A Street View Mash-Up Shows Your Neighborhood After Sea Levels Rise

Ever wondered what New York, London, Paris, Dubai or even your home town might look like when sea levels rise? World Under Water by Carbon Story uses Google's Street View to do just that.

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The mod shows how the streets of the world will look if sea levels continue to rise. Simply type in your address, and you can see how things might look. In a word: bad.

There's a catch, though: the software assumes that every location is at the same elevation. That's a shame, because it wouldn't have been hard to factor in different altitudes. But, still, the message is a strong and clear one: we need to work to act to halt climate change, and soon. [World Under Water via HuffPost]

DISCUSSION

MaWeiTao
MaWeiTao

There was a far more compelling tool that used elevation data to show how rising sea levels will affect coastlines. You could choose any part of the world and see the impact.

The best part was that it wasn't sensationalist BS like this, but used actual data. On the other hand, even the worst scenarios (8ft+) didn't change most coastlines nearly as much as you'd expect. Sure, waterfront property is screwed, but even a quarter of a mile inland most people wouldn't be affected.

That's the problem with this stuff and why it gets labelled as alarmist. It's presented like you're going to wake up tomorrow and find yourself under 10ft of water. The reality is, even if the worst predictions are true it's still going to take centuries.

Assuming major cities don't take on Dutch levels of flood control the shift away from the coasts is going to be gradual. In the short term some property owners will try to shore up defenses, build walls or put their buildings on stilts. Eventually, as every single storm or excessively high tides bring flooding they'll just give up and abandon the property. The displacement happens so slowly the impact won't generally be felt.

Even with island nations and cities right at sea level the flooding wont come overnight. Like the rising waters the response will be gradual, and not as daunting a task as we keep being told.