The Flooded Earth

This is scary stuff but this is our potential if nothing changes….from the good folks at NRDC

Tuesday, Jul 6, 2010 09:02 ET
our grim, watery future
By Thomas Rogers

·A detail from the cover of “The Flooded Earth”

By 2100, the world will probably be a very different place than it is now. It will be warmer, of course. It will also contain an awful lot more water. In recent years, scientists’ predictions of sea level rise have been growing considerably more dire, estimating an increase of up to 5 feet by the end of the century, along with widespread coastal flooding, hunger and population displacement. It’s rapidly becoming clear that humanity will have to make some difficult decisions over the next decades, most notably about which low-lying cities and landmarks are worth saving. In the flooded future, can we hope to preserve Venice? Or Amsterdam? Or even Miami? And if so, at what cost?

In his new book, “The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps,” Peter D. Ward, a professor of biology and earth and space sciences at the University of Washington, takes a look at what the latest predictions in sea rise will mean for the future of human civilization. In the coming decades, he argues, vast swaths of agricultural land will be ruined by encroaching salt water; the increasingly ice-free lands of Greenland and Antarctica will become contested and ever-more valuable, and our coastal cities’ spiraling preservation costs will bleed our economies dry. The book is a beautifully written, thoroughly research and relentlessly terrifying work, and a must-read for anybody with an interest in the environment or the future of our planet.


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