New research from Dr Oliver Wing on inequitable patterns of US flood risk

Video 04.02.2022

The research, published at the end of January 2022, titled “Inequitable patterns of US flood risk in the Anthropocene, highlights the inequities of increasing flood risk in the US and received international recognition by the media.


About the research

Fathom’s Chief Research Officer Dr Oliver Wing, and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bristol’s Cabot Institute for the Environment, has led pioneering research on future climate change-related flood risk in the United States.

The research entitled “Inequitable patterns of US flood risk in the Anthropocene” has uncovered inequalities in the impact of climate change on disadvantaged communities and rising financial losses as a result of flood events.

Using data from Fathom-US and by analysing nation-wide property asset data and detailed flood projections, the researchers developed a comprehensive high-resolution flood risk assessment of the US for the very first time.

While the research reveals poorer communities with a proportionally larger white population face the most danger at present, future growth in flood risk will have a greater impact on African American communities on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Predicted population change was also shown to have a huge effect on flood risk, resulting in four-fold increases compared to the impact of climate change alone and sending costs further spiralling.

Read Full Paper

“The mapping clearly indicates Black communities will be disproportionately affected in a warming world, in addition to the poorer White communities which predominantly bear the historical risk. Both of these findings are of significant concern. The research is a call to action for adaptation and mitigation work to be stepped up to reduce the devastating financial impact flooding wreaks on people’s lives.”

– Dr Oliver Wing

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