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Re: Global Warming and the Halo backstory (long re
Posted By: maxthehedgie <>Date: 9/15/06 7:46 p.m.

In Response To: Global Warming and the Halo backstory (long read) (Jordan117)

: I think I may have discovered a part of Earth's unspoken backstory.

: It all started while I was goofing around on the beaches of Outskirts. I
: began wondering about the architecture of the area. Seawalls, towers,
: docks extending out into the sand... why was it all there? What purpose
: did it serve? These questions seemed even more interesting after I saw
: more of the walls and towers at the base of the space elevator at the end
: of Metropolis.

: Then it occured to me. The sea wall, the high-and-dry docks, the coastal
: setting: global warming was the culprit.

: I'll explain this using an excerpt from an article I wrote for Halopedia:
: The mainland districts were stifled, ironically, by their thrist for
: growth. During the 21st and 22nd centuries, sea levels worldwide began
: rising due to global warming. Port cities around the planet were faced
: with a choice: construct flood control measures, or drown. In Mombasa, it
: was decided that, rather than shore up the old docks on Mombasa Island, it
: would be easier to build brand new ports on the mainland, southwest of the
: city. So massive seawalls were built to hold back the rising waters, and
: new dock structures extended out into Kilindini Harbor.

: For a time, these docks brought prosperity to the mainland. Shantytowns were
: demolished to make way for new office buildings, highways were
: constructed, and commerce thrived. But by the end of the 23rd century,
: global warming began to reverse as new technologies emerged and millions
: of people departed Earth for colonies in the rest of the Solar System. Sea
: levels began receding as temperatures dropped worldwide. In time, the port
: facilities on the mainland were left literally high and dry.

: Unfortunately, interstellar travel was discovered just as the mainland's
: ports became useless. As a result, the space elevator and its attendent
: port system was constructed on Mombasa Island instead. Consequently, the
: island-city transformed into the hi-tech metropolis of New Mombasa, while
: the mainland area languished, closed off behind its useless seawall.

: This explains the superfluous sea wall and the useless docks.

: After deducing this, I thought: these changes should be visible from space,
: too. So off to Cairo Station I went.

: Once there, I found more clues that confirmed my theory: The lack of coastal
: cities: Even today, Africa has many coastal cities visible from space.
: However, in the view of Earth seen from Cairo Station, the coasts are
: relatively empty. For instance, today, West Africa has port cities like
: Dakar, Bissau, and Conakry. In 2552, these cities are absent. Google Earth
: confirmed my suspicion: these cities were built on river deltas or
: delicate peninsulas, easily swamped by rising waters. The only surviving
: West African port city, Abidjan, is built on a relatively high rocky
: promontory.

: The Nigerian megalopolis: There is one exception to the above. On the coast
: of what is now Nigeria is a sprawling megacity. Where the other cities are
: dim specks, this metropolis is a sea of light. It spreads over a hundred
: miles, encompassing Benin City, Port Harcourt, Aba, and hundreds of square
: miles of farmland.

: But why is this? The city is built on the delta of the Niger River.

: There are two explanations: either the city built flood control measures like
: in Mombasa, or it was resettled after the seas resettled. The second
: option is more likely, since it seems like the population of the other
: ports simply moved into this new, state-of-the-art city, inflating it to
: incredible size.

: A few other things I noticed: South Africa seems largely abandoned (perhaps
: everyone moved to planet Biko, named after a famous South African
: activist?) as does Spain (compare to a modern nighttime image), the
: brightly-lit Canary Islands are missing, and parts of France and Germany
: seem flooded.

: The man-made lakes: If you look just to the west of Cairo, you can see a
: rather large lake that doesn't show up on any modern maps. After poking
: around Wikipedia awhile, I found this: The Qattara Depression is a desert
: basin within the Libyan Desert of north-western Egypt. The Depression, at
: 133m below sea level, contains the second lowest point in Africa. The
: Depression covers about 7000 square miles, and at its maximum is 80km in
: length and 120km in width. The bottom of the depression consists of a salt
: pan.

: The large size of the Quattara Depression and the fact that it falls to a
: depth of 132m below sea level has led to several proposals to create a
: massive hydro-electric project in northern Egypt rivaling the Aswan High
: Dam. The proposals all call for a large channel or tunnel being excavated
: from the Quattara due north about 80km to the Mediterranean Sea. Water
: would flow from the channel into a series of hydro-electric penstocks
: which would release the water at 90m below sea level. Because the Quattara
: is in a very hot dry region with very little cloud cover, the water
: released at the 90m level would spread out from the release point across
: the basin until evaporating from solar influx. Because the depression is
: so deep and broad, a great deal of water would be let in to maintain the
: artificial salt sea at the 90m level and as the water evaporates more sea
: water would be sent through the penstocks to generate more electricity.

