By Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai
6 April 2013
(Mashable) – Climate change and global warming may cause sea levels to rise and flood coastal cities across the world.
Over the past century, the Global Mean Sea Level has risen by 4 to 8 inches. And according to estimates by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (PDF), it will keep rising between 8 inches and 6.6 feet by 2100.
How will the world look if that happens? In November of 2012, The New York Times published interactive maps displaying the effects of the sea level rising, in a series titled "What Could Disappear?" The maps show how much land the sea will claim in the future, if it rises by 5, 12, and 25 feet.
Nickolay Lamm, a 24-year-old researcher and artist saw the interactive maps and wondered: "What would this actually look like in real life?" Lamm told Mashable in an email interview that "the only imagery I had of sea level rise came from Hollywood." So he decided to put his skills to work.
"I felt that if I could bring these maps to life, it would force people to look at sea level rise in a new way," he said.
On February 8 he got in touch with Remik Ziemlinski, from Climate Central, who had helped the Times create the maps and he received the high-resolution maps from him. Lamm then chose different U.S. landmarks to illustrate the potential floods and found stock photos of the landmarks (he initially wanted to use screenshots of Apple 3D Maps but couldn't get permission from Apple to use them). He decided to use the same levels the Times had. To "figure out the depth of flooding for each sea level rise," he used Google Earth and topography maps.
Once he had all that figured out, all he needed was to work with Photoshop. Lamm told Mashable that it took approximately between 5 and 15 hours for each scene to be illustrated. This week, he finished working on them and he now has sets of four images, showing eight different locations in the United States and how they might look if the sea level keeps rising. His project was commissioned by StorageFront.com.
We made GIFs of the scenes he created. Take a look at them below. [more]