On Sunday, the New York Times ran an op-ed/infographic piece entitled “What Could Disappear”: A post-Sandy scientific analysis of what many American cities have to look forward to if nothing is done soon in coastal and low-lying areas that would be permanently flooded, without engineered protection. Using a sliding bar, you can see what rises of sea levels could do, in feet and time increments. And of course Philly’s on there, and of course, we are screwed.
In the worst case scenario, a few centuries from now, with a 25 foot rise in sea level, 21% of what we now know as Philly is underwater. Most of Center City (including the Old City office from whence we post this today) is done. I-95, in essence, becomes a bridge. South Philadelphia no longer exists (total bummer, and in fact, in even the lightest sea level rise scenario, SP is in a bad way). And suddenly, the western pieces of Kensington are riverfront property, and Mantua and Parkside become very, very desirable. Silver linings? None. Go take a look for yourself.