: If you look closely, you can see more such lakes in Tunisia and west of the
: Persian Gulf in Iraq.

: The Black Sea: The final clue can be seen in the cutscene for Cairo
: Station. In this cinematic, a different version of Earth is used. Now,
: when you look at this version closely, you can see that the coast of the
: Black Sea is quite different. For one thing, the Crimean Peninsula is now
: an island. Also, various peninsulas in and around the Sea of Marmara and
: the Sea of Azov have changed shape drastically. Again, using Google Earth,
: it's clear that these areas were low-lying and fragile, and did not
: survive the rising waters. When the ocean resettled, the coastlines
: changed.

: This theory might not be very useful, but it does cast a lot of light on
: Earth's history, and is a great example of how dedicated Bungie is to
: creating a deep and cohesive universe, even if parts of it are never made
: explicit.

: Links: Halorama 2: Old Mombasa seawall

: Earth at Night

: Map of the Black Sea

: Map of Dakar
: Map of Bissau
: Map of Conakry

: Halopedia: New Mombasa
: Wikipedia: Qattara Depression

Very, very good. Thank you for bringing more of Bungie's attention to detail to light!

Message Index


Global Warming and the Halo backstory (long read)Jordan117 9/14/06 7:34 p.m.
     Fixed "Bissau" linkJordan117 9/14/06 7:37 p.m.
     I like it! Never noticed that.... *NM*BJB 9/14/06 7:45 p.m.
     Excellent ReadMister Froggy 9/14/06 7:46 p.m.
     Re: Global Warming and the Halo backstory (long reDP 9/14/06 7:47 p.m.
           Re: Global Warming and the Halo backstory (long reKoCKynVainn 9/14/06 7:59 p.m.
                 Re: Global Warming and the Halo backstory (long reShortRoundMcfly 9/14/06 8:47 p.m.
                 Indeed! Great work! *NM*Eastbeast314 9/14/06 9:45 p.m.
     great theory *NM*NeedzABetterSN 9/14/06 9:39 p.m.
     Sea level visualization toolJordan117 9/14/06 9:52 p.m.
     Superb effort and fantastic payoff!AngelicLionheart 9/14/06 9:59 p.m.
           Re: Superb effort and fantastic payoff!jman571 9/14/06 10:12 p.m.
     Wow, great job! Very interesting! *NM*Omniscient 9/14/06 10:10 p.m.
     Its just one of those things...Vlad3163 9/14/06 10:45 p.m.
     Very nice. *NM*Peronthious 9/14/06 11:08 p.m.
     Re: Global Warming and the Halo backstory (long reJordan117 9/14/06 11:14 p.m.
           ^^^ Links to Cairo cutscene above ^^^ *NM*Jordan117 9/14/06 11:16 p.m.
     Only on HBO...Great Work *NM* *NM*Dundradal 9/14/06 11:36 p.m.
     Re: Global Warming and the Halo backstory (long reAce Heart 9/14/06 11:47 p.m.
     Re: Global Warming and the Halo backstory (long reprinceofthesword 9/15/06 5:05 a.m.
     Excellent, props! Nice read! *NM*Mirel 9/15/06 7:10 a.m.
     Very well done.jester_343 9/15/06 7:33 a.m.
     Unfortunately...Funkmon 9/15/06 8:58 a.m.
           Then what? (plus another clue)Jordan117 9/15/06 9:38 a.m.
                 Oceans can rise for other reasons.Funkmon 9/15/06 10:32 a.m.
                       Yeah man, but it's a 'dry' heat. *NM*Blackstar 9/15/06 12:55 p.m.
     500 years isn't enough timeSchedonnardus 9/15/06 11:51 a.m.
           Re: 500 years isn't enough timeMinkOWar 9/15/06 2:43 p.m.
     never heard of that river!syris 9/15/06 4:25 p.m.
           Re: never heard of that river!KoCKynVainn 9/16/06 2:50 p.m.
                 Re: never heard of that river!Jordan117 9/16/06 8:19 p.m.
     Re: Global Warming and the Halo backstory (long refrobie 9/15/06 6:11 p.m.
     Re: Global Warming and the Halo backstory (long remaxthehedgie 9/15/06 7:46 p.m.
     That is very interesting... *NM*Dragonclaws 9/16/06 7:18 p.m.

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