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In the past two decades, economic incentives such as tax credits have drawn a significant portion of U.S. film and TV production away from Southern California. But many of the cities that now serve as centers for the entertainment business have something in common with Los Angeles — beachfront real estate. 

In the coming decades, production hubs such as New York, New Orleans, Vancouver and the coastal Los Angeles area are likely to experience more frequent severe flooding related to higher sea levels.

“Low-level flooding could block roads, and it can slow transportation,” says Maya Buchanan of the organization Climate Central. “That could make it harder for actors and film crews to get to work. It could also damage sets and other property. Later in the century, sea level rise will increase more. It could inundate coastal property, and it could change the accessibility of culturally important landscapes.”

Citing what Buchanan describes as “intermediate” projections from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for pollution and other factors contributing to sea level rise, Climate Central anticipates that by 2040, New Orleans has a 73% chance of experiencing flooding of six feet above the current high tide; Long Island City in New York, home of Silvercup Studios, has an 86% chance of experiencing a five-foot flood; Vancouver has a “very likely”  chance of experiencing five feet of flooding, per non- NOAA data; and Los Angeles’ Marina del Rey has a 100% chance of experiencing two feet of flooding.

These charts show which areas of those cities would be impacted by the sort of storm-surge-related flooding that’s anticipated. 

Marina del Rey, California

Climate Change Sea Level Rise

Vancouver, British Columbia

Climate Change Sea Level Rise

New Orleans, Louisiana

Climate Change Sea Level Rise

Long Island City, New York

Climate Change Sea Level Rise