A new study indicates that growing cities face increased exposure to flooding or drought-even without climate change, according to a release from Texas A&M University.
Baltimore, Houston and Miami face exposure to floods as the cities expand into more flood-prone areas. Southern California cities are expanding into more droughts.
The researchers used urban land cover maps, GIS analysis and urban expansion forecasts to make predictions. Fifteen years ago, over 75,000 square miles of global urban land existed in high risk flood zones. By 2030, that number will increase to nearly four times as cities continue to grow. Similarly, urban expansion in dry locations is expected to nearly double.
Researchers say preventative measures, like green infrastructure, can help cities avoid exposure to droughts and floods.