Earlier this month, a report was released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (part of the United Nations) that shed light on just how severe the climate crisis has become.
The report is one of the most precise and extensive we’ve seen yet, as it’s based on the analysis of over 14,000 other studies. Along with concluding that global warming will continue until at least 2050, no matter what actions we take now, the report also shares that other severe environmental impacts will continue even beyond that. Mainly, global sea levels will continue to rise for at least 2,000 years.
The question now is: at what speed and with what level of devastation? That all depends on conditions over the following decades, and if the plan set out in the Paris Accords is followed or if global warming continues to drastically increase.
A 2020 study utilizing the projections of over 100 international field experts stated:
In a scenario where global warming is limited to 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the experts estimated a rise of 0.5 meters by 2100 and 0.5 to 2 meters by 2300. In a high-emissions scenario with 4.5 degree Celsius of warming, the experts estimated a larger rise of 0.6 to 1.3 meters by 2100 and 1.7 to 5.6 meters by 2300.
The website Climate Central allows users to simulate these scenarios, and see what it would look like on your local map if water levels rose through a combination of sea level rise, tides, and storm surge. It gives you the option to view in meters or feet; you can try out the tool for yourself here.
NYC if the water level rose to 1 meter.
NYC if the water level rose to 2 meters.
NYC if the water level rose to 3 meters.
NYC if the water level rose to 5 meters.
As can be seen in the maps above, the sea would devastate the entire NYC coastline and could even encroach on more inland neighborhoods like Flatbush, Brooklyn, Astoria, Queens and especially in Lower Manhattan, like Greenwich Village.