Flood. A sign.

Flood. A sign.

Spray paint on metal street sign
75 x 86cm.
During the course of the twenty-first century, global sea levels are predicted to rise by up to 2 metres, possibly more. As a result, land occupied by 300 million people will fall below the elevation of an average annual coastal flood. By 2100, 200 million people could sit permanently below the high tide line.

The UN is warning that our planet is on course for 3C of global warming. This will ultimately redraw the map of the world. A key variable in this outcome will be how much heat-trapping pollution from human activities is dumped into the atmosphere, and how quickly the land-based ice sheets in Greenland and especially Antarctica destabilise. Another factor is widespread, intensive farming, which changes land cover by removing preexisting vegetation, thereby increasing the risk of flooding.

It is now widely accepted that extreme weather patterns, caused by long-term global climate change, make floods more likely. The science is impossible to ignore.

As global temperatures rise, there is significantly more energy in the Earth’s system. This amplified state results in higher air temperatures, which increase the possibility for evaporation and ultimately cloud formation. In this perfect storm scenario, the air is also able to hold more moisture content, which leads to an increase in precipitation intensity, duration and/or frequency.

"If you have more moisture in the atmosphere, the same rainfall systems rain harder - that is something we see globally. And that has a human greenhouse gas signal in it."
Professor Gabi Hegerl, University of Edinburgh.

All artwork, text and images © James Straffon 2021.