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Big Picture Science

The seas are ris­ing. It’s no longer a rar­i­ty to see kayak­ers pad­dling through down­town Mia­mi. By century’s end, the oceans could be any­where from 2 to 6 feet high­er, threat­en­ing mil­lions of peo­ple and prop­er­ty. But humans once knew how to adapt to ris­ing waters. As high water threat­ens to drown our cities, can we learn do it again.

Hear sto­ries of threat­ened land: sub­merged Flori­da sub­urbs, the orig­i­nal sunken city (Venice), and the U.S. East Coast, where anthro­pol­o­gists rush to cat­a­logue thou­sands of low-lying his­tor­i­cal and cul­tur­al sites in harm’s way, includ­ing Jamestown, Vir­ginia and ancient Native Amer­i­can sites. 

But also, sto­ries of ancient adapt­abil­i­ty: from the First Amer­i­can tribes of the Colusa in South Flori­da to the ice age inhab­i­tants of Dog­ger­land. And, mod­ern approach­es to stay­ing dry: stilt hous­es, sea­walls, and float­ing cities.

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