A Side-by-Side Look at Cities After 2ºC Versus 4ºC of Global Warming


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A Side-by-Side Look at Cities After 2ºC Versus 4ºC of Global Warming

It looks like something out of the post-apocalypse.

Waterlogged cities might seem like stuff of the post-apocalypse, but that post-apocalypse might come as soon as a single generation.

Climate Central put together some sobering visuals of what cities would look like in the year 2100, if our carbon emissions keep climbing. But what's different from the usual before and after photos is that this one assumes two different futures: one in which temperatures rise 4º C and one where it only rises 2º C.


The slider bar lets you see the difference between the two. As you can see, the water gets up about 6 to 8 feet on most cities.

There's a significance to 2º C. The UN designated 2º C as the maximum threshold for nations to escape the worst effects of climate change in 2010 in the Cancun Agreements. But it's hard to get people to commit to a cause without seeing how it directly affects them.

To that end, it might be more realistic to think of it in hypotheticals because there's no way we're getting out of this unscathed. Instead of immediately foisting post-apocalyptic visions onto people, these photos ask: "What's the worst this city could look if we did nothing," and "What's the damage if we started doing something now?"