Key Largo, FL

"Doomsday Glacier" Threatens to Erase Florida Keys

Toni Koraza

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Florida is already depressed on low-laying grounds. The sun-kissed peninsula is mainly made of flimsy limestone. Most coastline cities and towns are barely keeping the streets above the water.

What would happen if the sea rises by several feet?

Let's say 5ft or 10ft over the next decade.

Goodbye Florida Keys

Some 800 unique islands make the natural miracle known as the Florida Keys. We have connected 30ish islands in this breathtaking arc with the Overseas Highway, joining together the natural and engineering wonders.

Sadly, the Keys, all 802 of them, are set to disappear. While many don't feel like it's their responsibility to take any action because they'll be long gone before the climate takes back the Keys, their preconceived ideas may be wrong. Parts of Southern Florida are set to disappear sooner than later.

“God always forgives, we men forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives. If you give her a slap, she will give you one. I believe that we have exploited nature too much.” - Pope Francis

"Doomsday Glacier"

Experts Alex Mazur and Jeff Goodell are covering the collapse of Thwaites Glacier that threatens to raise global sea levels by 10ft.

This Florida-sized glacier in the western Antarctic is currently holding back enough ice to transform the Florida Keys and most of coastal Florida into a new Atlantis.

"If Thwaites Glacier collapses, it opens the door for the rest of the West Antarctic ice sheet to slide into the sea," writes Jeff Goodell. If this happens, we can say goodbye to every Key under Florida's peninsula, including Key West, Key Largo, and some of our favorite summer destinations.

A rise in water temperatures of 1 to 2 degrees would destabilize the glacier's base. It's not melting like a popsicle. The ice shelf is cracking from underneath. One minor change can literally change our landscape.

Are you worried your Florida Keys might disappear in the next decade?

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