High tides threaten California homes; Marin County has greatest risk: report

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A climate report released on Monday says many coastal properties may be flooded by 2045 and Marin County is at the greatest risk. 

The report, issued by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) based in Oakland, says more than 20,000 California homes will be threatened by high tides and that Marin County leads the state with 4,400 homes that might not make it beyond a 30-year mortgage because of rising sea water, accelerated by climate change. 

The climate scientists used the federal government’s high-end projections for sea level rise. They also used the 2014 national climate assessment’s high estimates for sea level rise putting Bay Area water 1.7 feet higher. 

The report also serves as a warning to the real estate market, which may not be accounting the near and medium-term risk. 

"Housing that's built in those areas is really at risk of inundation of sea level rise. So, we could see a lot of our low-lying communities starting to flood, on average, every other week," said UCS climate scientist Kristina Dahl, PhD. 

Homes could decrease in value and financially hit the property taxes coming into city and county governments. 

Our time to remedy sea level's rise, is limited. "From now through the middle of the century, sea level rise is somewhat locked in by the amount of carbon emissions we have put into the atmosphere to date," said Dahl.

Sea level rise, gets worse the further into the future you go. That's why Oakland and San Francisco airports have raised their seawalls and continue to do so. San Mateo County is providing visual projects of what to expect there.

In Marin County, opinions are divided looking out 30 years.

"Yeah, I think so. It's probably gonna be closer to 10. So, I don't really know what to say. It's just I'm a little scared,"said Marin County Resident Brannon Dwyer.  

The UCS is a 50-year-old non-profit science advocacy organization, with 200,000 members worldwide and looks at how science can aid in major environmental and social problems.