Cities Most Threatened by Climate Change

Ashley Nault - Mar 28, 2016
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Ice caps are slowly melting away and ocean levels are rising. Even skeptics tend to agree that a century from now, water will conquer the outskirts of entire continents and while there, engulf whole cities. By 2100, the sea level is bound to rise by at least 6 feet, thus it is advisable to visit these seven cities while you still can.


Venice already has a leg up in this race for extinction, or maybe one foot in the grave. Its roads are canals and everyone travels by boat. Even so, come winter, the Italian city still experiences flooding. Though perhaps the experience will come in handy and the outcome won't seem as grim to its inhabitants. Venice's doom is a sure thing, yet even so, Italy's government is not keen on footing the bill to fund its salvation. 


While not overlooking the ocean, only the Chao Phraya river, Bangkok is built only 5 feet above the sea level. Even so, Thailand's largest city is no stranger to floods, the last one taking its toll in 2011. Given the frequency of flooding and the size of the river that crosses it, Bangkok might not keep its head above the water for much longer. 

New Orleans

A cauldron of culture with a charm of its very own, New Orleans has been living dangerously already. Situated below sea level, this southern U.S. jewel felt the wrath of the Katrina Hurricane in 2005. Still surrounded by decade-old levees that were never meant to function for so long, New Orleans awaits climate change with small chances of survival. 


Even though London has a cozy spot inland, with no sea or ocean to knock at its gates, the UK capital may be flooded by the River Thames. Scientists estimate that the iconic river's estuary might breach when faced with the more extreme storms that climate change could muster in the future. 


Sydney is a vast expanse, so much so that the rise of the sea level might not bother the people living farther away from the ocean. While the city might live on, even if faced with extreme climate change, its postcard structures, like the opera house and harbor, will most definitely be swallowed by water. 


A beautiful city, resting on the beach, right at the oceanfront, Miami already feels the vagaries of climate change. With the repeated flooding of Miami Beach in 2014 and only 6 feet of elevation standing between the city and the neighboring mass of water, tourists might need scuba gear to visit in the future. 

New York City

Gone are the days in which NYC was sheltered from huge storms due to its geographical position. Now the Big Apple is a sitting duck, much like the others, exposed to extreme weather, the kind for which its infrastructure was never prepared to handle. While enjoying 32 feet of elevation, New York City is too close to the ocean to let loose a sigh of relief. 

Even though predictions are grim and the next century may very well bring drastic changes to the sprawling, beautiful metropolises, there's always the hope that technology and engineering can once again thwart nature's advances. Amsterdam is a shining example of a city that defied the sea, why not others?

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