For years, scientists have warned about the danger of rising sea levels — and thanks to Pittsburgh artist Nickolay Lamm, we can now see what the impact might look like in real life. Armed with stock photos of popular U.S. sites and projection maps from Climate Central, Lamm painstakingly re-created each scene as it would appear after a 25-foot rise in sea level. The good news is, it will take hundreds of years to get there (levels are only projected to rise 2 to 6 feet by the year 2100) but Lamm says he’s hoping to draw attention to the threat of climate change now, before the worst effects take hold.
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Vacation hot spot South Beach would be inundated if global warming projections hold. Here Lamm was careful to figure in the angle of the camera when creating his illustration. (Photo: Nickolay Lamm/ StorageFront.com)
Boston’s historic Back Bay neighborhood looks like a disaster zone in Lamm’s depiction. But “these illustrations are not based off wild Hollywood scenarios,” he emphasizes. (Photo: Nickolay Lamm/ StorageFront.com
The Art Deco facades of Ocean Drive in Miami Beach appear in their current state (top), after a 12-foot sea-level rise (middle), and after a 25-foot rise (bottom). (Photo: Nickolay Lamm/ StorageFront.com)
The mall in front of the Washington Monument becomes a swamp in Lamm’s illustration. (Photo: Nickolay Lamm/ StorageFront.com)
Harvard University’s pristine campus becomes a giant swimming pool in Lamm’s vision of the future. (Photo: Nickolay Lamm/ StorageFront.com)
Boston Harbor offers a dramatic example of how low-lying areas could be especially vulnerable to rising seas. And East Coast cities may be facing the effects sooner than other regions — a study published in 2012 found a “hot spot” of accelerated sea-level rise along a stretch of the Atlantic Coast.
(Photo: Nickolay Lamm/ StorageFront.com)
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. is shown in its current state (top) and with a 25-foot sea-level rise (bottom). “I want people to look at these images and understand that the places they value most may very well be lost to future generations if climate change isn’t a bigger priority on our minds,” Lamm said in an interview with Business Insider. (Photo: Nickolay Lamm/ StorageFront.com)
The Statue of Liberty looks relatively unchanged in the future — until you look down at her base. (Photo: Nickolay Lamm/ StorageFront.com)