Amid the climate crisis, seas are rising faster than any other time in the past 3,000 years. How much faster and higher they rise is up to us, though.
A new study and visual analysis from nonprofit research group Climate Central shows how stark those choices are. Photorealistic visuals illustrate what would happen in 50 major coastal cities if the world follow through on its inadequate climate pledges versus steep emissions cuts needed to keep global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) of pre-industrial levels.
If the world fails to do the latter, the land that 10% of the Earth’s population calls home lives would need to implement “globally unprecedented” changes to cope with rising seas or risk being swallowed by the ocean. To say that is one thing. To visualize it so starkly, though, is another. Take a tour of the places most vulnerable to sea level rise and the choices we have if we limit global warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit versus the current trajectory of more than 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius).