Climate Central/Picturing Our Future
12/10/2021 17:03 BST | Updated 13/10/2021 08:05 BST

Bleak Photos Show What Will Happen To Beloved Landmarks If We Don’t Act On Climate Crisis

These stark visuals show just how our cities will be affected by climate change in years to come.

Above: Buckingham Palace is expected to be partially submerged in water in the years to come if the climate crisis is not tackled.

Visuals have captured how rising sea levels will probably reach monuments such as St Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace in years to come unless we all act on the climate crisis.

Environmental campaign group Climate Central analysed how increasing temperatures – and the subsequent melting of ice caps – will see landmarks around the world threatened by the growing ocean in a project called ‘Picturing Our Future’.

It has compiled projections showing what our world would look like if the climate increased by three degrees Celsius, the amount predicted unless humanity takes action, compared to if the climate only increases by 1.5 degrees Celsius.

This lesser amount is only achievable if “deep and immediate” cuts to the world’s carbon emissions are made so halving the amount humanity currently emits by 2030.

The report explains: “Climate and energy choices in the coming few decades could set the destination, but the timing of rise is more difficult to project: these sea levels may take hundreds of years to be fully realised.”

Climate Central claims its research shows 10% of the global population, adding up to more than 800 million, will be impacted by a rising high-tide line.

The study said island nations could disappear under water, coastal cities and land which is home to more than one billion people could be risk.

According to the group’s research – produced in collaboration with the US University, Princeton, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research – around 50 major cities will need “unprecedented defences” to protect themselves from climate change.

Alternatively, they will “lost most of their populated areas to unremitting sea level rise lasting hundreds of years”.

The visuals have been released just weeks before world leaders attend the UN’s climate conference COP26 in Glasgow in November, where they will be focusing on reducing coal use, reducing deforestation, accelerating the switch to electric cars and encouraging investment in renewable energy sources.

COP26 is hailed as one opportunity for the world’s governments to come together and act on climate change, but many activists including teen campaigner Greta Thunberg have not been convinced.

The campaigning group put two images side by side – on the left is the UN’s target increase of just 1.5 degrees Celsius. On the right, the current prediction for our climate unless we all act.

St Paul’s Cathedral, London, UK

Riverside Museum, Glasgow, UK

Buckingham Palace, London, UK

Aldrington, Brighton, UK

Monument Aux Girondins, Bordeaux, France

Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland

Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York, US

Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

To see further visuals, visit the Climate Central website.