San Francisco Archipelago
MARCH 20, 2012
tags: climate change, future history, islands, map, sea level
March 20th, 2072 (AP), Northern California Association of City States:
With the surprising acceleration of sea level rise due to the melting of both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets over the past decade, the San Francisco canal system was officially abandoned this week. Additional ferry service has been announced between the new major islands of the San Franciscan Archipelago while the boring machines make progress under the Van Ness Passage and Richmond Pass for new transit tunnels.
Unlike most coastal areas of the former United States, the population of the archipelago has dramatically increased despite the 200 foot rise in sea level over the past 60 years. Pundits debate whether this is due to the increasingly tropical temperatures or the creative and cultural explosion due to density. Regardless, the 4 million people now living on the SFA are demanding expansion of the San Andreas airport — studies are underway to build three more runways on the former 280 right of way.
However, the new class of supersonic Clippers will be in service by 2074 and Pan Am claims they can provide direct service to both Haight Inlet and Excelsior Lagoon, much to the relief of the Juniper Serra Conglomeration. (The JSC clearly prefers repurposing the old road to construct a rail gun space launch system with the help of Stanford Alto.)
The cruise ship berths along Divisidero Harbor continue to be upgraded, while negotiations are underway with Port Orinda and Caldecott Harbor to handle the cargo from the outdated facilities at Geary Sound. With the addition of the 6th high speed rail tube to the mainland, the original tunnels (completed in 2025) will be dedicated to cargo.
Development of high rises along the Sunset Coast and Cape Dolores has not been without controversy. The SHSFPA (Submerged Historic San Francisco Preservation Association) has once again protested and filed an environment historic review. “Old San Francisco is still alive in our hearts and minds, even if only the tops of the buildings can be seen! Look at the Flickr archive! Viva La Décimonovena! Viva El Vigésimocuarto!” While the SHSFPA frustrate many, all agree that their work floating Victorians and Italinate era homes and converting them houseboats has been a grand success, and has fueled a tourist boom along the Noe, Bernal and Dolores docks. The historical reenactments of life in the Mission District of the early 21st century have proven particularly popular.
While the submerged ruins of the Sunset and the Mission have always been popular diving attractions, many have already forgotten the locations of long-flooded streets and avenues. The SHSFPA recently published this overlay map showing early 21st century streets (double-blink to zoom, triple-blink for 3D):
While other islands have embraced both bridges and tunnels — the 150 year old bridges across Glen Narrows are scheduled for destruction once the new suspension bridge to Bernal Isle is complete — Potrero Island continues to be a holdout. Residents have yet again rejected the bond measure for a floating pontoon bridge crossing Beronio Reef and Market Shoals. Ask any Potreran and you will get the same response: “We were the first island, and we will be the last island. The cable gondola to Sutro Tower and Bernal is too much as it is.” Unfortunately, with sea levels increasing, they will very likely be flooded out by the turn of the century as this animation shows (GIF2023 support required, gesture for higher resolution holograph):
Is the future of the San Franciscan Archipelago doomed? Some environmental experts from the NOAA in the Washington DC SeaDome think so. “With sea levels continuing to rise at over three feet per year, the continued investment in the Archipelago is foolish. The failure of the Los Angeles seawall in 2049 is proof of this. And just look at the projection at 300 feet. Potrero’s all but gone and Bernal Isle is cut in half.”
As usual, San Franciscans are undeterred. “We won’t let those waterlogged Morlocks who pretend the United States still exists try to tell us what works. Even if we have to build a dozen more mile high Sutro Towers, we will stay here. We’ll anchor a floating city to the serpentine and chert if we have to.”
- Greenland: 6.6 meters (21 feet)
- West Antarctic: 8.1 meters (26 feet)
- East Antarctic: 65 meters (213 feet)
120,000 years ago, SF Bay was 20 feet higher than today.