FACT CHECK: Does This Map Show What Scientists Say The US Will Look Like In 30 Years Due To Climate Change?
An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows what scientists say the U.S. will look like in 30 years due to climate change.
The image shows a map of what the U.S. would look like if it contained the Mediterranean Sea inside of it, not the potential effects of climate change.
Social media users have been sharing a map that appears to show much of the continental U.S., including large portions of the Midwest and the Southeast, underwater. “Scientists say this map represents the US in 30 years if we don’t reverse climate change,” reads the image’s caption. The claim about the map appears to have first been shared as a joke on Twitter.
The map actually has nothing to do with climate change. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found the picture was first shared in a February 2014 blog post titled, “The Mediterranean Sea of America.” In the post, the author describes taking a cruise around the Mediterranean Sea and later wondering how the U.S. would look if the Mediterranean Sea was in the interior of the country.
“A couple of screen captures, lots of graphic manipulation and now we know,” reads the post. “The Mediterranean Sea fits within the confines of the United States of America.”(RELATED: Does Joe Biden’s Climate Plan Require Americans To Eat 90% Less Red Meat?)
While the map does not depict the danger of climate change, scientists have warned that climate change could cause a rise in sea levels that would reshape the American landscape. One 2020 study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California found that 13 million people could be forced to relocate due to coastal flooding from rising sea levels by 2100.
An interactive map showing the potential impact of rising sea levels can be found on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website.