10 Jarring Pics Show Major American Cities Sinking Under Water
Sea-level rise is coming. Even if we keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above historic norms—the benchmark for avoiding catastrophic climate warming—we may still see oceans creep four feet farther inland by 2100 and rise 20 feet by as soon as 2200.
That’s according to a new study published in the July issue of Science. Researchers looked at three decades’ worth of data on ice-cap oxygen levels, then analyzed it to determine how varying amounts of CO2 in the modern-day atmosphere lined up with atmospheric CO2 and sea levels in the prehistoric past.
CO2 levels were last at today’s concentration—roughly 400 parts per million and rising—about 120,000 years ago, according to the researchers. Back then, the average global temperature was around 1 to 2 degrees higher than it is now, and the sea level was about 20 feet higher.
If you’re not a climate scientist, it can be hard to imagine what these numbers mean for the real world. So the research group Climate Central, working with artist Nickolay Lamm, decided to show what U.S. coastal cities can expect if we keep burning oil, coal, and gas at current rates.