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Scientists say Miami could cease to exist within our children's lifetimes

Miami Beach, FloridaShutterstockScientists speaking with New York Magazine say Miami, Florida, will disappear underwater within the century if sea level rise persists.

Miami, a city of 430,000 people, could disappear within the century if the worst climate change predictions come true.

New York Magazine’s David Wallace-Wells spoke with dozens of climatologists and researchers in related fields for an investigation on the outcomes of climate change if aggressive preventative action isn’t taken. The results were not pretty.

“Most people talk as if Miami and Bangladesh still have a chance of surviving; most of the scientists I spoke with assume we’ll lose them within the century, even if we stop burning fossil fuel in the next decade,” Wallace-Wells said.

Located at the mouth of the Miami River on the lower east coast of Florida, Miami averages at around 6 feet above sea level, according to CityData.com and NASA. South Florida as a whole anticipates two feet of sea level rise by 2060.

Within the century, a combination of polar melting, carbon emissions, and ice-sheet collapses could cause chronic flooding to wipe out Miami — and as many as
670 coastal communities, including Cambridge, Massachusetts; Oakland, California; St. Petersburg, Florida; and four of the five boroughs of New York City, according to National Geographic.

In January, a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency
hinted at the possibility of an “extreme” sea-level rise scenario that would support these predictions.

Research group Climate Central took the projections laid out in NOAA’s report and created a plug-in for Google Earth that shows how catastrophic the damage would be if the flooding happened today. You can install it (directions here) and see anywhere in the US.

Here’s what Miami might look like in the year 2100.

This is what Miami Beach looks like today.

Google Earth/Climate Central

In the year 2100, you might need a rowboat to pass through it.

Google Earth/Climate Central

Climate Central's plugin for Google Earth shows a sea level rise of 10 to 12 feet, which would cause the Atlantic Ocean to wash over Miami and the Miami River to overflow.

Google Earth/Climate Central

Everyone that lives in Miami would need to evacuate long before.

Google Earth/Climate Central

In Miami-Dade County, 1.6 million square feet of office space and 1.8 million square feet of retail space was under construction in the second quarter of 2016, BBC reported.

Google Earth/Climate Central

Source: BBC

Those high-rises could have a different kind of ocean view by the end of the century.

Google Earth/Climate Central

Marlins Park may have a retractable roof, but that won't save it from sea level rise.

Google Earth/Climate Central

The Miami Marlins will require a name change.

Google Earth/Climate Central

University of Miami, located south of downtown Miami in Coral Gables, hosts over 16,000 students from around the world.

Google Earth/Climate Central

Hasta la vista, U of M.

Google Earth/Climate Central

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