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"More like Statue of Watery, right?"
April 10, 2013 7:59 PM   Subscribe


 
But where will we put the wretched refuse of the teeming shore?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:02 PM on April 10, 2013


"the place no robots may go - the drowned city of Man-hattan."
posted by The Whelk at 8:06 PM on April 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


One of the things that helps me with the fact of being stuck standing on the Red Line over the Charles on a weekday morning is imagining what things will be like in Boston in five hundred years. I don't expect the town will be passively submerged, if there remains a substantial human population in America. There will be locks and landfill and things. But what if the humans are cleared out? How will the buildings in the Financial District decay and fall to pieces?

The animated gif showing the water swallowing the federal courthouse in Boston gave me strange emotions.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:10 PM on April 10, 2013


" But what if the humans are cleared out? How will the buildings in the Financial District decay and fall to pieces?"

Have you read "The World Without Us"?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:12 PM on April 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is an interesting exercise, but I can't get past the thought that all those trees with half their canopies sticking out of the water line won't survive being submerged year-round -- leaving aside vegetation change as the climate changes.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:17 PM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


C'mon didn't you guys all read the thing where climate change isn't really a problem and everything is fine after all? I could swear it was linked here the other day. Why are we even still talking about this?
posted by brennen at 8:18 PM on April 10, 2013


Stupid or liar.

Rising sea levels doesn't mean Manhattan or Washington D.C. are de facto doomed to watery deaths. People have been dealing with fluctuating water levels since ... since ... well, since there have been people. There's a reason it's called the Netherlands, for example.

We see the same artist's impressions of drowned cities from so many artists, it's now a cliche. But it won't ever look like this. Why do we keep seeing this?

So, which is it? Stupid or liar?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:19 PM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Darn, I was hoping it would have the Grand Canyon.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:19 PM on April 10, 2013


Have you read "The World Without Us"?

I think I read an article excerpt in a science writing anthology or something. Thanks for the reminder that I want to read the long-form version.
posted by brennen at 8:19 PM on April 10, 2013


I wish I would live to see this.

yeah, yeah, eponysterical...
posted by The otter lady at 8:24 PM on April 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Content Not Available In Australia- Drats!
posted by Philby at 8:30 PM on April 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Aww, that sucks. Sorry, Philby. Try the (oddly hosted) blog link. It doesn't have the animated gifs but it has the source images.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 8:36 PM on April 10, 2013


There's a reason it's called the Netherlands, for example.

The Netherlands has 451km of coastline. The US has 19,924. Good luck with that.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:38 PM on April 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Apparently we need the sea level at least 25 meters higher for these places to become good dive sites.
posted by snofoam at 8:39 PM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Philby: "Content Not Available In Australia- Drats!"

Yeah, fuck Popular Science right in the ear! There should be a ban on links with them. They break the web, and for no good reason.
posted by barnacles at 8:45 PM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I get "Content Not Available in Australia"
posted by deadwax at 8:52 PM on April 10, 2013


Australians, it's the sea level rise equivalent of this.
posted by Flashman at 8:55 PM on April 10, 2013


Hail, Atlantis!
posted by ob1quixote at 8:58 PM on April 10, 2013


The US has 19,924

The Chesapeake Bay alone (ie. the Potomac River on which Washington DC sits) has 11,684 miles of shoreline. The US has considerable more than 19,924 when measured actual shore front.
posted by stbalbach at 9:25 PM on April 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Shh!

Nobody tell the Aussies.
posted by notyou at 9:27 PM on April 10, 2013


And another plus is that the Coast Guard should have plenty to do as we transition from now to then.
posted by notyou at 9:30 PM on April 10, 2013


Are there areas where it's functionally impossible to build levees because the soil is too permissive to water?
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:45 PM on April 10, 2013


The Chesapeake Bay alone (ie. the Potomac River on which Washington DC sits) has 11,684 miles of shoreline. The US has considerable more than 19,924 when measured actual shore front.

Every shoreline is infinitely long if you measure close enough. The numbers I quoted come from Wikipedia (source: only the friggin' CIA).

That said, if it's higher, that just makes my point all the more correct.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:54 PM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rising sea levels doesn't mean Manhattan or Washington D.C. are de facto doomed to watery deaths. People have been dealing with fluctuating water levels since ... since ... well, since there have been people. There's a reason it's called the Netherlands, for example.

As examples go, New Orleans comes to my mind way before the Netherlands...
posted by c13 at 10:12 PM on April 10, 2013


Very Ballardian, and he'd know, he wrote about it...

