Miami, FL

What will Miami look like if sea levels continue to rise? Here’s your answer

Toni Koraza
Image by Cityofmiami

It’s no secret that sea levels are rising around the world. Rising sea levels pose several problems for the world’s coastal areas, including Miami, Florida. With much of Miami barely above sea level, sea walls surround the city to help prevent massive flooding from happening.

Even with the sea walls, Miami is prone to flooding in certain areas and is the most vulnerable coastal city in the world.

So, what would happen to Miami if one of the largest glaciers in the world were to melt completely?

Miami won’t look the same

The Thwaites Glacier contains enough ice to raise sea levels by over 25 inches. While this doesn’t seem too drastic, if the Thwaites Glacier were to melt into the ocean completely, it would allow for the possibility of the entire West Antarctic ice sheet falling into the sea.

The melting of the Thwaites Glacier would trigger a massive rise in sea levels. Sea levels would rise approximately ten feet on average if this glacier melts and then cause the other ice sheet to collapse.

Miami, which is already very close to sea level, would drastically change the city and surrounding areas. Much of Miami Beach and South Beach would be underwater, and the bridges that take you to and from the mainland to the barrier island would be impossible to pass. Several other major attractions, such as the Everglades and Biscayne National Park, would also be heavily impacted by the Thwaites Glacier melting.

The barrier island off of Brickell would see severe flooding, and the bridge to the island would be gone. Even Miami International Airport, which is more inland, would see massive flooding, creating problems for the high-capacity airport.

The problems would envelop more than geological changes. The entire urban population would need to move elsewhere in their lifetime. The rest of the city and the Sunshine state would face climate immigration en mass, limiting economic opportunity and rising prices of everything.

Are you worried about rising sea levels?

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