Study: Climate change greatly escalates forest disturbance risks to US property values (Aug. 2023)

Anthropogenic climate change is projected to drive increases in climate extremes and climate-sensitive ecosystem disturbances such as wildfire with enormous economic impacts. Understanding spatial and temporal patterns of risk to property values from climate-sensitive disturbances at national and regional scales and from multiple disturbances is urgently needed to inform risk management and policy efforts. Here, we combine models for three major climate-sensitive disturbances (i.e., wildfire, climate stress-driven tree mortality, and insect-driven tree mortality), future climate projections of these disturbances, and high-resolution property values data to quantify the spatiotemporal exposure of property values to disturbance across the contiguous United States (US). We find that property values exposed to these climate-sensitive disturbances increase sharply in future climate scenarios, particularly in existing high-risk regions of the western US, and that novel exposure risks emerge in some currently lower-risk regions such as the southeast and Great Lakes regions.

(Co-authors: William R L Anderegg, Timothy Collins, Sara Grineski, Sarah Nicholls and Christoph Nolte)

Read the study:


Learn more: