Sea level rise from climate change may put well-known landmarks underwater within 80 years

Weather Blog

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Houston Space Center, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. and the Santa Monica Pier are expected to be underwater in 80 years if we continue on a “business as usual” emissions path with regard to fossil fuels.

Sea levels have already risen by nearly one foot in the past century and are currently rising at a faster rate than the Earth has seen it at least 2,000 years, according to NOAA and NASA.

Sea level rise is happening because of both ice melt and thermal expansion — water expanding as ocean temperatures warm.

Sea level rise since 1880 in millimeters (NOAA)
Sea level rise since 1880 in millimeters (NOAA)

Climate Central combined 3-D imagery of popular landmarks around the world with United Nations sea level rise projections through the year 2100, and the results are stunning. If the world continues on a “business as usual” emissions scenario without making drastic cuts to greenhouse gas pollution, the world will warm by nearly 3 degrees Celsius within the next 80 years, and many popular landmarks will be overtaken by the sea.

Houston Space Center (Climate Central)
Santa Monica Pier
Sea level rise projections from climate change show that if we continue on a “business as usual” emissions path, the Santa Monica Pier will be underwater within 80 years as the world warms by 3 degrees Celsius.
Sea level rise projections from climate change show if we continue on a "business as usual" emissions path, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. will be underwater within 80 years as the world warms by 3 degrees Celsius.
Sea level rise projections from climate change show if we continue on a “business as usual” emissions path, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. will be underwater within 80 years as the world warms by 3 degrees Celsius.

Climate experts from the United Nations say the world has already warmed by 1.1 degrees C since the Industrial Revolution, and recent additional greenhouse gas emissions have committed us to 1.5 degrees C warming by the 2030s.

While the prospect of warming by a full 3 degrees C seems distant, the latest U.N. projections show that is to be expected unless the world’s biggest polluters make pledges to cut emissions drastically soon.

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