Visions of a post-apocalyptic future are rather commonplace in the world of media and entertainment these days. From an image of a sunken Statue of Liberty from Planet of the Apes, to a scene in Waterworld, in which Kevin Costner explores a city that’s been completely overtaken by the ocean, it would seem that natural disaster is the name of the game in movies today. And rightfully so. While these examples are obviously a bit far-fetched, climate change and sea-level rise are a very real threat to millions, if not billions, of people living worldwide.
When it comes to the United States specifically, there are many major cities that are facing rising sea levels. We’ve seen virtual previews of what can happen when disaster strikes with Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. But those instances were only snapshots of what could occur in the future. Though our politicians still can’t agree on any sort of plan for dealing with it, if we don’t take action, the results could be catastrophic.
In some cities alone, hundreds of billions of dollars worth of property could end up underwater within a couple of centuries — or even decades. A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration takes a look at some of the scenarios, and they aren’t pretty. The 75-page report looks ahead to the year 2100 to try and estimate what coastlines could look like. It’s long, dense, and might even keep you up at night.
Are you wondering which major population centers are facing a bleak outlook, and if you’re living in one of them? Here are 10 U.S. cities that face some serious climate change-related dangers in the coming decades.