Long-term sea-level rise set in motion by near-term carbon emissions threatens major coastal cities across the world. Here we present paired images showing how iconic locations — in London, Shanghai, Mumbai, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Durban, and New York — could fare under scenarios of business as usual vs. a sharp transition to clean energy.
In the first image for each pair, we show projections of post-2100 sea-level rise that could be locked in following 4 degrees C (7.2 degrees F) of warming from carbon pollution in the coming decades. This pathway corresponds roughly to business as usual.
In the second image, we show projections based on 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) of warming from carbon pollution. This degree of warming corresponds to the target limit widely discussed today as the threshold to avoid catastrophic climate change — and officially designated as part of the Cancun Agreement, signed in 2010 by international delegates gathered under the umbrella of the United Nations.
In December, a major new round of global climate talks is being held in Paris. The decisions reached there may have a strong bearing on which of these two scenari... Read more