Climate change won’t sink central US in 30 years, Facebook post shows


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(PoliFact)

IF YOUR TIME IS SHORT

  • The image was created by a blogger to see if the Mediterranean Sea could fit in with the United States
  • It was not a prediction or representation of what the United States might look like 30 years from now due to climate change. But it has been used on social media to make this claim.

See the sources of this fact check


The equivalent of the Mediterranean Sea is not expected to flood the central United States in 2030 if nothing is done about climate change, despite a map indicating that it could.

Facebook users shared an image of the United States with the Mediterranean Sea and parts of Europe overlaid. One user wrote this caption: “Scientists say this map represents the United States in 30 years if we don’t reverse climate change. Could any of these scientists explain how water can cover the Rockies, the Ozarks, and the Blue Ridge Mountains and yet the Gulf Coast is still high and dry at 1 foot above sea level? “

The map has renamed some areas such as “Confederate Sea”, “Oklahoma Island”, and “California Sea”. Most of the southern United States is not underwater in this image, including Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, which lie along the Gulf Coast.

The post was reported as part of Facebook’s efforts to tackle fake news and disinformation on its news feed. (Learn more about the PolitiFacts partnership with Facebook.)

The image was not created by scientists trying to show how climate change would impact the topography of the United States This map was created by a blogger to demonstrate the size of the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding areas by compared to the United States

The map was created by Bret Drager, who posted it on his The Arcadian Ideal tumblr page. In a direct message, Drager told PolitiFact that the map he created has nothing to do with climate change. Drager was interested in cartography and wanted to create a digitally altered map to see if the Mediterranean Sea could fit into the United States.

Drager wrote this in his 2015 article:

“I had the pleasure of cruising around the Mediterranean a few years ago. My wife and I had a great time exploring the historical places and artefacts and the life of weird cities. I thought, wouldn’t it be great if the Mediterranean wasn’t that far?

“Well, I was looking at maps and globes and I realized that the Mediterranean Sea is at the same latitude as the United States. If only it were possible to rotate the Mediterranean Sea to our side of the planet? Would that be appropriate? What effect would that have? And the states … new coasts in the middle of the country … new relationships … torn states?

“A few screenshots, a lot of graphic manipulation and now we know. The Mediterranean Sea falls within the limits of the United States of America. In a way, it’s pretty amazing how big the Mediterranean Sea is. We still think of America as a big country, over 3000 miles from the east coast to the west coast. In the past, it was quite a task to cover this distance. Surprisingly, the ancient sailors of the Mediterranean crossed similar vast expanses of water for their trade and conquests. “

PolitiFact Decision

The Facebook post says an image with part of the United States underwater is what the United States will look like 30 years from now due to climate change.

It’s wrong. The image is a graph manipulated by a blogger who is interested in cartography. He is not associated with any scientific group studying climate change.

PolitiFact rates the claim as false.


Facebook post, October 28, 2021

Tumblr, The Arcadian ideal “The Mediterranean Sea of ​​America”, accessed November 2, 2021

Direct message interview with Bret Drager, creator of the card, November 4, 2021

USA Today, “Fact Check: Publications Falsely Claim to Show Map of the United States 30 Years from now if climate change is not addressed,” accessed November 3, 2021.

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