Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Flood maps

Last year, an article in Science (summarized here) examined sea levels from the last period of global warming, and concluded that we can expect a sea level rise of up to 6 meters (20 feet) by 2100.

A clever person named Alex Tingle has mashed up NASA elevation data with Google Maps to help visualize what various degrees of sea level changes would do to our coasts. Here's the map for Boston under a 7 meter sea-level rise (the scientists' prediction plus an extra meter from a hurricane storm surge, suppose). The airport turns into a salt marsh, the quadrangles of MIT and Harvard become mud flats, and much of the Emerald Necklace turns blue.

Portland fares better, but whole neighborhoods (Knightville, Bayside, and Baxter Boulevard) are still expected to drown.

These maps show that every coastal city in the world can expect Katrina-scale floods in the upcoming century. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Bush's next State of the Union address will outline a global warming policy based on appeasement instead of mandatory emissions caps. And Halliburton is cornering the market for hip waders.

5 comments:

Johanna said...

The University of Arizona has done this for a large number of regions, with simulations for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6m sea level rise for frequently requested locations.
http://www.geo.arizona.edu/dgesl/research/other/climate_change_and_sea_level/sea_level_rise/sea_level_rise_old.htm#images
Or pick your own locations and sea levels:
http://geongrid.geo.arizona.edu/arcims/website/slrworld/viewer.htm

David Clark said...

Nice little link to Neville, old bean!

Paul Burdick said...

Portland, OR also loses its airport and a significant part of Sauvie Island sinks below the Columbia. How unfortunate that children of the 22nd Century might not be able to pick pumpkins there all because of public servants putting their head in the sand.

ryanfordean said...

The Natural Resources Council of Maine has done more detailed Maine-specific work in the area. Check it out: http://www.nrcm.org/sea_level_rise.asp

Anonymous said...

You people are cracked. Global warming is a giant hoax. I'll buy your coastal property cheap . . .