So begins the final sub-series.
To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
After disruption, a new equilibrium.
The new sea level worked its way around the edges of continents, swamping low-lying islands and erasing entire nations, in less than two years. The changes it wrought on humanity were no less profound than the changes to the coastlines and the weather — there were attempts to count the dead and displaced, but even the best estimates are only estimates. Very few casualties were the direct result of the incoming tide, of course — but the wars, riots, and accidents it triggered are another story.
Few countries, even landlocked countries, escape the effects of the “Little Great Flood,” but some nations are better able to react than others. The Netherlands simply raise their dikes. Cuba and Japan use their time wisely, conducting orderly evacuations and salvaging what they can from their coasts. Bangladesh and Somalia collapse under the weight of their own refugees and the ensuing civil wars. The Maldives and Vanuatu are inundated completely, becoming the first nations in exile. Wars, ethnic cleansing, famine, and starvation rock the globe, overwhelming even the augmented charities and NGOs that step in to alleviate the suffering. But every nation has stories to tell: tragic and heroic; venal and honorable; avaricious and selfless.
Rumors spread about the Greenland ice slide, that it was no act of nature. Depending on who’s telling the story, the culprits include terrorist bands of every religion and ideology, the Great Zionist Conspiracy, the Bilderbergers (or other vehicles of the wealthiest of the wealthy), communists, fascists, China, Japan, Russia, the USA, and even Greenlanders (often described as an attempt to clear some land for farming that went horribly wrong). Some of the stories contradict themselves — for example, one eco-terrorist story claims that the culprits were trying to both kill all humans and save the biosphere — and few are even plausible. But all are investigated, and come to nothing.
Weather patterns continue to change around the world. In some places, deserts bloom; in others, wetlands dry up. Most places change little. But with more water evaporating from an enlarged ocean, more rain falls overall. Temperatures drop, recover, level off, begin to creep up again. The moving averages show a small blip down, then perhaps the beginning of a plateau.
As human populations continue to decline in most places, and those left pour less pollutants into the atmosphere, some say the earth is enjoying a healing rest. To sleep, perchance to dream… what dreams may come?