Skip navigation
No more
Know more

What America will look like once global warming melts the polar ice caps

What America will look like once global warming melts the polar ice caps

National Geographic has an amazing feature on what happens if all ice on land melts and sea levels rise by 216 feet. That could take a very long time (thousands of years, even) but if we keep emitting like we’ve been, the results are drastic. Florida, Delaware, Louisiana, and New Jersey are almost entirely underwater. The entire eastern coastline is submerged. The Central Valley of California will become a large bay. The Yucatán peninsula will go too, as will much of Cuba and Hispaniola.

But it’s worth taking a look at the havoc this kind of climate change wreaks on other continents. The Netherlands, Denmark, much of England, and all the land around Venice are underwater. So’s basically all of Bangladesh and much of China and India. The five largest threatened cities are Kolkata (Calcutta) and Mumbai (Bomba) in India, Dhaka in Bangladesh, Guangzhou in China, and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. If a supervillain wanted to inflict the most pain on the world’s poorest people, global warming would be a great option.

Thanks to the Lincoln Institute for the pointer.

Dylan Matthews | November 6, 2013 at 11:35 am
Know more: As the planet warms, the sea rises. Coastlines flood. What will we protect? What will we abandon?
No more
Know more
One in three American kids live in poverty
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
A beautifully simple chart tracking the NBA’s crazy off-season
Ana Swanson
ADVERTISEMENT
No more
Know more
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Want to turn your iPhone into a giant piece of fried chicken? Now you can
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
This mesmerizing map shows the Mississippi River is slowly moving across America
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Where to set your film if you want to win an Oscar
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
America’s driest states use the most water
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
In this linguistic map, the London tube becomes a window into ethnic diversity
Ana Swanson