California is slipping into the sea.
But unlike in the movie 2012 (see picture above), it's happening too slowly to make it good fodder for an action movie. It could be better said that the sea is slipping up onto California. World sea levels are rising, and if global warming speeds up the rate at which they rise, a lot of the coastline of California and every other coastal region on the planet could get swallowed up by the waters.
On Wednesday California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled a map showing how radically altered the San Francisco shoreline would be under a five foot rise in seas which we could see by the end of the century. With that much water, the San Francisco airport would be beneath the waves, almost half a million people could be displaced in the city alone, and trillions of dollars of property and real estate wiped out.
The map was produced as part of CalAdapt, a plan commissioned by the state for ideas on how to best adapt to climate change and is viewable on the state's climate change website (I wish every state had one).
Here's a video produced by the governor explaining the problems climate change could pose to the state.
I'm not a huge fan of Schwarzenegger, but I do appreciate the fact that he acknowledges the reality of global warming and seems to want to do something about it. I wish every Republican were as practical and pragmatic. Saving the world shouldn't be a partisan issue.
It's also interesting to note how much emphasis (smartly so) is put on adapting to climate change. Global warming is here, it's happening, and while we need to do everything we can to stop further warming, we can't ignore the need to respond to the changes already taking place and those about to occur the near future.