Rising sea-levels will someday put several American cities completely, or partially, underwater. Here are the U.S. cities that could be submerged by sea-levels in approximately 200 years — and what you can expect for your own city in the future.
A new study published in PNAS looked at what we can expect for our cities if carbon emissions remain unchecked up through 2100. If they do, researchers said to expect an eventual longterm sea-level rise of up to 9.9 metres that would take place in various cities along a timeline ranging from between 200-2,000 years. As a whole, researchers estimated that 20 million people in 21 different cities currently live in areas that would be submerged under that eventual rise.
The study looked at two different scenarios: one in which the West Antarctic ice sheet collapses (which is almost definitely already happening), and one in which West Antarctica manages to keep it together, through some fast carbon cuts worldwide. Even in the better case scenario, there were several cities with populations of over 100,000 that would end up completely submerged. They were:
- Cape Coral, FL
- Hialeah, FL
- Hollywood, FL
- Metairie, LA
- Miami Gardens, FL
- Miramar, FL
- New Orleans, LA
- Pembroke Pines, FL
Even more common, though were cities that would be partially submerged — and for these cities, in particular, the results of cutting carbon emissions gave them two future scenarios that varied wildly.
Climate Central made an accompanying mapping tool which you can use to compare the two different scenarios. As you can see in this map for New Orleans, the outcome for that city is largely the same, regardless of what happens to carbon dioxide levels.
For Miami, though, it is the difference between surviving, or not:
You can check out how your own city will fare at 2100 or 2050 under both scenarios right here.
Top image: Acapulco waves / Arturo Mann