Which Future Will We Choose?

At the UN Climate Conference in November, decisions by world leaders will set a path for Sao Luis’s ultimate sea level.

Maranhao's House, Sao Luis, Brazil

BRA__0__Sao_Luis__Maranhaos_House__L13__4p0C.jpg
If we allow unchecked carbon pollution
(4°C global warming)
(4°C warming)
Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO Image Landsat / Copernicus Image © 2021 TerraMetrics Image © 2021 Maxar Technologies
BRA__0__Sao_Luis__Maranhaos_House__L13__1p5C.jpg
If we sharply cut carbon pollution
(1.5°C global warming)
(1.5°C warming)
Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO Image Landsat / Copernicus Image © 2021 TerraMetrics Image © 2021 Maxar Technologies
Present-day sea level1.1°C1.5°C2°C3°C4°C

These images show projected future sea levels at Maranhao's House in Sao Luis, Brazil due to human-caused global warming under two different scenarios. Climate and energy choices in the coming few decades could set the destination, but the timing of rise is more difficult to project: these sea levels may take hundreds of years to be fully realized.