© 2020

Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in South Florida

The View of Coastal Residents


Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 34)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Risa Palm, Toby Bolsen
    Pages 1-3
  3. Risa Palm, Toby Bolsen
    Pages 5-13
  4. Risa Palm, Toby Bolsen
    Pages 15-40
  5. Risa Palm, Toby Bolsen
    Pages 41-60
  6. Risa Palm, Toby Bolsen
    Pages 61-80
  7. Risa Palm, Toby Bolsen
    Pages 81-92
  8. Risa Palm, Toby Bolsen
    Pages 93-103
  9. Risa Palm, Toby Bolsen
    Pages 105-113
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 115-134

About this book


South Florida is frequently cited as the part of the United State of America as most susceptible to the devastation accompanying sea level rise. Several scholarly studies have shown the negative impact of coastal location in Florida on housing values. Are the residents of South Florida concerned? Is susceptibility to sea level rise actually affecting the housing market in terms of demand, the availability of home mortgages, or house prices? Are people living at particular risk from sea level rise aware of this risk and more open to new information about climate change? Do they support policies and laws to mitigate the pace and extent of climate change? Answers to these questions are not only of general interest, but they are also key to our understanding of the human dimensions of this problem. 

This book describes the results of a detailed survey in which respondents viewed a local map displaying flooding to their own community that would result from a Category 3 hurricane in 2033. It discusses political party identification and ideology that has an overwhelming impact in shaping views about sea level rise and climate change. This book has enormous implications for the effectiveness of communicating risk information. The text is important if we, as a nation, are to design communication strategies that will lead to broader policy to combat or mitigate this risk.


Climate change Florida Motivated reasoning Mitigation Political Sociology Sea level rise Science communication

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Urban Studies Institute, School of Public HealthGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Political ScienceGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

About the authors

Risa Palm is Professor of Urban Studies and Public Health.  She served as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost from 2009-2019.    Palm earned a M.A. and a  Ph.D. in geography from the University of Minnesota. She has held tenured positions at the rank of professor in departments of geography at the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,  Louisiana State University, and the University at Buffalo.

Toby Bolsen is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Faculty Affiliate at the Urban Studies Institute.  He serves as Director of the Zoukis Research Collaborative. Bolsen earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University.

Bibliographic information