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New Climate Models Show Much Of Southern California Underwater

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - A climate centered nonprofit has shown in models how some 50 cities around the world could potentially change or even disappear as a result of climate change.

"Their ability to exist into the future depends on the actions we take," said Benjamin Strauss, CEO of Climate Central.

Strauss's nonprofit Climate Central did the research and created startling images of landmarks around the world, including a few parts of Southern California like Long Beach and Huntington Beach, being impacted by rising sea levels.

The Santa Monica Pier is a landmark seen from both the ground and the skies above, but these models show it could all disappear and, in 100 years, might look quite different.

The model shows the Santa Monica Boardwalk underwater, projections climate scientists said could come true in the next few centuries if temperatures and sea levels rise without humans intervening.

"It's really sad to think it could disappear one day beneath the rising sea," Strauss said.

RELATED: Report: Nearly 5.7 Million Los Angeles County Residents Vulnerable To Extreme Heat, Drought, And Flooding By 2050

The projections range from 1 to 4 degrees of warming, with the worst case scenarios showing seas rising by more than 20 feet.

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In pictures of Long Beach, high tides push in all the way to the 405 Freeway and much of Huntington is also underwater.

"Really, neighborhoods from Golden West all the way out to Los Altos would be all well below sea level, could be 10 feet almost," said Strauss.

While images like these could be thousands of years into our future, scientists said climate change is already wreaking havoc along our coastline.

"This is not some thing that's off into the future. This is happening right now," said John Dorsey, a Loyola Marymount Professor.

Dorsey studies rising sea levels and points out out losing our beaches and the tourists they bring could drain our local economy. He also said we'd lose infrastructure, like water lines, sewer lines and highways.

"IF we get this coastal erosion that could erode in and start destroying that kind of infrastructure, we will be paying billions of dollars to try to move that inlands," Dorsey said.

Climate scientists say some of this could be avoided if we take major steps to cut emissions in the next decade.

On Thursday, it was announced that President Biden will travel to Europe for the United Nations Annual Climate Change Conference in just a few weeks.



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