Climate change risk

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Researchers in the Smeal College of Business look at the politics of coastal homes.

The video went viral: In early May 2022, a beachfront home on North Carolina’s Outer Banks collapsed into the ocean during a coastal storm. Stilts splintering like toothpicks, the house slid slow-motion into the waves and bobbed there like a giant cork.

With global sea levels continuing to rise at an increasing rate because of climate change — an eighth of an inch every year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — these types of scenarios are likely to become more common. What does this mean in terms of who is choosing to buy and own coastal homes? And what does it have to do with politics?