Thursday, November 04, 2021

America Votes to Drown Florida

China and the United States have refused to sign up to halting new coal production. At the COP26 climate summit 40 countries from around the world have agreed to halt all investment in new coal power generation. Coal is the biggest contributor to global heating. By refusing to agree to move away from coal power China and the USA have effectively decided to condemn the whole world to irreversible climate change. 

Here is what that decision will mean for U.S. and Chinese cities:

New Orleans

Rising sea levels will result in New Orleans becoming an island in the Gulf Coast. The central districts of the city may avoid being submerged but the rest of New Orleans will be lost to the sea. All that will remain of New Orleans is a small island effectively cut-off from the U.S. mainland. 


At least some of New Orleans will remain above water. Sea level rise will mean that all of southern Florida, including Miami and the Everglades, will sit at the bottom of the ocean. 

New York

Rising seas will also drown much of New York. Manhattan's famous skyline will probably become even more dramatic, as the city's imposing skyscrapers will now emerge out of the significantly enlarged Hudson and East Rivers.

Hong Kong

A water level of 9.6 meters above the high tide line would result in huge areas of Hong Kong lying below the water line. The Yau Tsim Mong and Kowloon City districts will be almost completely submerged and all other coastal districts will face major flooding.


Shanghai will not be so lucky. All of the land alongside the Yangtze Estuary will be submerged by rising seas. The entire 26.32 million people currently living in Shanghai will have to move somewhere inland. As will the 10.72 million living in Suzhou, the 3 million people living in Nantong, Changzhou's 12,400,000 population and the 3.5 million in Wuxi.

These maps were all taken from Climate Central's Coastal Risk Screening Tool. This interactive map allows you to see which areas around the world are most threatened by sea level rise and coastal flooding. The map uses coastal elevation data with the latest projections for future flood levels to model how rising seas will impact coastal communities. 

The sea level projections used in Climate Central's model are taken from the UN's IPCC 6th Assessment Report (AR6). You can view the report's sea level projection data on NASA's interactive map, the NASA Sea Level Projection Tool.

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