There is no state in the US that is more threatened by the effects of climate change than Florida.

You do not see that threat in language, coastal protections or voting behavior.

But falling house prices tell a different story: that of a percolating reality.

In recent US presidential elections, the world media mainly focused on Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada - states with which Joe Biden eventually managed to achieve the required number of electors by a wide margin to be designated as the new president of the US, per January 20, 2021.



But another reality is that in a few other swing states, a majority of the inhabitants were in favor of Trump, another four years.

Most noteworthy: Florida - the only state that polls went wrong, due to underestimation of the number of Trump supporters in Miami.

"No state in the US is more threatened by climate change than Florida, and there is no coast in the world where sea level rise is so rapid."

Sea level rise in Florida is ten times faster than ours

They also seem to be looking away from a problem that Trump denies, but that could literally wipe this metropolis off the map - and already in a surprisingly short term.

No state in the US is as threatened by climate change as Florida, and there is no coast in the world where sea level rise is so rapid.

In recent years, this went at a rate of about 2.5 centimeters per year, according to measurements by the University of Florida.

That is about ten times faster than in the same period along the Dutch coast.

Sea level rise is an erratic process, fast and slower years can alternate.

But scientists have reason to believe that Florida will also face stronger sea level rise in the long term.

Miami is in danger of being flooded with 1 degree warming

In addition to the global acceleration of sea level rise, this is due to strong subsidence and the weakening of ocean currents in the area.

The latter factor can further increase sea level rise by up to 1 meter along the east coast of the US.

Florida also has hardly any coastal defenses.

The southern tip of the peninsula is therefore in danger of disappearing completely into the sea - including Miami - even with global warming between 1 and 2 degrees.

Scientists are trying to better map this threat.

For example, the European space agency ESA launched a new sea level satellite last Saturday, in collaboration with, among others, the KNMI and the American institutes NASA and NOAA.

Goal: to map even more accurately how strongly sea level rise is accelerating, and where the risks are greatest.

The new satellite can also observe how the sea rises around hurricanes, so that it can be warned of impending floods.

Indeed, extra important to Florida.

Forbidden to talk about climate change

In politics, however, it seemed to some to take a long time to recognize the underlying problems, if at all.

In 2015, Republican Governor Rick Scott banned the use of the word 'climate change' (as well as the words 'global warming' and 'sustainability') in all government communications in the state.

His party member and successor Ron DeSantis as of 2019 has lifted the ban again.

But it illustrates how deep denial can go, and how much the state is at odds with the subject.

Moreover, Scott is not finished: he is now a senator.

Still, there are signs that the realities of climate change are starting to recede in Florida as well.

This may not be in the voting behavior and word use of the people, but in another language - hard cash.

Villas with sea views are losing their value

Florida's most expensive homes are in the south, right on the unprotected seashore.

Last month, a study was published showing that house prices have been falling since 2013 compared to the higher parts of the state.

After all, you buy a house with the thought that you might want to live there for decades, and then also want to be able to sell it - preferably without loss.

Have we already reached that point in the Netherlands?

House prices are still rising everywhere - with a remarkable shift: in the low-lying Randstad the rise is now slowing down.

But that may have more to do with that other crisis: corona - and not (yet) with sea level rise.

See also: Five consequences of sea level rise that you don't easily think about