china submerged prd

Alarming New Maps Show How Climate Change Will Drown China’s Coastal Cities

Worst-case scenario shows major Chinese cities submerged

Chinese audiences might have been delighted to see the People’s Liberation Army suddenly save the day in the disaster movie 2012, but the threat of global warming won’t be resolved so easily. With the majority of China’s wealth and development located along its coastline, rising sea levels could have disastrous consequences for the country.

New maps show what would happen to some of the country’s largest cities in a worse-case scenario. The TL;DR version is this: 43 percent of China’s population would find itself underwater.

The maps below were created by Jeffrey Linn and first published on ChinaFile. The comparisons between what the cities look like today and what could happen to them are stark. Linn created them as a glimpse into what would happen if the polar ice caps completely melted, a cataclysm that would require centuries to take place. But sea levels are rising fast, and these images are alarming. Take a look.

Here’s Hong Kong’s current photo, with the forecast underneath:

china submerged Hong kong

china submerged hong kong

This is the before and after of the Pearl River Delta, a place that already suffers from extreme flooding:

china submerged prd

china submerged prd

And here’s Shanghai:

china submerged shanghai

china submerged shanghai


Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor