Wired, Condé Nast Digital (WIRED)
By Chelsea Leu
There is a lot of water in southern Louisiana right now. The region’s been lashed with rain for the past week—the water has inundated freeways, surged past levees, and left about 40,000 homes water-logged husks of their former selves. The rain has stopped, for now. And when the water finally drains, people will return to their homes, pick up what’s left and start rebuilding.
But the climate science prognosis doesn’t look good. This is the eighth time in about a year that 500-year rainfall has hammered the US, and climate change will make extreme weather events like this more common. That means, among other things, millions of dollars worth of property damage. Fixing everything up, and managing the growing threat of climate-related destruction hinges on flood insurance—which relies on ever-evolving, incomplete maps to determine risk. But new models will make it possible to better predict flood plains as it becomes increasingly dangerous to live on the coast.