Affordable Housing Units Prone to Floods Could Triple by 2050 | Smart News

The amount of affordable housing in the United States that is susceptible to damage and destruction caused by coastal flooding will triple by 2050, reports Daniel Cusick for E&E News.

A new study, published yesterday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, suggests that around 7,668 affordable housing units in the U.S. flood annually. Without swift action to reduce carbon emissions, that number could reach nearly 25,000 units by 2050, reports Oliver Milman for the Guardian. This is the first study of its kind to assess how vulnerable affordable housing units are to flooding and rising sea levels, according to a press release.

According to Reuters, previous studies have forecasted how houses along the coasts will be affected by climate change, but “there’s been much less attention put on these lower-income communities,” says computational scientist Scott Kulp of Climate Central, an independent group of scientists and communicators researching climate change.

The team of researchers used maps of low-cost and federally subsidized housing units and coupled them with flood projections to forecast how communities will be affected in the future, reports the Guardian. They found that states like New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York are expected to have the highest number of units at risk of flooding at least once a year by 2050, according to the press release.

The U.S. is already facing an affordable housing shortage—there are only “35 units available for every 100 extremely low-income renters,” reports Patrick Sisson for Bloomberg. That amounts to a shortage of 7 million units, so losing any more units will add to the deficit. For example, almost half of the available affordable housing units in New Jersey are projected to flood at least four times per year by 2050.

Within the next 30 years, coastal flooding will affect 4,774 affordable housing units in New York City, 3,167 in Atlantic City and 3,042 in Boston. Other cities will see a huge jump in the number of at-risk units: Miami Beach will see a 1,074 percent increase in at-risk units and Charleston, South Carolina, will see a 526 percent hike by 2050, according to the press release.

Climate change is wreaking havoc on coastal communities all over the world, but people with low incomes are being disproportionately affected by the ensuing hurricanes, floods and rising sea levels.

“The point here is that two neighbors can suffer from the same flood, one living in affordable housing and one in a home they own, and experience a very different outcome,” study co-author Benjamin Strauss, the CEO and chief scientist at Climate Central, tells Bloomberg. “Many more people in the general population will be affected by sea level rise than the affordable housing population. But the affordable population group is the one likely to hurt the most, who can’t afford to find a remedy on their own and tend to not have the voice needed to change the allocation of public resources.”

In the U.S., affordable housing units along the coast tend to be

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Young continents were fragile and prone to destruction

Dec. 2 (UPI) — Earth’s earliest continents were fragile and destruction-prone, according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Earth formed roughly 4.5 billion years ago, but the planet’s infancy — its first 1.5 billion years — and the processes that shaped its continental features are poorly understood.

“This was the time of formation of the first continents, the emergence of land, the development of the early atmosphere and the appearance of primordial life — all of which are the result of the dynamics of our planet’s interiors,” lead study author Fabio Capitanio said in a news release.

For the new study, Capitanio and his colleagues created computer models simulate the conditions of early Earth.

“We show that the release of internal primordial heat, three to four times that of the present-day, caused large melting in the shallow mantle, which was then extruded as magma … onto the Earth’s surface,” said Capitanio, a researcher at Monash in Australia.

According to the models, the pieces of mantle left behind by this process formed the keels of the planet’s first continents. The landforms, however, were dehydrated and rigid.

Simulations suggest the first continents remained weak for billions of years, and were prone to destruction. Early on, Earth’s landforms were easy to melt, making them more malleable, allowing them to became increasingly differentiated.

Over time, this process produced larger and more rigid pieces of mantle, forming what would become the cores of modern continents.

Today, these cores take the form of cratons, the large, stable chunks of mantle and crust found in the interior of Earth’s continents.

The process of early continent formation was essential to the evolution of Earth’s geochemistry and, ultimately, the planet’s biochemistry.

“The emergence of these rigid early continents resulted in their weathering and erosion, changing the composition of the atmosphere and providing nutrients to the ocean seeding the development of life,” Capitanio said.

The new research also explains why so little of Earth’s primordial crust remains. The destruction and incorporation of Earth’s earliest continental crust into the mantle helped reinforce the keel-like chunks of mantle that came to form cratons.

According to Capitanio and his colleagues, these cratons house the earliest evidence of life on Earth, but they make up only a tiny fraction of Earth’s surface.

