Watch Big Ben drown: Why you should care about climate change

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Mumbai

Credit: Nickolay Lamm/Climate Central

Watch Big Ben drown: Why you should care about climate change

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London

Credit: Nickolay Lamm/Climate Central

Watch Big Ben drown: Why you should care about climate change

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New York City

Credit: Nickolay Lamm/Climate Central

Watch Big Ben drown: Why you should care about climate change

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Rio de Janeiro

Credit: Nickolay Lamm/Climate Central

Watch Big Ben drown: Why you should care about climate change

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Shanghai

Credit: Nickolay Lamm/Climate Central

Watch Big Ben drown: Why you should care about climate change

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Sydney

Credit: Nickolay Lamm/Climate Central

Watch Big Ben drown: Why you should care about climate change

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Durban

Credit: Nickolay Lamm/Climate Central

CLIMATE CHANGE

Watch Big Ben drown: Why you should care about climate change

Nihar Gokhale @nihargokhale

Much has been said and written about climate change. But what does it actually look like?

One artist has given us chilling answers.

Nickolay Lamm's images confront us with the frightening reality that global warming won't just submerge distant islands. It will render some of our most populous cities unlivable as well.

Lamm's images, compiled by Climate Central, are an artist's impression of a recent scientific study on the impact of global warming on coastal areas.

Read - Why are corals turning white and what does it mean for us?

Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro will be affected, according to the most conservative estimates.

Rising sea levels will submerge, partially if not completely, such iconic structures as the Gateway of India, Sydney Opera House, Westminster Abbey. The Gateway would go half under water if temperatures rise by 4 degrees over the pre-industrial average.

Sea levels are rising as global warming thaws ice at the North and South Poles. Melting glaciers are similarly raising river levels.

The study makes predictions for two scenarios of temperature rise - 2 and 4 degrees Celsius.

Most nations have agreed to work on limiting the rise to 2 degrees, and the UN climate summits, such as the one in Paris this December, aim to achieve this target.

Lamm's images, however, warn that even this isn't our best bet. A 2-degree rise in temperature will still inundate Westminster Abbey, and flood much of London, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, Durban and Shanghai.

Also read - Shyam Saran: India needs to switch to a less wasteful model of development

As of 2015, the global temperature has already risen by 0.8 degrees Celsius. And if we continue with "business as usual" - if greenhouse gas emissions aren't cut drastically - a 4-degree rise is not only possible, but inevitable.

By Climate Central's calculation, this 4-degree scenario is likely to play out by 2100.

In other words, children born now will likely witness the devastation depicted in Lamm's art in their lifetimes.

Are you still not concerned about climate change?

READ MORE:

India's climate pledge: keeping promises will be a tall order

5 reasons why Tibet's melting ice is a disaster for India, Europe and US

Nihar Gokhale

Nihar Gokhale @nihargokhale