Visualizing Sea Level Rise

Photorealistic images of predicted future sea levels at iconic locations around the world under different warming scenarios.

Images Illustrate How Emissions Now Can Lock in Sea Level Rise for Centuries to Come

The images below were created by Climate Central and visual artist Nickolay Lamm,
based on Climate Central’s state-of-the-art, sea level rise science.

About the Sea Level Rise Lock-In Images

In the first image of each pair, we show projections of the post-2100 sea level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution in the coming decades.

In the second image, we show the projected sea level after 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution, which corresponds to the target limit set by the Paris Climate Accords, and is widely noted as the threshold to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Projections of locked-in sea level come from our peer-reviewed research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The same maps are displayed at Mapping Choices, our interactive tool that allow users to explore the possible consequences of 4°C (7.2°F) warming, 2°C (3.6°F) warming, or other temperature or carbon emission scenarios, for any coastal city or postal code around the world.

Citation: Cite Climate Central as the source. If used online we welcome you to link to sealevel.climatecentral.org if you wish. We would like to share via our social media audience the articles that use our images if you are able to send us the links or notify us as they come out. See full Terms of Use.


4°C (7.2°F) - A real risk along our current path
This image of Durban, South Africa illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked.


2°C (3.6°F) - Paris Climate Agreement Target
This image of Durban, South Africa illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked. Most nations pledged to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) in the Paris climate agreement, but are not on track to meet that target.



4°C (7.2°F) - A real risk along our current path
This image of Georgetown, Guyana illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked.


2°C (3.6°F) - Paris Climate Agreement Target
This image of Georgetown, Guyana illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked. Most nations pledged to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) in the Paris climate agreement, but are not on track to meet that target.


4°C (7.2°F) - A real risk along our current path
This image of the Googleplex in Silicon Valley, California, USA illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked.


2°C (3.6°F) - Paris Climate Agreement Target
This image of the Googleplex in Silicon Valley, California, USA illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked. Most nations pledged to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) in the Paris climate agreement, but are not on track to meet that target.


4°C (7.2°F) - A real risk along our current path
This image of Kingston, Jamaica illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked.


2°C (3.6°F) - Paris Climate Agreement Target
This image of Kingston, Jamaica illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked. Most nations pledged to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) in the Paris climate agreement, but are not on track to meet that target.


4°C (7.2°F) - A real risk along our current path
This image of London, England illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked.


2°C (3.6°F) - Paris Climate Agreement Target
This image of London, England illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked. Most nations pledged to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) in the Paris climate agreement, but are not on track to meet that target.


4°C (7.2°F) - A real risk along our current path
This image of Miami Beach, Florida, USA illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked.


2°C (3.6°F) - Paris Climate Agreement Target
This image of Miami Beach, Florida, USA illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked. Most nations pledged to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) in the Paris climate agreement, but are not on track to meet that target.


4°C (7.2°F) - A real risk along our current path
This image of Mumbai, India illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked.


2°C (3.6°F) - Paris Climate Agreement Target
This image of Mumbai, India illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked. Most nations pledged to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) in the Paris climate agreement, but are not on track to meet that target.


4°C (7.2°F) - A real risk along our current path
This image of Nassau, Bahamas illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked.


2°C (3.6°F) - Paris Climate Agreement Target
This image of Nassau, Bahamas illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked. Most nations pledged to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) in the Paris climate agreement, but are not on track to meet that target.


4°C (7.2°F) - A real risk along our current path
This image of New York City, New York, USA illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked.


2°C (3.6°F) - Paris Climate Agreement Target
This image of New York City, New York, USA illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked. Most nations pledged to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) in the Paris climate agreement, but are not on track to meet that target.


4°C (7.2°F) - A real risk along our current path
This image of Rio De Janerio, Brazil illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked.


2°C (3.6°F) - Paris Climate Agreement Target
This image of Rio De Janerio, Brazil illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked. Most nations pledged to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) in the Paris climate agreement, but are not on track to meet that target.


4°C (7.2°F) - A real risk along our current path
This image of Shanghai, China illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked.


2°C (3.6°F) - Paris Climate Agreement Target
This image of Shanghai, China illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked. Most nations pledged to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) in the Paris climate agreement, but are not on track to meet that target.


4°C (7.2°F) - A real risk along our current path
This image of Sydney, Australia illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked.


2°C (3.6°F) - Paris Climate Agreement Target
This image of Sydney, Australia illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked. Most nations pledged to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) in the Paris climate agreement, but are not on track to meet that target.


4°C (7.2°F) - A real risk along our current path
This image of Washington, D.C., USA illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked.


