We’re in Deep Water: What Climate Change Could Do to Your City (PHOTOS)

Artist Nikolay Lamm uses sea-level projections to show how global warming could put American cities in hot water.
Jul 13, 2013
Anna Hess is an editorial intern at TakePart. She is the Crime and Legal beat reporter for the University of Pennsylvania’s daily newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian, and volunteers as a mentor in the West Philadelphia public school district.

Fish flopping on Venice Boulevard, dolphins circumnavigating palm trees, whales beached on the boardwalk—these are the mental images that artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm’s climate change creations bring to the surface.

Lamm, from the self-storage search engine StorageFront.com, crafted chilling illustrations that depict how climate change could have Venice, San Diego and many other metropolitan cities gasping for air.

With the help of Climate Central’s sea-level rise maps and flood formulas, Lamm used data to create realistic images of American towns completely submerged in seawater. He started with stock photos of a city and cross-referenced their location to topography maps. Lamm then implemented a formula that determined what that city would look like using elevation, tide and sea-level forecasts.

Venice Beach, CA. (Photo: Nickolay Lamm/StorageFront.com, Data: Climate Central)

Venice Beach, CA. (Photo: Nickolay Lamm/StorageFront.com, Data: Climate Central)

San Francisco, CA. (Photo: Nickolay Lamm/StorageFront.com, Data: Climate Central)

“By illustrating what sea level rise will look like in real life,” Lamm tells Mashable, “I’m hoping to make our rising oceans a bigger issue on peoples’ minds.”

Climate Central forecasts that the Earth’s temperature will rise from three to seven more degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. Since climbing temperatures mean melting polar ice caps and rising seas, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research predicts that the sea level is expected to rise between two and seven feet by the century’s end.

So what are we waiting for? If we go with the flow and let climate change swell, our greatest cities could be in deep water. 

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