Two hundred sixty feet of sea level rise. The number is breathtaking, and yet matter-of-fact: It simply describes how much oceans would rise if all of the planet’s great ice sheets — all of Greenland, all of Antarctica — were to melt entirely and fall into the oceans.
Nobody thinks this will happen in our lifetimes. However, if we let global warming rip, and move into a hothouse world with enough heat trapped by atmospheric greenhouse gases, it could someday. After all, the planet has been there before — in the late Cretaceous period, some 80 million years ago, sea levels were 50 to 70 meters higher, and rising.
In the meantime, we can imagine. Hence I give you this artistic rendering of what could happen to Los Angeles, from Seattlite and landscape architect Jeffrey Linn, who runs the website Spatialities.com: