Since the 49ers first spread the story of the immense buried riches on the western slopes, California has been a place of spectacles.
The Golden State has been, well, golden since 1849. The gold rush elevated it to prominence. Hollywood pushed it a step further by distributing American stories worldwide, and later technology businesses reinforced California’s status as a certain part of daily life. However, might anything unexpectedly take over the Golden state?
Sea level rise
Except for a few important areas of the state, most of California is situated far above sea level.
The median elevation is a safe 2,900 feet, which means it can withstand even the most ferocious sea-level surges. According to National Geographic, if all of the world’s ice melts, sea levels would climb 216 feet. California’s median elevation would assist the state in remaining above sea level.
Keeping the state afloat and making it habitable are two distinct endeavors.
If sea levels rise another ten feet, portions of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Long Beach would be fully submerged. Northern California would also see a significant impact.
Economic barriers would be erected in Sacramento, San Francisco, San Rafael, Oakland, and Richmond to raise streets above rising sea levels. Climate refugees would race for shelter along California’s coastline.
Glacier of doomsday
While the worldwide ice sheet is likely to endure for centuries, California faces an immediate threat.
Thwaites Glacier in Western Antarctica is gradually eroding. If the glacier collapses, it will release enough water to increase world sea levels by an extra ten feet. The consequences would be apocalyptic, resulting in climate refugees and the destruction of cities.
According to Oregon State University scientist Erin Pettit, the Doomsday glacier might collapse by the end of this decade.