaterisks

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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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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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The U.S. is Teetering on the Brink of Large Water Crisis

The #climatecrisis is more complex than any single model can capture. For instance, the #megadrought gripping the West for the last two decades has caused the Colorado River to wither, causing the U.S. government to demand neighboring states cut their water usage by as much as 40%. But it gets worse.

As the Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS)‘s Jay Famiglietti illuminates in this interview with ProPublica‘s Abrahm Lustgarten, the peril to American agriculture is even greater than one might imagine, as farmers shift consumption from surface water to groundwater, accelerating aquifer depletion.

“I don’t want to be flippant,” Famiglietti says, “but people don’t understand the food-water nexus. Do we try to bring more water to the southern high plains, to Arizona, to California, because if the food system’s optimized, maybe that’s the cheapest thing to do? Or does agriculture move to where the water is? Does it migrate north and east?”

Climate models can’t answer that question. Climate Alpha can. Our scenario forecaster allows customers to explore the potential implications of these kinds of feedback loops. Visit www.climatealpha.ai to learn more.

#extremeheat #climaterisks #climateadaptation #watersecurity #climatemigration

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