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If you live in Texas or Louisiana, your community will be harder hit by climate change than cities in New Hampshire or Oregon. By the end of the century, if emissions continue unchecked, some parts of the U.S. will see far greater economic damage from climate than others–and because the communities that will be affected most tend to be poorer, the shift will also widen income inequality.
A new map shows the projected county-by-county damages for the last two decades of the century, with the counties facing the heaviest burden shown in dark red. Those in green are likely to see some economic benefit, though as temperatures continue to warm, those benefits may be temporary. The impacts are highest in the South, where temperatures are already hotter.
While 62% of North American cities have started to prepare or plan for how to adapt to climate change–from plans for a massive flood protection zone in New York City to higher seawalls and a new pumping system in Miami, where flooding is already a problem–each city has more work to do. Some haven’t started. The analysis could help communities plan for local effects.