San Diego at 5 meters sea level rise (@SFriedScientist/Twitter)

This is your city underwater

A marine biologist brings climate change home


Lindsay Abrams
October 17, 2013 10:54PM (UTC)

Sea levels are rising -- what will that mean for your city? Andrew David Thaler, a marine biologist who blogs at Southern Fried Science, has taken to Twitter to find out. The result, #DrownYourTown, has become the official hashtag of the apocalypse.

Thaler's original concept was to show cities at 80 meters, or about 262 feet, of sea level rise: the extreme end of climate change predictions. He created his renderings using GIS modeling overlaying Google Earth images with a simulation of the rising tides. In the manipulated images, Miami is gone while only the top of the Washington Memorial pokes through in downtown D.C. The project served as both a dire warning and a promotional device for his self-described "dystopian maritime science fiction serial adventure" book series.

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Yesterday, Thaler started fielding requests from Twitter to drown users' hometowns, and he's back at it again today. The results are more far-fetched for some cities -- like Denver, which is sitting pretty at 1.612 meters above sea level -- than others. The prognosis for Jacksonville, as he puts it, is "less 'neat' and more 'oh crap that's bad news.'" None of the renderings are overly realistic-looking, either -- this isn't "Day After Tomorrow"-level technology. But the pang of recognition imparted from seeing a familiar landscape under a sudden layer of blue certainly makes climate change feel a bit more real.

Check out some highlights from Thaler's Twitter spree below, and see if your hometown survived:

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Lindsay Abrams

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Climate Change Floods Google Earth Sea Levels Twitter

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