Image by Nickolay Lamm

A new study released by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany reveals that a temperature increase of only one degree Celsius could cause sea levels to rise as much as two meters. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study predicts that these dramatic changes will submerge areas of over 1,700 U.S. cities, including New York, Boston and Miami, by 2100.

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The study shows these cities will be “locked in” by greenhouse emissions by the end of the century with temperature increases that will cause major flooding. By 2023 nearly 80 cities and 800,000 of their inhabitants will have sealed their fate. Cambridge, Massachusetts, along with both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will be submerged by 2060, according to the study.

Furthermore, the PIK study suggests that cuts in carbon emissions may not help everyone. Benjamin Strauss, who authored the paper told the Guardian that even if global warming were stopped tomorrow, communities in Fort Lauderdale, Miami Gardens, Hoboken and New Jersey will be under sea. However, big cuts in carbon emissions could still reduce devastation—at least 1,000 U.S. cities could be saved from permanent flooding with immediate, substantial cuts in emissions.

Via The Atlantic Cities

Photos from Wikimedia Commons