New York City Is Basically Doomed, Says Science

Source: Jacinta Quesada via Wikimedia Commons

In a frightening, yet somehow fun, new interactive map, the New York Times presents a grim portrait of the city’s future in the coming centuries, a future that wipes Sheepshead Bay off the map in a few hundred years.

The map’s data, based on a 2012 study from the journal Science, predicts that in 100 to 300 years, assuming the world’s nations continue on their course of making only moderate cuts to pollution, the oceans will rise five feet, swallow LaGuardia Airport and flood all ports. This level of flooding will contribute to the disappearance of seven percent of the total city.

Things get much worse after 2300. By then, the oceans will have risen 12 feet, sinking JFK airport, Coney Island, the Rockaways and all neighborhoods along Jamaica Bay. Obviously this includes our beloved Sheepshead Bay. Who knows, perhaps our descendants will all be living in the sky like the Jetsons, or in underwater domes like true Atlantians. Either way, at that point, nearly a quarter of the New York City we know and love will be submerged forever.

For those really looking to imagine a brave new world, or at least one where no effort whatsoever was taken to cut pollution or build massive sea walls, projections into the deep future are also given. For example, 39 percent of New York City will have vanished, with Manhattan only existing north of 34th street. The oceans will have risen a staggering 25 feet, and our only hope for survival will be developing unsightly gills like Kevin Costner did in Waterworld and sailing aimlessly around the globe in a vain effort to find some kind of land-based oasis.

How’s that for a cheery article about our future generations?


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