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Hunt for the climate crisis toy

Trains of thoughts are triggered by strange things. Our memory is amazing but fragile so I’m going to record some thoughts in cyberspace. It’s always wise to wait a few days before recording thoughts – so only the important bits remain and one can wait and see if there are any other connections and memories that are linked to what we were thinking of at that time.

Here is the “train of thought trigger”, last seen on an American Airlines flight from DFW to ATL. I took a photo of it so I could use it later for this blog.

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The most important thought I had after staring at this image for a long time is that I need to look for a globe (preferably located in the real world) that will have the ability to change the sea level. How would the world look like if the oceans rise by 10 feet? Would our home become a beach-front property?

What would earth look like if all the oceans were drained completely? Anyone for a hike down the Mariana trench? So I want a globe whose surface is 3D relief – you know what I mean. That would be one cool toy! I know it is a bit late to be asking this but Santa, you listening up there? I’ve mostly been good this year.

Santa to his elves: Hey, have we got anything like that, guys?

Elves: Nope. Is this guy crazy or what?

So guess I’m not getting it from you-know-whom. Too bad.  The next option is to search for it, or “google it” as it is called these days. Actually, I imagine the preferred practice is to first google it and then resort to Santa – but that is neither here nor there. Just to be totally clear, I googled the phrase “3d globe with sea level changer”. There were quite a few hits. But I’m not really interested in computer simulations of this by NASA or Rutgers University. I changed my search phrase to “toy 3d globe with sea level changer” and then hit the jackpot. Almost. There is an app sold on Amazon called “Elevation Earth” – which seems to simulate this exact experience. A few clicks later I found the iOS version – who really cares about Amazon or Android apps anyway?

Screen Shot 2014-12-25 at 12.48.45 AM I looked carefully to check if my better half was around and then clicked on “Buy”. The app is good and easy to use. Here are some snapshots of how the world looks like when sea-levels rise by +476m. The Appalachian mountains now become islands on the former US east coast. Most of Europe is underwater except the mountain ranges of course. If you have a swiss-bank account, your money is safe. Further to the east, the mighty Himalayas are now facing the ocean as most of India is overwhelmed.

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For now, I am content to play with this app – but if anyone out there knows of a real 3D globe that can simulate stuff like this, I would love to get in touch with you.