What if all the Ice Melted? The Real Future Waterworld vs the Hollywood Version.

by Chris Dixon


When the film Waterworld was released in 1995, I gazed in silent wonder at the opening, as the Universal globe, and my beloved Earth’s landmasses disappeared beneath the waves. It was a jaw-dropping Hollywood moment, but was there really, truly enough water locked up in the polar ice caps to swallow up the Rockies, the Sierra Nevada and the Andes – leaving only the tops of what are presumably maybe Everest or a couple of other Himalayan spires peaking up from the briny depths? Let’s just say Kevin Costner’s Magnum Oceanus was not a film to let facts stand in the way of a rip-roaring yarn.

Which brings me to a map just released by Business Insider. Normally B.I. – I’d call it a clickbaiting cross between the Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed and TMZ – would not be much of a source of news for TheScuttlefish. But occasionally the site offers up a worthwhile feature. Take this animation by B.I. producer Alex Kuzoian. Basically, all Kuzoian has done is repackaged a National Geographic interactive map from 2013 on sea level rise. But through his flyover of what would actually be a 22-story rise in global sea levels, Kuzoian creates a a devastatingly effective interpretation of Nat Geo’s research more impactful than the opening of Waterworld. Check out our real Waterworld future below.

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