Engineering 101

Will your city be underwater in the future years to come?

Sink, swim or drive electric? What will you choose?

Are you looking forward to the New York E-Prix? You might not be as excited once you hear that scientists at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have predicted that parts of the city could be underwater in the future.

However, it’s not just New York that’s at risk.

Having developed a tool to predict which cities could flood as different portions of the ice sheet melt, London, Vancouver, Boston and Los Angeles – to name but a few – may also be affected.

Sea levels are on the rise but the truth is, they are as the planet continues to heat up.

Nasa’s latest tools

Developed in California, Nasa’s latest tool provides the most accurate map of sea-level rises to date and works by calculating the effect gravity.

The expansion of the ground beneath the newly-melted ice.

And the Earth’s rotation have on the way water is distributed around the world.

It provides – for each city – a picture of which glaciers, ice sheets and ice caps pose the greatest threat.


It suggests the city could be significantly affected by changes in the north-western part of the Greenland ice sheet.

New York

While for New York, the area of concern is the ice sheet’s entire northern and eastern portions.

Last year

Current FIA Formula E Champion Lucas di Grassi and the series’ Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag embarked on a campaign.

The aim of this was to increase awareness about the shrinking ice caps and rising sea levels.

Alongside driving the all-electric Formula E development car across the ice cap in Greenland, the campaign marked the start of Southampton University’s research into the behavior of ice sheets.

How did it work?

By placing a tracking beacon on an iceberg that had broken away.

While cities like Paris, Oxford and London take action to mediate the effects of climate change by announcing bans on the sale of combustion engined cars.

Formula E continues to promote all-electric mobility with races in 11 iconic cities, across five continents.

Sea levels having risen between 10 and 20 centimetres in the past 100 years, the switch to sustainable all-electric transport has never been more relevant.

So, what’s it to be – sink, swim or drive electric?

Source FIA Formula E

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