Apocalyptic Map Shows San Francisco After 200 Feet of Sea Level Rise

sf archipelagoBurrito Justice/Promo image

This is pretty funny, or bleak, or both. It's two artists' rendering of what San Francisco will look like after 200 feet of sea level rise, after the massive polar ice caps melt and accelerated warming expands the acidifying oceans. SF hotspots like the Mission and the Haight become little more than aquatic features on a shrinking archipelago. Check it out:

sf closeup sea level riseBurrito Justice/Promo image
The artists—Burrito Justice and Brian Stokle of Urban Life Signs—whipped up a good-natured sci fi mythology to explain the maps:

March 20th, 2072 (AP), Northern California Association of City States:
With the surprising acceleration of sea level rise due to the melting of both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets over the past decade, the San Francisco canal system was officially abandoned this week. Additional ferry service has been announced between the new major islands of the San Franciscan Archipelago while the boring machines make progress under the Van Ness Passage and Richmond Pass for new transit tunnels.

Unlike most coastal areas of the former United States, the population of the archipelago has dramatically increased despite the 200 foot rise in sea level over the past 60 years. Pundits debate whether this is due to the increasingly tropical temperatures or the creative and cultural explosion due to density.

Here's the map overlaid on the city today (click to make big):

Of course, scientists aren't predicting anything close to 200 foot sea level rise by even the end of the century—their higher-end estimates don't even top out at 200 centimeters. But good dystopian fiction isn't constrained by the most probable outcomes—it exaggerates a known phenomenon to prove a point. In this case, it's considering the sea level rise that might occur if the Greenland ice cap and both the East and West Antarctic ice caps melted.

But hey, with an ever-expanding array of climate feedback loops to worry about—melting permafrost, shrinking sea ice, hungrier carbon-belching microbes, etc—we might be needing those maps sooner than we think. (Good thing, then, that you can buy your own copy here).

Apocalyptic Map Shows San Francisco After 200 Feet of Sea Level Rise
An imagining of what San Francisco looks like in the climate change-wracked dystopian future.

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