Will Venice become the new Atlantis by 2200? The Coastline Paradox helps you find out how cities, nations, and continents will be affected by global warming.
Sea levels are rising faster than ever, and melting ice caps and thinning permafrost are igniting a cascade effect. The more the ice melts, the warmer the planet becomes; the warmer the earth, the more permafrost thins; the thinner the permafrost, the more greenhouse gases will be released in the atmosphere, perpetuating this exponential cycle.
According to a paper published last year in Nature Communications, much of what we love and cherish in our world will have submerged by 2050. Millions of people will have to relocate, and famines and climate refugees will be commonplace, adding to the already precarious global stability.
It is a balancing act, and we are failing.
It is not a secret that the mainstream media has been notoriously unable to communicate the catastrophic reality we are heading towards – the failure to accurately convey the urgency of a problem has been a theme of numerous academic panels. However, where others are silent, artists often raise their voices. And this is precisely what happened with the Coastline Paradox, a project built for Experiments with Google, the search engine’s creative space.
Part of the Heartbeat of the Earth series, which consists of online artworks that interpret climate data, the Coastline Paradox presents a straightforward and concrete image of how the world might look like from now to 2300.
“The artists Timo Aho and Pekka Niittyvirta invite audiences to explore a world where sea levels rise and instability increases the further we advance into the future,” says the website. “Using Google Street View and Google Maps, the artwork uses data from Climate Central and findings from the UN’s IPCC report to visualize present and future sea-level rise and simulates the migration caused by rising global temperatures.”
In addition, you can discover the number of people who will be displaced in the wake of global warming or see the likely outcome of unchecked greenhouse gas emissions in cities like Venice, Bangkok, and Honolulu. To see how specific areas will be affected, just adjust the timeline and click on blue hotspots to enter street view.