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Sink or Swim: What Will Seattle Look Like if the Ice Caps Melt?

Posted by Nico Lund on January 17th, 2014

University of Washington campus planner Jeffrey Lin created a map of what Seattle will look like under 240 feet of water. Check out this story from the Seattle Weekly.

How Would Seattle Look If All The Ice Caps Melted? UW’s ‘Seattle Islands’ Map Shows You

By Kelton Sears

A Seattle where Kevin Costner reigns supreme.

Denny Way turns into Denny Reef. The U District morphs into University Shoal. The Space Needle becomes the Sea Needle.

Jeffrey Lin, a campus planner at University of Washington with a background in geography, wondered what Seattle would look like if all the Earth’s ice sheets melted in a catastrophic global warming event. So he did some calculations and drew up a map of the city under 240 feet of water.

Turns out, the Emerald City becomes the Emerald Isles, straight out of 1995’s ​Waterworld.

Capitol Hill turns into Capitol Island, where the stranded denizens would have nowhere to bike after brunch but straight into the Sound. All of the city’s frat houses would be isolated on “Greek Island,” a place that would likely put Ibiza to shame. Mercer Island is… well it’s still an island.

Explore our post-apocalyptic city below, and click on the picture for a larger, hi-res version you can zoom in on. Did your house make it through the melt?



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