The San Francisco Archipelago: A Vision Of A City Underwater

The effects of global warming are a bit theoretical, until you start to imagine actual cities, and actual neighborhoods. The streets of San Francisco, for example.

Johnny O, author of the site Burrito Justice, has created maps of his native city after 200-foot sea level rise–which could happen in the next 60 years, if ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic start melting.

To make his point, Johnny O re-named areas as they might become known: Bay of Castro (for the Castro), Haight Inlet (for Haight Street), Bernal Isle (for Bernal Heights), and so on. He also wrote up a fictional news report from 2072 to show how locals were responding:

“While other islands have embraced both bridges and tunnels–the 150 year old bridges across Glen Narrows are scheduled for destruction once the new suspension bridge to Bernal Isle is complete–Potrero Island continues to be a holdout. Residents have yet again rejected the bond measure for a floating pontoon bridge crossing Beronio Reef and Market Shoals. Ask any Potreran and you will get the same response: ‘We were the first island, and we will be the last island. The cable gondola to Sutro Tower and Bernal is too much as it is.”

The visualizations make use of original maps by Brian Stokle, of Urban Life Signs, another Bay Area resident.

Johnny O, who agreed to let us use the images, says: “When I cut away the 0 to 100 foot levels, it looked interesting, but when I removed 100 to 200 foot bands and a bunch of new islands broke free, it became fascinating. At that point the names pretty much wrote themselves.”

Fascinating is right. A bit depressing, too. BS