These interactive maps show North America's Pacific Coast after the ice caps have melted

A very convincing artist's impression of post-apocalyptic Seattle. Image: Getty.

Remember Jeffrey Linn's beautiful and terrifying maps of what sea level rises could do to the Pacific Coast of the US? The Islands of Portland, and so forth?

If you don't, you clearly haven't listened to this week's podcast, on which we talked about it at some length. Honestly, you should really get to that. Go on. Do it now. We'll look at this map of post-apocalyptic Seattle until you've finished.

Click to expand. Image: Jeffrey Linn.

Done it? Great!

So, anyway, following the podcast Jeffrey got in touch to let us know he'd updated his maps. Now, with a little help from CartoDB, there's an interactive version, showing what the West Coast would look like if the ice sheets all melted, triggering a 66m sea level rise.

The maps only show North America's Pacific Coast: we can't use them to tour the aquatic ruins of London or Hong Kong (alas). But they do give you a sense of quite what A Bad Thing the collapse of those ice sheets would be.

Here's Seattle again:

Click to expand. Image: Jeffrey Linn/CartoDB.

In case you don't know the city very well, we've zoomed in on the downtown. Here's the space needle:

Click to expand. Image: Jeffrey Linn/CartoDB.

That's 184m tall, though, so it'll still be visible above the waves.

Here's Vancouver:

Click to expand. Image: Jeffrey Linn/CartoDB.

The central business district has seen drier days:

Click to expand. Image: Jeffrey Linn/CartoDB.

And you think San Francisco has a housing crisis now? Imagine what it'll be like once this has happened:

Click to expand. Image: Jeffrey Linn/CartoDB.

Much of Los Angeles has now gone but, on the upside, the city centre is now much more convenient for the beach.

Click to expand. Image: Jeffrey Linn/CartoDB.

You can play with Linn's maps here. And while you're mucking about on the internet, if you wanted to subscribe to our podcast and leave a nice review on iTunes, you’d not only been helping CityMetric in its campaign for world domination, we’d also love you forever. Thanks.

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Sadiq Khan and Grant Shapps clash over free bus travel for under 18s

A London bus at Victoria station. Image: Getty.

The latest front in the row between Transport for London (TfL) and national government over how to fund the capital’s transport system: free bus travel for the under 18s.

Two weeks ago, you’ll recall, TfL came perilously close to running out of money and was forced to ask for a bail out. The government agreed, but offered less money, and with more strings attached, than the agency wanted. At present, there are a range of fare discounts – some up to 100% – available to children depending on their age and which service they’re using, provided they have the right Oyster card. One of the government’s strings, the mayor’s office says, was to end all free TfL travel for the under 18s, Oyster or no Oyster.

The Department for Transport’s line on all this is that this is about maximising capacity. Many working-age people need to use buses to get to their jobs: they’re more likely to be able to do that, while also social distancing, if those buses aren’t already full of teenagers riding for free. (DfT cited the same motivation for banning the use of the Freedom Pass, which provides free travel for the retired, at peak times.)

But in an open letter to transport secretary Grant Shapps, the mayor, Sadiq Khan, wrote that TfL believed that 30% of children who currently received free travel had a statutory entitlement to it, because they attend schools more than a certain distance from their homes. If TfL doesn’t fund this travel, London’s boroughs must, which apart from loading costs onto local government means replacing an administrative system that already exists with one that doesn’t. 

Some Labour staffers also smell Tory ideological objections to free things for young people at work. To quote Khan’s letter:

“It is abundantly clear that losing free travel would hit the poorest Londoners hardest at a time when finances are stretched more than ever... I want to make sure that families who might not have a choice but to use public transport are not further disadvantaged.”

London’s deputy mayor for transport, Heidi Alexander, is set to meet government officials next week to discuss all this. In the mean time, you can read Khan’s letter here.

UPDATE: The original version of this piece noted that the full agreement between the mayor and DfT remained mysteriously unpublished. Shortly after this story went live, the agreement appeared. Here it is.

Jonn Elledge was founding editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and on Facebook as JonnElledgeWrites.