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Cities that will no longer exist given the seas level rise at full-scale due to global warming

by This City Knows on 21st August, 2017 at 11:48 AM CEST

The latest news from Antarctica does not sound very good, as it has been reported that a giant iceberg that is twice the size of Luxembourg has broken off an ice shelf on the Antarctic peninsula and is now adrift in the Weddell Sea.

Earlier in June 2017, it was already reported that the iceberg was “hanging by a thread”. It is a trillion-tone iceberg that has recently split off from the Larsen C segment of the Larsen, and scientists have confirmed this update as they had examined the last satellite data from the area.

This big chunk of ice will now be at the mercy of ocean currents and depending on whether it enters warmer waters or bumps back to other icebergs or ice shelves. Although the fate of the adrift giant iceberg might take decades to resolve, it is already an introduction to what may happen if the entire ice on Antarctica melts off. That is likely to happen if we keep on burning fossil fuels indefinitely.

Given global warming keeps accelerating at the same pace as it is now, not only the entire ice on Antarctica melts off, but all the ice in the world, including what’s on the mountaintops. If that happens full-scale, the world’s coastlines will change dramatically due to rising seas level. According to National Geographic, the calculations suggest raising the sea levels by 216 feet or more than 60 meters.

That means that in Europe, the Netherlands and Denmark will be wiped out of the map. London will just be a pleasant memory as much as Venice that will be reclaimed by the Adriatic Sea. On the other ends of the continent, the Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian Seas will become one body of water. Portions of Central Europe will also serve as the basin of a new sea that will form through parts of Ukraine.

Africa might be the least affected continents of all in such scenario, where the most threatened will be the territories of North Egypt, where the rising seas will claim Alexandria and eventually reach to Cairo. On the east side of the African continent, most severely affected country could be Senegal, with Dakar making a ruin at the bottom of the then-expanded Atlantic Ocean. Lagos in Nigeria will most likely to face the same fate as Dakar. On the other hand, Earth’s rising heat might affect Africa the most of all continents, making much of the continent uninhabitable.

It won’t be any better for the Americas, where Florida and the entire Gulf Coast will completely vanish. In California, the hills of San Francisco will transform into a cluster of islands. The Central Valley and San Diego will also be underwater.

In South America, the Amazon Basin in the north and the Paraguay River Basin are likely to become Atlantic inlets as the National Geographic reports. Territories that will disappear: Buenos Aires, coastal Uruguay and most of Paraguay.

In Asia, large portions of China, India and Bangladesh, where at current live perhaps more than 1 billion people will all be underwater, as much as the most of Australia that will gain its own inland sea, but there won’t be any of the big cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth.

Already since 1992, the West Antarctica has an average net loss of 65 million metric tons of ice a year. Over time, just like Greenland, this kingdom of ice will rapidly continue to melt as it is vulnerably sitting on bedrock that is below the sea level. The real hazard will come as the East Antarctica ice sheet is to melt, an area that contains roughly four-fifths of all the ice on Earth.

How should cities change for migration?

The recent acceleration of global warming have already been the reason why the world observes massive human displacement, that is actually the largest one observed ever since World War II. According to a report from 100 Resilient Cities, each year, at average, there are 21.5 million people who have been displaced due to climate-related natural disasters such as floods, extreme temperature, storms or wildfires – each year for the past ten years.

Moreover, the perpetual unrest and conflicts in the Middle East and parts of Africa have been the reason why many more million people have fled their home in order to save their lives and find safe shelter in other countries. The numbers tell that, in 2015 alone, forced migration had reached a peak of 244 million people in total, that counts for 3.3% of the world’s population. Whether migrants move to a new country on their own will or not, the majority of them remain to live in cities. This significantly contributes to population growth and urbanization. Hence, our quick challenge for you - how should cities change for migration?

via This City Knows

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