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Continents prone to destruction in their infancy, study finds

Earth continents
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Monash University geologists have shed new light on the early history of the Earth through their discovery that continents were weak and prone to destruction in their infancy.


Their research, which relies on mathematical modeling, is published today in Nature.

The Earth is our home and over its 4,500,000,000 (4.5 billion) year history has evolved to form the environment we live in and the resources on which we depend.

However, the early history of Earth, covering its first 1.5 billion years remains almost unknown and, consequently, poorly understood.

“This was the time of formation of the first continents, the emergence of land, the development of the early atmosphere, and the appearance of primordial life—all of which are the result of the dynamics of our planet’s interiors,” said lead study author ARC Future Fellow Dr. Fabio Capitanio from the Monash University School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment.

“Reproducing the conditions of the early Earth in computer-generated numerical models, we show that the release of internal primordial heat, three to four times that of the present-day, caused large melting in the shallow mantle, which was then extruded as magma (molten rock) onto the Earth’s surface,” he said.

According to the researchers, the shallow mantle left behind by this process was dehydrated and rigid and formed the keels of the first continents.

“Our results explain that continents remained weak and prone to destruction in their infancy, ~4.5 to ~4.0 billion years ago, and then progressively differentiated and became rigid over the next billion years to form the core of our modern continents,” Dr. Capitanio said.

“The emergence of these rigid early continents resulted in their weathering and erosion, changing the composition of the atmosphere and providing nutrients to the ocean seeding the development of life.”

Dr. Capitanio specialises in investigating the dynamics of the Earth’s tectonics and plate motions to better understand the mechanisms that force single plates or whole-Earth changes.

The work adds to the knowledge on supercontinent formation and its fragmentation into the present-day continents.

The quantitative model used in the study explains the enigmatic melt degrees and layered structures observed in most cratons on Earth.

The process shows that continents remain weak and prone to destruction in their infancy, then progressively melt and differentiate to become stable continents.

This accounts for the transition from the Hadean, covering the first 500 million years of Earth history, in which crust was completely recycled, to the Archean (four to three billion years ago), when rigid continental keels built up and remain preserved through time.

“The geological record suggests that the very early continents did not survive and were recycled in the planet’s interiors, yet this trend dramatically inverted approximately four billion years ago, when the most enduring piece of continents, cratons, appeared,” Dr. Capitanio said.

Only tiny crystals remain from Earth’s earliest continental crust, formed more than 4 billion years ago. The mysterious disappearance of this crust can now be explained. The very process that formed new crust,

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Virginia Tech football smothers turnover prone Boston College, moves to 3-1 this season | College Sports



BC at VT

Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker 2 pushes off on Deon Jones 5 of Boston College in the second quarter of the Boston College – Virginia Tech NCAA college football game in Blacksburg Va. Saturday, October 17 2020. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP, Pool)




BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech found the right combination on offense Saturday night at Lane Stadium.

Tech let quarterback Hendon Hooker and running back Khalil Herbert do the heavy lifting in a 40-14 win over Boston College.

Hooker, who was making his first start of the season, carried over a strong start into the second half — he was 11 of 15 for 111 yards, ran the ball 18 times for 164 yards and scored four touchdowns (three rushing) while the nation’s leading running back added 213 all-purpose yards (143 rushing) to his total.

After Boston College cut Tech’s lead to 17-13 midway through the third quarter, Herbert’s 57-yard run down the sideline left the Eagles defense reeling. Hooker punched it into the end zone four plays later and the Hokies didn’t look back.

Tech crossed the 300-rushing yard mark for the third time this season (season-high 350 yards). Herbert became the program’s first running back since David Wilson in 2011 to run for more than 100 yards in four straight games.

It was the first time Tech had a quarterback and running back each run for more than 100 yards since Tyrod Taylor and Darren Evans accomplished the feat in 2010 against N.C. State.

The night wasn’t as easy for a beleaguered Tech defense that last week gave up 56 points and 650-plus yards, but forcing five turnovers smoothed over the rough edges. The Hokies got key personnel back in the secondary — Divine Deablo started after missing two games — and had success shuffling the group up with cornerback Devin Taylor moving to free safety and Deablo starting at boundary safety.

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