Climate-caused flooding will increase in the next 30 years, causing billions of dollars of losses that will disproportionately affect Black communities in the United States, according to a new study. Flood risk will increase by 26 percent, especially on the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts, where there is a greater threat of sea-level rise and hurricanes are becoming more intense.

The study, “Inequitable patterns of US flood risk in the Anthropocene,” was conducted by a team of U.S. and U.K.-based researchers and was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. In the study, researchers found that average annual flooding costs could increase to $40.6 billion by 2050, compared with the current cost of $32 billion.

“What we’re seeing is that those with the least capacity to respond to these disasters are being asked to shoulder the burden,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Oliver Wing, who is an honorary research fellow at Bristol University’s Cabot Institute for the Environment, as NBC News reported. “That’s just fundamentally wrong.”

The study’s authors found that 75 percent of the increase in average yearly exposure to flooding by 2050 will be due to population growth, while the changing of rainfall patterns, rising sea levels and more intense hurricanes will make up 19 percent of the increase in risk, Carbon Brief reported.

Currently, low-income and white communities are most impacted by flooding in the U.S. according to the study, but that will change in the next three decades. The results of the study will allow for adaptation measures to be focused on areas that are the most vulnerable.

“A study of this granularity has never been deployed at a national scale like this before – and so, in many ways, the results are brand new,” Dr. Wing told Carbon Brief.

Read the full article about climate flooding by Cristen Hemingway Jaynes at EcoWatch .