#Environment #Ideas

Map showing how global warming will influence sea level in your city

This year, similarly to the previous one, will be the warmest year ever recorded. We may argue about the measurement methodology and accuracy but today no one doubts that climate change and global warming are facts rather than crazy theories of Al Gore. Ongoing 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris only confirms it.

We don’t know how this change will influence natural disasters, we can however quite precisely estimate how the rising sea level will affect places and cities we live in. Climate Central, an independent US-based environmental awareness organisation, used the latest PNAS data and created a really cool Google Maps mash-up which answers this question.

The project is called Mapping Choices and it lets you choose any city in the world to see what rising seas will do to it based on a range of projections about how high sea levels could increase. In addition the app lets you configure your view to compare side-by-side how different responses to curb pollution will impact the environment differently, resulting in a range of potential sea-level scenarios.

In addition Climate Central created cool videos with visualizations of how the rising sea level will affect the landscape of cities around the world.

Scientists are not yet sure what will be the exact characteristics of the rising sea level. The estimations say about the level of between 4.2 meters and 10 meters until 2100. In theory it’s a lot of time. In practice our children or grandchildren may still witness it. Multiple countries including China and the US are critical about introducing policies to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions due to economic reasons but as Climate Central explains on its website that “the sea level rise we map may take centuries to play out, but we set it in motion today.” And we are obligated to future generations to do something about it.

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Crowdsourced flood map of Chennai

Chennai, my beloved hometown is under water and is experiencing the wettest monsoon in over 100 years! The city on the coast of Bay of Bengal has received over 50 cm of rain in less than 24 hours and things are only predicted to get worse as more rains are forecast.

Arun and his team @Mapbox, have built a crowd-sourced tool for reporting the flooded parts of the city and so far over 4000 roads have been reported as inundated. If you are in Madras at the moment, consider using this map to identify flooded areas and also upload geotagged pictures of the flooding using the United Nations entity app – UN-ASSIGN.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 19.40.16The army and navy have been called in and the local people have opened their homes for everyone to find shelter. Its heart-warming to see the outpouring of help and assistance, my city has been offering each other on Whatsapp and #ChennaiFloodHelp on Twitter. Thanks everyone! Stay safe and take care!

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