These Maps Show Just How Screwed China Will Be After Sea Levels Rise

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s sea levels are poised to rise dramatically in the future — as much as 200 feet (60 meters) in some parts. China’s coastlines are considered to be among the most vulnerable areas, as conveyed by these rather disturbing maps.


Top image: The metropolitan area of Shanghai, which has a resident population of more than 24 million. The city could be completely underwater if all of the ica melts; ocean water would reach miles up the Yangtze River. (Jeffrey Linn)

These maps were put together by Seattle-based cartographer Jeffrey Linn. Earlier this year, he showed us what some North American cities might look like after extreme flooding. Linn has now turned his attention to China where the pending situation looks even more problematic.

As noted by visual editor David M. Barreda in ChinaFile, some 43% of China’s population lives along coastal areas. As these striking before-and-after maps show, the situation in China looks quite tenuous.

Above: the Special Economic Zone, an area that includes Shenzhen, a city with an estimated population of 15 million (and growing). Hong Kong’s population is at about 7 million. The projections here look particularly disastrous.


Above: Three major districts, Qingdao, Jimo, and Chengyang. Combined, they’re home to nearly 4 million people. “A complete melting of the cryosphere would turn nearby mountains into islands and submerge the cities of Jimo and Chengyang,” writes Barreda.


Above: The Pearl Delta would be almost indistinguishable, an area that’s home to more than 30 million people.


You can find more maps at ChinaFile.

[ H/t Fast Co. Exist ]

Email the author at All images by Jeffrey Linn.



I don’t want to come across as a denialist, because I’m not, but I really find it hard to believe sea levels will rise that much.