If you thought flooding during and after Hurricane Sandy was bad, you haven't seen anything yet.
A map built by the group Climate Control, based on data published in Science Magazine, shows the impact that two degrees Celsius of global warming could have on America's coastlines. If the data is accurate, the planet's warming will raise sea levels by at least 20 feet as early as 2200.
That rise in sea level would submerge large tracts of land in all five boroughs. Neighborhoods in lower Manhattan, like the East and West Village, TriBeCa, and Chelsea, would disappear. As would Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Coney Island, and sections of Bushwich and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. In Queens, the East River would drown Long Island City and the western half of Astoria; farther south, Jamaica Bay would engulf the Rockaways. Rising sea levels would eliminate southeastern seaside neighborhoods in Staten Island (Oakwood, New Dorp and Midland Beach), and the Bronx (Castle Hill, Port Morris and Castle Hill).
If the sea level swells by 20 feet, you can also say goodbye to greater New York's three international airports, Newark, LaGuardia and JFK.
Where does the two degree Celsius number come from?
For more than a decade, climate negotiations have revolved around limiting the rise in average global surface temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. These days, more and more climate experts are saying that goal is unrealistic and inadequate. Measurements of existing climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions suggest the world will see a four-degree Celsius rise in temperature by 2100. Yikes.