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Before and after sea level rise, according to new research

Some of the effects of climate change are hard to imagine, as they may take years to occur.

Sea level rise is one of the hardest to imagine. With frequent coastal floods already occurring, what will the rising ocean look like years later? New research from Climate Central will help answer that.


What you need to know

  • Sea level is rising, but how high it will depend in part on future emissions.
  • Hundreds of millions of people can experience the impact in the coming decades
  • Researchers at Climate Central have created images that help show what a city looks like when sea levels rise.

Let’s look at two different situations.

First, by 2030, we cut emissions by about half, resulting in warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, or about 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Second, climate pollution continues on its current route, with global temperatures rising further by 3 degrees Celsius, or about 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

A quick note: You won’t hear much of a 5 degree warming, as your neighborhood changes much more every day. It helps to think of the temperature of the planet as your own body temperature. If it rises 5 degrees, you have a terrible high fever and there are obvious signs of a problem.

In the first scenario, scientists expect sea level to rise about 9.5 feet. It is higher in some areas and lower in others. Not surprisingly, the second scenario can be exacerbated, affecting areas currently home to as many as 800 million people. This rise has happened for centuries, but we are already on the road.

So what does the difference in sea level rise actually look between these two situations?

Space Center: Houston, Texas

Scenario 1: At high tide, water invades the space center parking lot.

Scenario 2: There are a few feet of water inside the facility.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church: Tampa, Florida.

Scenario 1: Water is a few blocks down North Florida Avenue at high tide.

Scenario 2: Water surrounds the church and reaches the top of the stairs.

Statue of Liberty National Monument: New York, NY

Scenario 1: High tide shrinks Liberty Island and Flagpole Plaza is mostly underwater.

Scenario 2: Most of Liberty Island disappears. Also pay attention to the water that spreads far away.

Visit here to see interactive photo sliders with visuals from around the world. You can switch between list view and map view to help you explore.

Flood map

The Climate Central map shows another sense of where the water reaches at high tide under various circumstances.

See how much Florida will cope with rising sea levels in the coming centuries.

North Carolina’s largest losses occur in the Outer Banks region.

Rising sea levels will also change the shape of the New York City Subway.

It will take decades, if not centuries, for some of these results to occur. Like braking trains, changes in our emissions do not have immediate consequences.

Before and after sea level rise, according to new research

Source link Before and after sea level rise, according to new research

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