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How the Melting Antarctic Glacier Will Make These 14 Coastal U.S. Attractions Look

Climate Central asked an artist to create the images with rising sea level estimates in mind.

Armed with  new data from the University of California Irvine and NASA, Climate Central highlighted previously released data and images this week to show how an unstoppable melting Antarctic glacier will impact the U.S.

The rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is expected to lead to at least 4 feet of global, sea-level rise over the next two-plus centuries, and at least 10 feet thereafter.  Climate Central gave artist  Nickolay Lamm some of its data related to rising sea levels with the idea of him reenacting famous scenes from U.S. cities under the premise of a 12-foot-or-more rise.

The organization  republished those “photorealistic” scenes a day after the Cal-NASA report. They which include Venice Beach, Harvard University’s campus and other famous, coastal locations that would be at risk if the research were to hold true.

Climate Central also released a slew of interactive maps and data this week indicating which cities and regions of the U.S. would be most impacted following the rise. The organization estimates that we could lose 28,800 square miles of land, which is home to about 12.3 million people today.

Panning and zooming on the map below allows you to explore sea level and coastal flood risks across the U.S.  Submergence and sea-level risk maps for eight states are also available.

Based on 2012 data from Climate Central, more than half the area of 40 large cities is less than 10 feet above the high-tide line. Twenty-seven of those cities are in Florida. About 85 percent of all current housing in Florida’s Miami-Dade and Broward counties is below the critical line, making each county more threatened than any other entire state other than Florida,  Ben Strauss writes.

“Each [county] sits on bedrock filled with holes, rendering defense by seawalls or levees almost impossible,” according to Strauss.

Table credit: Climate Central
Table credit: Climate Central

With a low-lying population of more than 700,000, New York City is by far the most-threatened city among those with the most people living on land less than 10 feet above the high-tide line. The value of threatened property in  New York and New Jersey is more than $300 billion.

Affected land in Florida contains more than  32,000 miles of road and $950 billion of property. Examine maps and potential impacts of various cities by  clicking here.


THE JEFFERSON MEMORIALCredit: Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central

OCEAN DRIVE, MIAMICredit: Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central

HARVARD CAMPUSCredit: Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central

THE STATUE OF LIBERTYCredit: Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central

BOSTON HARBOR HOTELCredit: Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central

BACK BAY BOSTONCredit: Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central

THE CITADEL, CHARLESTONCredit: Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central

CRISSY FIELD, SAN FRANCISCOCredit: Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central

UP CLOSE: CRISSY FIELD, SAN FRANCISCOCredit: Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central

VENICE BEACH BOARDWALKCredit: Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central

VENICE BEACHCredit: Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central

AT&T PARK, SAN FRANCISCOCredit: Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central

SAN DIEGO CONVENTION CENTERCredit: Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central

SAN DIEGO CORONADO ISLANDCredit: Nickolay Lamm. Data: Climate Central

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