UPDATE – We’ve warned about this before, now BBC News reports that London is definitely sinking. Or maybe the problem is that the Thames is rising. In fact, scientists don’t understand why MORE major cities aren’t sinking.

In BBC News, Jonathan Amos writes that in order to save London, “tidal defenses including embankments, walls, gates and barriers will, at some stage, have to be adapted or moved, or new types of defenses created?” Since most major cities were built in coastal areas, in order to take advantage of shipping, this is something that the major metropolitan areas in many different countries will have to face eventually?or maybe SOON. In fact, according to geologists, many of these areas should ALREADY be underwater. Here’s why they’re not.

A new study shows how various regions of North America are kept afloat by heat within Earth?s rocky crust. Of coastal cities, New York City would sit 1,427 feet under the Atlantic, Boston would be 1,823 feet deep, Miami would reside 2,410 feet undersea, New Orleans would be 2,416 underwater and Los Angeles would rest 3,756 feet beneath the Pacific, if it weren’t for this heat. Mile-high Denver’s elevation would be 727 feet below sea level and Salt Lake City, now about 4,220 feet, would sit beneath 1,293 feet of water. But high-elevation areas of the Rocky Mountains between Salt Lake and Denver would remain dry land.

Geologist Derrick Hasterok says, “If you subtracted the heat that keeps North American elevations high, most of the continent would be below sea level, except the high Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada and the Pacific Northwest west of the Cascade Range.”

UPDATE: In the Independent, Kathy Marks reports on an entire country that is sinking into the sea and may soon disappear completely?the island nation of Tuvalu. She writes, ?For Tuvalu, a string of nine picturesque atolls and coral islands, global warming is not an abstract danger; it is a daily reality. The tiny South Pacific nation, only four meters above sea level at its highest point, may not exist in a few decades. Its people are already in flight; more than 4,000 live in New Zealand, and many of the remaining 10,500 are planning to join the exodus. Others, though, are determined to stay and try to fight the advancing waves.?

The citizens of that beleaguered country have decided that the rest of the world just doesn?t care. Marks quotes local environmentalist Enate Evi as saying, “They never listened when we asked for help. To be honest, I think they only care about themselves, and their economic advantage. That’s how it feels, sitting here.”

Tuvalu will be only the first of an upcoming series of drowned nations.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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