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Opinion
Mark Gongloff

Everybody Moved to Fort Myers Just Before Hurricane Ian Hit

We expect climate migration to be away from the disasters, not into the teeth of them.

Welcome to the Sunshine State.

Welcome to the Sunshine State.

Photographer: NOAA/Getty Images

Climate change is already creating refugees around the world, a problem that will only worsen as the planet warms. But in the US, much of the migration seems to be into the teeth of climate risk.

Axios published an article this week about how the fastest-growing US metro areas were also at risk of extreme heat because of climate change. Seventh on the list was the southern Florida city of Fort Myers, which has grown 124% in the past 30 years. Its risk of an increase in “very hot” days is relatively low — it’s hot enough there already — but the city’s most urgent climate risks could be far more immediately devastating.