Surging Seas Sea level rise analysis by Climate Central

Global Cities at Risk from Sea Level Rise: Google Earth Interactive

Maps are one way to visualize sea level rise. Google Earth lets us put our research findings in three dimensions.

We've developed Google Earth ocean overlays corresponding precisely to different elevated global sea surfaces that could be locked in by different carbon emissions pathways, as projected in our recent scientific paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A. The sea level rise required to reach these levels would most likely play out over centuries — but we set the path today.

If you have the Google Earth browser plugin installed, use your mouse or the search box below to explore a place along the global coast under each temperature scenario. 4 °C corresponds to business-as-usual; 2 °C is the main international target; and many island nations prefer 1.5 °C. Visualizations are most powerful and accurate in areas with 3-D building data.

1.5 °C 2 °C 3 °C 4 °C


†Note: The Google Earth plugin embedded above will not work in recent versions of Google Chrome. The technology this plugin is based on is deprecated by Google and may not be available in the future.

To explore Climate Central's Google Earth sea level layers in more detail, or if you have trouble with the plugin above, please install Google Earth Desktop and download and open our KML file within it.