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World Under Water tool visualizes your home after climate change

  • May 11, 2014
  • 269 words
  • 2 minutes
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What happens when the oceans rise, and coastlines move inward? Perhaps you’ve seen the big-picture maps, but a new visualization tool is taking you to the streets – Google Street View, to be precise.

The interactive program enables users to type in a place (for instance, your home address) and they will see a re-imagined version of the landscape as dictated by climate change. The site was created by CarbonStory, an environmental crowd-funding platform which is proposing a possible solution to accompany the striking graphic. Namely, you give them money and they put it towards reputable carbon offset programs.

Andreas Birnik, co-founder of CarbonStory, says “there is strong consensus in the scientific community that we need to act now on a massive scale or we will be the generation responsible for creating a World Under Water.” Citing climatologist Dr. James Hansen, Birnik notes the current concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will “eventually” lead to sea level rise of about 25 meters. It’s unclear whether that worst-case statistic is the one used to calculate the sea level rise in each place.

While Philip Orton, a physical oceanographer with the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, told Mashable he thought the tool was an “information-less thing that just demonstrates what it looks like to have water on your block,” the site does pack a psychological punch. And at this stage in the game, maybe that was the point all along.


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