Ben Strauss Talks ‘Mapping Choices’ on TWC

Program Summary

Climate Central recently released a carbon lock-in sea level rise map, Mapping Choices, in conjunction with a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study highlights how unabated carbon emissions through 2100 could lock in 14 to 33 feet of long-term global sea level rise. Such a rise would threaten to submerge land currently home to 20 million to 31 million Americans, including the majority of residents in more than 1,100 municipalities and in more than 20 cities with at least six-digit populations.

However, aggressive carbon cuts could decrease these threats by more than half, reducing the damage inflicted on many iconic American cities and landmarks. The cuts required for this degree of benefit are far deeper than would be achieved from current U.S. and worldwide national pledges ahead of global climate talks scheduled for December in Paris. 

“[Our analysis] lays clear that our carbon choices today are going to determine the legacy and the heritage of our great American cities,” said Ben Strauss, the vice president of Climate Central's sea level rise program. “If we take action, we can prevent more than 1,000 American cities and towns from being condemmed to being mostly below the future sea level.”

New York, New Orleans and Miami top the list of the U.S. cities we could lose to the sea.