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Map shows Mediterranean Sea on U.S., not climate change impact – The Associated Press – en Español

CLAIM: A map shows what scientists say the United States will look like in 30 years if climate change isn’t addressed.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The map, which features much of the country’s interior under water, shows the Mediterranean Sea on top of the U.S. and was intended to compare their relative sizes, according to its creator.

THE FACTS: The map has circulated on social media in the past alongside false claims that it shows the effects of climate change, and reemerged on Twitter on Friday in a post that has since been retweeted more than 9,000 times.

“Scientists say this map represents the US in 30 years if we don’t reverse climate change,” reads the post. The image shows the U.S. with much of its interior under water, labeled with “The Mediterranean Sea of America,” and other hypothetical landmarks including “Oklahoma Island.”

While many users noted that the map is clearly just the outline of the actual Mediterranean — pointing out the distinctive boot shape of Italy across Nebraska and Kansas — others appeared to believe it was a real, if dubious, claim by scientists.

The map can be traced back to a 2015 blog post titled “The Mediterranean Sea of America” by architect Bret Drager, in which he explains that he made the mash-up to see if the sea “fits within the confines of the United States of America.”

Drager confirmed in a message to The Associated Press on Saturday that he created the map as a “thought experiment” using Google Earth and photo editing software, and has since had to debunk false claims that it is related to climate change many times.

A report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released earlier this year warned that if human-caused global warming isn’t limited to just another couple tenths of a degree, the Earth will degrade in “potentially irreversible” ways, the AP reported.

By 2050, a billion people will face coastal flooding risk from rising seas, with more people forced out of their homes from weather disasters, especially flooding, sea level rise and tropical cyclones, the report said.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.

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