Read the full story at Quartz.
This story was produced through a partnership between Quartz and Climate Central, a non-advocacy science and news group, with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
As the effects of heat-trapping pollution continue to raise sea levels, wetlands dotting Americancoastlines could drown — or they could flourish. Their fate will depend upon rates of sea-level rise, how quickly the plants can grow, and whether there’s space inland into which they can migrate.
Climate Central modeled how American coastal wetlands will respond to sea level rise in an array of potential scenarios. It found that conserving land for wetlands to migrate into is a decisive factor in whether wetlands will survive or drown.
Wetlands and development have long been in conflict, with ecological values weighed against waterfront economic opportunities. As seas rise, benefits of conserving areas inland for wetland migration are creating new tensions. And as climate change intensifies storms and elevate high tides and storm surges, the economic values of wetlands are growing.