The earth’s surface is only 30 percent land; 70 percent is ocean.
Jeffrey Linn, a Seattle urban planner, is using digital cartography to imagine worlds that are even more watery.

You don’t need a starship to visit them, although a time machine would be useful. That’s because Linn’s maps depict what some cities would like if sea levels went up by 80 meters, or 264 feet.
New York City. (Map: Courtesy
For sea levels to rise this much, all the major ice caps and sheets would need to melt, which would send the water they store on land flowing into the world’s ocean.
Linn pulled the number from a study made by the United States Geological Survey.
He points out that even in future climate scenarios where we do little or nothing to curb the worst impacts of global warming, that kind of flooding would take centuries if not millennia to come about.
Inside The Business of Organics
Los Angeles. (Map: Courtesy
“I’m not trying to be a doomsayer,” Linn said. “The fascinating thing for me is the landforms, the islands, bays, and seas that emerge when you do this modeling.”
But our failure to act fast on climate change is accelerating the process. So if these visions of Seattle; Montreal; Vancouver, British Columbia; and other cities reduced to archipelagoes—or submerged completely underwater—got people thinking harder about climate change, that wouldn’t be a bad thing.
London. (Map: Courtesy
Linn made his first drowned city map, “Islands of Seattle,” about a year and a half ago, he said. He was inspired in part by Always Coming Home, by Ursula K. Le Guin, in which the novelist created a “future anthropology” of California. “The book includes a couple maps of the California Central Valley and how it looks after the sea levels have risen,” said Linn. “That got me thinking, ‘How would the world around me look once all the world’s ice sheets were to melt?’ ”
Seattle Glacier Water
Seattle. (Map: Courtesy
The maps are studded with in-jokes for locals, “clever place names, to temper the horror of what could actually happen with a bit of humor,” Linn said. “Gallows humor, I suppose.”

A drowned New York City becomes N.Y. Sea, where an underwater Central Park is now called Central Shark. On the other coast, a protected bay near Hollywood is named Los Atlantis.
Portland Glacier Water
Portland. (Map: Courtesy
Linn sent a poster of his map of drowned Portland, Oregon, titled “Islands of Portland,” to Le Guin, who lives there—and whose 1971 novel The Lathe of Heaven is set in a climate-changed future Portland. “I got a very nice note back,” he said. “She really appreciated it.”
Linn hopes to publish a book of sea-level-rise maps, a sort of atlas of a drowned world. In the meantime he’s put posters of his maps for sale on his website,
Linn is also contributing maps to Dreams of a Low Carbon Future, a graphic novel about global warming in the United Kingdom cities of York and Leeds. A group at the University of Leeds is producing the book, which is set 200 years in the future.


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Samuel Webster ·
Florida and Texas underwater. I can get behind that.
I was just celebrating because most of the liberals were under water. Hope you live on the water.
LikeReply13Feb 12, 2015 6:35am
George Jones ·
lucyfisher48 The USA was founded by Leftist Liberals. Right Wing Conservatives fought for the British. The US Constitution codifies Liberal Philosophy. The Democratic Party is the older Party with roots much closer to the US Constitution.
LikeReply298Feb 12, 2015 11:21am
Dean Strong ·
George Jones Weren`t they protesting taxes? Never met a Democrat who didn`t like taxes, unless they were imposed on them.
LikeReply21Feb 12, 2015 12:23pm
Cathy Scott
lucyfisher48 Yeah. Laugh if you want, but if water rose that much you landlocked conservatives would starve to death. Salt water would inundate the vast agricultural lands of California, Oregon, Florida, and the other Gulf states. You would be without most of the fruit, nuts, vegetables, rice and a lot of the dairy, chicken, and a good deal of livestock as well. Of course, without the ice sheets (including glaciers) and the diminished snow packs, the great rivers of the Midwest would probably dry up so you would be living in a dust bowl wishing you could grow corn, wheat and soy. Without those you would also lose most of your Midwestern livestock as well. Face it, if climate change takes out the liberal coast dwellers it will take out the conservative Midwestern and Southern rubes as well.
LikeReply43Feb 12, 2015 2:54pmEdited
Chris Knutson
lucyfisher48 the last time this happened most of the south and mid west were under water. Don't gloat to hard.
LikeReply13Feb 12, 2015 3:00pm
Alan Hall ·
Dean Strong They were protesting taxation without representation. Never knew a Republican who understood more than half of our history.
LikeReply109Feb 12, 2015 3:06pm
Elaine Brown
lucyfisher48 What would conservatives do if all the liberals were to die? They'd have to get their hands dirty.
LikeReply28Feb 12, 2015 3:35pm
Such an event would cause hunger on a massive scale and fresh water would be compromised. Mosquito populations would explode. Survivors may die a slower death.
LikeReply12Feb 12, 2015 8:42pm
Anitra Michaelian ·
Typical.........mean, silly but mostly unnecessary.
LikeReply8Feb 12, 2015 9:36pm
Anitra Michaelian ·
I meant to reply to lucyfisher48.
LikeReply11Feb 12, 2015 9:37pm
Howard Agnew ·
Dean Strong No, they were protesting /taxes without representation./ They weren't against the notion of taxes, they implemented taxes to pay for the war. Try reading history instead of Tea Party revisionism. Also, FYI: Most of the founding fathers were lawyers, and one of the many reasons they detested Mother England was the unholy intermingling of church and state. They were quite adamant the new nation they were founding would keep church out of government, and government out of church. They would be appalled at the theocratic proclamations revised into currency and the Pledge of Allegiance.
LikeReply85Feb 12, 2015 10:15pm
George Jones ·
Absolutely nothing wrong with taxes when Services received are proportionate to the taxes paid. Taxes are an essential component of the Economic System which would get constipated without them as we are seeing by the ongoing economic polarization in the USA.
LikeReply33Feb 12, 2015 11:11pm
George Jones ·
Howard Agnew Well said!
LikeReply16Feb 12, 2015 11:12pm