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Image: from oshcan on Flickr

Continuing our theme of lost cities, news editor Ben Ray explores five American cities, which in the distant future could be reclaimed by nature.

The concept of a lost city has always astounded me, not because I don’t see how you can simply let a civilization dry up, but because I realize that in several hundred years, there will be anthropologists of that age looking at the ruins of whatever modern encampment didn’t quite work out, and asking the same questions we now ask about the Maya, or the Inca, or any other ruins we stumble upon with little explanation.

With that thought in mind, and the coming climate change, what cities are most likely to be abandoned and raising questions?


Image: from coka koehler

5. Atlanta

We may have gotten a preview of the untenable expansion the capital city of the south has undertaken with the drought that dominated 2007, and will be felt through 2008 despite above-average rainfall so far. Being located in an area that is far away from any large water source may eventually force Atlanta to scale back, and climate change, as it takes hold, will only complicate matters, transforming the greenest city in America into a semi-desert environment.

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Image: from Mr. Clean 1982 on Flickr

4. Miami

Atlanta won’t have enough water – but Miami might be inundated. With much of the city at sea level, and already in a swampy condition with a high water table, the ground is poised to disappear from under the proud home of Crockett and Tubbs if the oceans begin to rise. Of course, this is the sort of phenomenon that normally takes place after endless amounts of time. Everybody will get out, but it’s possible that Miami will be a future Atlantis – a legend beneath the sea.

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