Climate models show coastal locations that are at risk from rising sea levels

LOS ANGELES (KCAL / KCBS) – Climate change is an important part of President Joe Biden’s agenda – an item that will be the focus of his upcoming trip to the UN climate change conference.

Could 50 cities worldwide be completely changed or even disappear as a result of climate change? One nonprofit said they could, and they want to show you how.

New climate models make it clear how serious the problem is.

They show that parts of Southern California could be underwater for the next century if people don’t do something now.

“Your ability to exist in the future depends on the actions we take,” said Benjamin Strauss, CEO of Climate Central, which conducted the research and created amazing images of landmarks around the world, including some parts of southern California like Long Beach and Huntington Beach.

The Santa Monica Pier is a landmark, but these models show that anything could go away.

A model shows the Santa Monica boardwalk underwater, predictions by climate scientists could come true in the next few centuries if temperatures and sea levels rise without human intervention.

“It’s really sad to think that one day it might disappear under rising seas,” said Strauss.

The projections range from 1 to 4 degrees warming, with the worst-case scenarios showing seas rising more than 20 feet.

In images of Long Beach, the tides penetrate all the way to the 405 Freeway, and much of Huntington Beach is also underwater.

“Really, neighborhoods from Golden West to Los Altos would be well below sea level, could be nearly three meters long,” said Strauss.

While images like these could be hundreds of years in the future, scientists said climate change is already wreaking havoc along the coast.

“This is nothing that goes into the future; that’s happening right now, ”said John Dorsey, a professor at Loyola Marymount University who studies rising sea levels.

He pointed out that the loss of beaches and the tourists they bring with them could weigh on the Southern California economy, and said infrastructure such as aqueducts, sewers and highways would also be lost

“If we get this coastal erosion it could move in and destroy this type of infrastructure. We’re going to be paying billions of dollars to try and move this inland, ”Dorsey said.

Climate scientists said some of this could be avoided if people took big steps to reduce emissions over the next decade.

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