An Oceans Abcdarium created by the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz, Germany

Rising Water Levels

Anna Ratzenberger

Stories about sunken cities have fascinated mankind since antiquity. Some of them are unverified and probably fictional, such as the story of Atlantis. Others are very real, like the sinking of Rungholt and many other settlements during a storm tide known as Grote Mandrenke in the North Sea, in 1362. In folklore, our ancestors passed down a fearful memory of drowned or submerged places. But few of the myths teach us how to deal with the terribly real problem of slowly rising sea levels. Current projections predict a mean sea level rise of 0.30–0.65 m within this century and 0.54–2.15 m by 2300. At some point, our cities might be submerged, too, and host to the most beautiful coral reefs. The video is an appeal to address this issue and find new ways to build cities.

Sources: Hadler, H. et al., “Geoarchaeological evidence of marshland destruction in the area of Rungholt, present-day Wadden Sea around Hallig Südfall (North Frisia, Germany), by the Grote Mandrenke in 1362 AD”, Quaternary International, vol. 473, (2018): 37-54.

Horton, B.P. et al., “Estimating global mean sea-level rise and its uncertainties by 2100 and 2300 from an expert survey”, npj Clim Atmos Sci, vol. 3, issue. 18, (2020).