From JG Ballard's 'The Drowned World',
"Without the reptiles, the lagoons and the creeks of office blocks half-submerged in the immense heat would have had a strange dream-like beauty, but the iguanas and basilisks brought the fantasy down to earth. As their seats in the one-time boardrooms indicated, the reptiles had taken over the city. Once again they were the dominant form of life.
Looking up at the ancient impassive faces, Kerans could understand the curious fear they roused, re-kindling archaic memories of the terrifying jungles of the Paleocene, when the reptiles had gone down before the emergent mammals, and sense the implacable hatred one zoological class feels towards another that usurps it. "
posted by Zack_Replica at 10:15 PM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Rustic Etruscan: "But where will we put the wretched refuse of the teeming shore"

You're referring to that MTV show, right?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:03 PM on April 10, 2013


stbalbach: "The US has 19,924

The Chesapeake Bay alone (ie. the Potomac River on which Washington DC sits) has 11,684 miles of shoreline. The US has considerable more than 19,924 when measured actual shore front
"

If you don't like this number, just try a different sized ruler.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:05 PM on April 10, 2013


You're referring to that MTV show, right?

in case this isn't a joke question
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:06 PM on April 10, 2013


The Netherlands has 451km of coastline. The US has 19,924. Good luck with that.

Let me refer you to the comment you were responding to:

Rising sea levels doesn't mean Manhattan or Washington D.C. are de facto doomed to watery deaths.

I'm pretty sure Manhattan, for example, actually has an almost famously small circumference that is much smaller than the circumference of the coastal US.*

* I reserve the right to make fun of anyone who erroneously takes this comment to mean that I think climate change isn't a problem. something something something etc this page intentionally left full of words
posted by tychotesla at 11:14 PM on April 10, 2013


Wow, their comment section is a clusterfuck.

Being off the blue makes me appreciate the community we have.
posted by jaduncan at 11:16 PM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


> So, which is it? Stupid or liar?

I don't think there's any need to denounce the writer such churlish terms.

What about the third choice, someone who wanted to see pictures of what cities under water would be like, based on topographical maps? I at least was certainly very interested to see them.

Once you get past the snark, the body of the article is very clear that this is a hypothetical: "This is what the Boston Harbor Hotel would look like under 25 feet of water [...] what South Beach could look like under 5 feet [...]".
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:55 PM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


But where will we put the wretched refuse of the teeming shore?

PopSci's comments section.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:09 AM on April 11, 2013 [12 favorites]


Cool. And the sea will be rising 25ft why?
posted by GallonOfAlan at 3:49 AM on April 11, 2013


But it won't ever look like this. Why do we keep seeing this?

The purpose of predicting the future is to avoid it.
posted by DU at 3:53 AM on April 11, 2013


I don't know about 25 ft, but Greenlands ice melting would be 20ft, thermal expansion of the world's oceans at higher temperatures maybe a few centimeters, floating icebergs/caps melting a few more centimeters (freshwater being less dense than saltwater).

Antarctica melting would raise sea levels 200 feet, but we'd be having a lot of other more significant problems on the way to that.

The 1995 Intergovernmental panel on Climate change estimated 15 to 95 centimeters of rise by 2100. I don't think the data looks any better now.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:08 AM on April 11, 2013


There's a reason it's called the Netherlands, for example.

They had some problems in 1953.

Sure we're going to be able to build seawalls, move dirt around, and raise structures up to higher elevations. That doesn't mean we're going to be immune to failure from hurricanes, tsunamis, etc...

Japan has arguably the best tsunami seawalls in the world, and it's still not quite enough.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:16 AM on April 11, 2013


My favorite seawall is "being well above sea level".
posted by DU at 4:26 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


did anybody get sort of gaspy for breath looking at those. sort of an instinctive "MUST GET TO DRY LAND OXYGEN ALERT"
posted by angrycat at 4:34 AM on April 11, 2013


Judging from their comments section, I see that the climate-change deniers are ever vigilant and ready to provide links to bullshit that isn't true.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:22 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


The .gifs are apparently set on a one second timer, so the animation creepily matches the sound of the ticking clock here in my office.
posted by HeroZero at 5:39 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hail, Atlantis!
Hail, Atlanta!
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:21 AM on April 11, 2013


According to JG Ballard, we will all have power boats.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:28 AM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Those are really pretty. Too bad they're all US sites. I'd love to see some places I'm more familiar with.
posted by Too-Ticky at 7:07 AM on April 11, 2013


I'd like to see this for Sea World.
posted by mazola at 7:45 AM on April 11, 2013


If you don't like this number, just try a different sized ruler.

Fractals are fun. I was just thinking the coastline is nearly infinite in length.
posted by aught at 7:50 AM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Atlanta Hail
posted by Splunge at 10:49 AM on April 11, 2013


Eyebrows is right, how much trouble would it have been to photoshop in some mangroves, people?

These pictures cannot help but remind me of that scene in Happy Accidents where Vincent D'Onofrio's character tells Marisa Tomei that he's from the East Coast. Dubuque, specifically.
posted by katya.lysander at 11:33 AM on April 11, 2013






Can't happen? Well consider the case of Doggerland, "the Atlantis of the north". (More. More more.)

During the Last Glacial Maximum seas fell to about 120 m (400 feet) below their present level.
posted by Twang at 2:11 PM on April 11, 2013


Previously.
posted by homunculus at 2:29 PM on April 11, 2013




I know the South Beach one wouldn't really work that way, but it was the one that really struck me anyway.
posted by immlass at 11:25 PM on April 11, 2013


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