06/08/2012 07:07 pm ET Updated Jun 08, 2012

San Francisco Global Warming: City Gets Re-Imagined With A Watery Future (PHOTOS)

Most people consider global warming something of a mixed blessing.

On one hand, there's ocean acidification, deserts gobbling up wide swaths of farmland and the massive die-off of the innumerable species unable to cope with the effects of the world's rapidly rising temperature.

But, on the other hand, you'll be able to wear shorts for literally the entire year.


Judging by the results of a project concocted by San Francisco blog Burrito Justice and local designer Brian Stokle, expanding our summer wardrobes will be the least of our worries. Stokle and Burrito Justice have created a map of what the City by the Bay would look like after global warming causes said bay to rise by 200 feet.

We'd say that what they produced was terrifying in an "Inconvenient Truth" sort of way.

But actually, it's just sort of awesome.

The project began a few years ago when Stokle made his own topographical map of San Francisco after becoming frustrated that all the other ones he found were too cluttered with roads and excess information to really yield a comprehensive view of the city's landscape. After completing his map using data from the United States Geological Survey, Stokle decided to see what it would look like if the sea level rose by 25 feet and posted it on his personal blog.

It was Burrito Justice's idea to take that concept to the extreme by moving the shore line up another 175 feet, completely re-imagining the city's geography.

"Burrito Justice named the majority of the names [of the new places on the map]," said Stokle, who noted his current apartment would reside far underwater if the map's predictions came true. "I contributed with places like Steam Anchorage, named in honor of Anchor Steam Brewery (SF's oldest brewery), and Geneva Drydock. We collaborated on names like Outside Sands (in reference to "Outside Lands," the original name of this area) and Balboa Passage. I also felt some existing names should be named for continuity, such as Fort Point and Lands End."

The pair didn't just create a new geography for the city. They plotted an entire sea-soaked alternative history, complete with its own political and economic life, as evidenced by this fake news report:

With the surprising acceleration of sea level rise due to the melting of both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets over the past decade, the San Francisco canal system was officially abandoned this week. Additional ferry service has been announced between the new major islands of the San Franciscan Archipelago while the boring machines make progress under the Van Ness Passage and Richmond Pass for new transit tunnels.

However, the new class of supersonic Clippers will be in service by 2074 and Pan Am claims they can provide direct service to both Haight Inlet and Excelsior Lagoon, much to the relief of the Juniper Serra Conglomeration. (The JSC clearly prefers repurposing the old road to construct a rail gun space launch system with the help of Stanford Alto.)

San Francisco already has the most expensive real estate market in the country. Just imagine how much more it would cost after half the apartments in the city are submerged under 200 feet of water.

Interestingly, San Francisco actually did used to be an island. Granted, that was 125,000 years ago.

The map can be purchased as a poster here.

Check out these pictures of San Francisco a la "Waterworld" (Kevin Costner action figure sold separately):



San Francisco Archipelago