LOS ANGELES (KCAL/KCBS) – Climate change is a major item on President Joe Biden’s agenda – one that will be front and center during his upcoming trip to the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Could 50 cities around the world completely change or even disappear due to climate change? A nonprofit said it could, and they want to show you how.
New climate models point out how serious the problem is.
They show that parts of Southern California could be under water in the next century if people don’t do something now.
“Their ability to exist in the future depends on the actions we take,” said Benjamin Strauss, CEO of Climate Central, who did the research and created startling images of landmarks around the world, including parts of southern California. California like Long Beach and Huntington Beach.
The Santa Monica Pier is a landmark, but these models show that it could all be gone.
A model shows the Santa Monica Boardwalk underwater, climate scientists’ projections could come true in the next few centuries if temperatures and sea levels rise without human intervention.
“It’s really sad to think that it could one day disappear under rising seas,” Strauss said.
Projections range from 1 to 4 degrees of warming with worst-case scenarios showing seas rising over 20 feet.
In the Long Beach footage, high tides are pushing up to the 405 freeway, and much of Huntington Beach is also underwater.
“Really, neighborhoods from Golden West down to Los Altos would be well below sea level, could be almost 10 feet,” Strauss said.
While images like these could be hundreds of years in the future, scientists said climate change is already wreaking havoc along the coastline.
“It’s not something projected into the future; it’s happening right now,” said John Dorsey, a professor at Loyola Marymount University who studies sea level rise.
He points out that the loss of beaches and the tourists they bring could drain Southern California’s economy, and said infrastructure such as water lines, sewer lines and highways would also be lost. .
“If we get this coastal erosion, it could erode and start destroying that kind of infrastructure. We’ll pay billions of dollars to try and move that inland,” Dorsey said.
Climate scientists said some of that could be avoided if people take big steps to cut emissions over the next decade.
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