What Will San Francisco Look Like Underwater?


Some of the most haunting images from An Inconvenient Truth are the computer renderings that show what a rise in sea levels would do to our major cities. Like any potentially catastrophic future event, cities inundated is still a sight difficult for most to truly picture—unless, of course, you lived through Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast.Inspired by the ghostly waterline that threaded through New Orleans like a dirty bathtub ring, a new collaborative art project in San Francisco aims at visually illustrating what a seven-meter rise in sea levels would look like. A joint installation between The Sierra Club and SF Environment, the Future Sea Level Project depicts with a specially designed tape where the new water line would fall in the city's historic Fisherman's Wharf.

Wrapping the S.F. Aquarium in special tape is a small gesture aimed at directing public attention at a possible future outcome far too large for most to imagine. A seven-meter rise is the predicted change in global sea levels if half the Greenland ice sheet and a portion of the Antarctic ice sheet were to melt. The artists are careful to point out that while exact scenarios and predictions are hard to accurately make, any significant rise in sea levels would have massive and tragic effects on untold numbers of people around the world. Eric Antebi of the Sierra Club, one of the conceivers of the project, told TreeHugger, "By making a future under global warming seem more present, we're hoping that ordinary citizens and leaders alike will be motivated to use the practical tools that we have to curb greenhouse gas emissions." The Future Sea Level homepage has more info, more pics, and an opportunity for concerned individuals to calculate their personal environmental footprint and make a pledge to tread more lightly. :: Future Sea Level (image credit: Charles Chipman/futuresealevel.org)

Related Content on Treehugger.com