Even in the best-case scenarios for climate change — where humanity all agrees on meaningful, immediate action to preserve the environment — you can go ahead and kiss Miami and New Orleans goodbye.
Unless we move to renewable energy and make extreme cuts to carbon emissions, sea levels will rise 14-32 feet by 2100, according to a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Using those projections, the study says that cities face “lock-in dates beyond which the cumulative effects of carbon emissions likely commit them to long-term sea-level rise that could submerge land under more than half of the city’s population.” It’s not too late to save most of those cities, but for the Florida and New Orleans metropolises it would take a miracle.
“In our analysis, a lot of cities have futures that depend on our carbon choices but some appear to be already lost,” Ben Strauss, vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central, told AFP. “And it is hard to imagine how we could defend Miami in the long run.”
Strauss added that New Orleans was essentially already sinking and in much worse shape.
Florida is at the most risk of sea level rise, as more than 40 percent of the U.S. population on potentially affected land lives in The Sunshine State. The next three most affected states are California, Louisiana, and New York.
It’s not just that the rise in global temperature will mean a lot of melting ice, it’s that the sheets in peril in the Antarctic and Greenland are so huge they’ll force a gravitational pull on the ocean that will force sea level higher around the coastal U.S., reports Wired.
A map from Climate Central will give you a show you what a city will look like with unchecked pollution beyond the lock-in point. Needless to say it’s not pretty. About 25 percent of Boston could be covered during high tide, and you could go snorkeling for lost Burberry jackets and Coach bags in the fabled lost district of SoHo, Manhattan.