Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New York Underwater

Back in December 2014 in one of my Twitter round-ups, I posted this from Amazing Maps:

With this comment:

All of those lightest green areas will flood if the sea level rises enough. Ursula LeGuin's book Always Coming Home takes place in a post-climate-change Northern California that has an inland sea just like the one that this map shows could exist.
I felt a little weird posting it back then because I didn't have any links to back up what I said about flooding in the lightest green areas. So when I saw today, I was happy. Oh, no, wait, I wasn't happy because this map is bad news, but I was glad to get a visualization of what happens when the sea level rises:

This is a map of the New York City area if the sea rises 100 feet, made by a geographer named Jeffrey Linn for his website Spatialities. 100 feet is the amount the seas will rise if/when one-third of the world's ice sheets (in Greenland and Antarctica) melt. No one thinks that kind of melting will happen soon, but we're definitely accelerating the process.

The projected flooded areas come from the USGS, which has data on what it would look like from this 100-foot rise up to 250 feet. At that level of increase, all of this part of New York and New Jersey is under water except the Palisades.

More on Linn's maps (and ones of other cities) can be found in this story on

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