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In fact, the map suggests that almost all of the southernmost latitudes of the United States, roughly following the Interstate 10 corridor from San Diego, California, to Jacksonville, Florida, are destined for enormous challenges as the climate continues to warm.

Excerpt from On the Move: The Overheating Earth and the Uprooting of America (2024) by Abrahm Lustgarten.

The Ten Across geography reveals many aspects of the entire nation’s future, particularly the ways climate change will reshape where we choose to live and why. This southernmost tier of the country is a natural focus for examinations of climate trendlines and the tipping points for human habitability.

The residents of Louisiana’s Isle de Jean Charles are often cited as the first community in the nation to be entirely displaced by coastal inundation and land loss. Recent satellite data analysis by The Washington Post aligns with many previous studies suggesting that such retreats from rising water may be required of communities throughout the Gulf Coast in years to come.

In the West, states like California, Nevada, and Arizona still face the consequences of ongoing megadrought and heat, challenging agricultural output and hydropower systems while increasing wildfire risk and the need for power-hungry air conditioning technology. Even the extreme weather and floods in California in late 2023 and early 2024 have not affected long-term drought conditions in the region.

Clearly, climatic conditions along the I-10 transect are changing and with this, the level of risk to property has also increased. Last fall on the podcast, we covered the impacts of climate on insurance availability in California, Louisiana, and Florida. The unprecedented insurer vacancies and soaring premiums suggest subtler, economic challenges to habitability within this region.

In his new book, On the Move: The Overheating Earth and The Uprooting of America, esteemed environmental reporter Abrahm Lustgarten explores how these conditions are changing our sense of which parts of the world as really habitable, and for how long.

Listen in as Ten Across founder Duke Reiter and Abrahm talk before a live audience at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix, Arizona, about the past and present forces driving our responses to climate risk in the Ten Across geography and beyond.

Guest Speaker

Abrahm Lustgarten is a senior environmental reporter for ProPublica and the New York Times Magazine, among others. His latest book, On the Move: The Overheating Earth and the Uprooting of America, examines how climate change is uprooting American lives and where people will go. Abrahm is also Pulitzer Prize finalist for his 2015 series examining water scarcity in the American West, “Killing the Colorado,” and his book Run to Failure: BP and the Making of Deepwater Horizon Disaster led to the creation of the Emmy-nominated PBS Frontline documentary, “The Spill.”