2°C (3.6°F) - Paris Climate Agreement Target
This image of Washington, D.C., USA illustrates the amount of sea-level rise that could be locked in following 2°C (3.6°F) of warming from carbon pollution emitted in the coming decades. This amount of sea level rise could materialize in the coming centuries if emissions grow unchecked. Most nations pledged to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) in the Paris climate agreement, but are not on track to meet that target.

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Climate Central’s Program on Sea Level Rise strives to provide accurate, clear and granular information about sea level rise and coastal flood hazards both locally and globally, today and tomorrow.

Images of 5 feet (1.5m) and 21 feet (6.4m) of Sea Level Rise

About these Images

The first image of each pair illustrates what a sea-level rise of 5 feet (1.5 meters) could look like. Without cutting carbon emissions now, this sea level could occur by the end of this century.

The second image of each pair illustrates the extent of 21 feet (6.4 meters) of sea-level rise. Without cutting carbon emissions, this amount of rise could occur in the coming centuries but could be locked in much sooner.

These images do not account for levees and other defenses that have been or might be built.


Citation: Cite Climate Central as the source. If used online we welcome you to link to sealevel.climatecentral.org if you wish. We would like to share via our social media audience the articles that use our images if you are able to send us the links or notify us as they come out. See full Terms of Use.

Gdansk, Poland (Twierdza Wisłoujście Fortress)

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Gdansk-1.5

This image of the Twierdza Wisłoujście Fortress in Gdańsk, Poland illustrates what a sea-level rise of 5 feet (1.5 meters) could look like. Without cutting carbon emissions now, this amount of rise could occur by the end of this century.

Gdansk-3C

This image of the Twierdza Wisłoujście Fortress in Gdańsk, Poland illustrates the extent of 21 feet (6.4 meters) of sea-level rise. Without cutting carbon emissions, this amount of rise could occur in the coming centuries but could be locked in much sooner.

London, England (Horse Guards Historic Building)

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London-1.5m

This image of the Horse Guards historic building in London illustrates what a sea-level rise of 5 feet (1.5 meters) could look like. Without cutting carbon emissions now, this amount of rise could occur by the end of this century.

London-3C

This image of the Horse Guards historic building in London illustrates the extent of 21 feet (6.4 meters) of sea-level rise. Without cutting carbon emissions, this amount of rise could occur in the coming centuries but could be locked in much sooner.

Miami, Florida (Turnberry Isle Golf Course)

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Miami-1.5m

This image of the Turnberry Isle Golf Course in Miami, Florida illustrates what a sea-level rise of 5 feet (1.5 meters) could look like. Without cutting carbon emissions now, this amount of rise could occur by the end of this century.

Miami-3C

This image of the Turnberry Isle Golf Course in Miami, Florida illustrates the extent of 21 feet (6.4 meters) of sea-level rise. Without cutting carbon emissions, this amount of rise could occur in the coming centuries but could be locked in much sooner.

New York, New York (September 11 Memorial and Museum)

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NY-1.5m

This image of the 9/11 Memorial in New York City illustrates what a sea-level rise of 5 feet (1.5 meters) could look like. Without cutting carbon emissions now, this amount of rise could occur by the end of this century.

NY-3C

This image of the 9/11 Memorial in New York City illustrates the extent of 21 feet (6.4 meters) of sea-level rise. Without cutting carbon emissions, this amount of rise could occur in the coming centuries but could be locked in much sooner.

Osaka, Japan (Umeda Commercial and Business District)

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Osaka-1.5

This image of the Umeda commercial and business district in Osaka, Japan illustrates what a sea-level rise of 1.5 meters could look like. Without cutting carbon emissions now, this amount of rise could occur by the end of this century.

Osaka-3C

This image of the Umeda commercial and business district in Osaka, Japan illustrates the extent of 21 feet (6.4 meters) of sea-level rise. Without cutting carbon emissions, this amount of rise could occur in the coming centuries but could be locked in much sooner.

Tuvalu (Runway of the Funafuti International Airport)

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Tuvalu-1.5

This image of the runway of the Funafuti International Airport in the island nation of Tuvalu illustrates what a sea-level rise of 5 feet (1.5 meters) could look like. Without cutting carbon emissions now, this amount of rise could occur by the end of this century.

Tuvalu-3C

This image of the runway of the Funafuti International Airport in the island nation of Tuvalu illustrates the extent of 21 feet (6.4 meters) of sea-level rise. Without cutting carbon emissions, this amount of rise could occur in the coming centuries but could be locked in much sooner.

Terms of Use

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For images owned by Nickolay Lamm, as indicated on this page:

Contact Nickolay at nickolay@lammily.com for use permissions and terms.

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