The Flood or the Great Deluge was a period of catastrophic climate change that led to world wide flooding due to rising sea level causing major ecological, agricultural, economic, and social damage to the world from 2013 to 2034 (in some areas until 2041). The phenomenon was caused by the extensive burning of hydrocarbons during the petroleum age coupled with decades of deforestation, poor water management, and the natural cycle of polar heating. All of these variables contributed to a severe greenhouse effect that trapped solar radiation and added thermal energy to the atmosphere. The Flood is widely considered to be the greatest disaster in human history.
During the summer of 2012, when for the first time in recorded history the arctic circle was ice free, solar radiation could no longer be deflected by polar ice, and instead rapidly heated the north atlantic. This in turn resulted in an uncontrolled rise of temperatures that kept the arctic ice free, and caused global melting at a far more rapid pace. By spring 2012 the Siberian permafrost had melted and released millions of tons of trapped Methane gas into the atmosphere, throwing climate change into overdrive. By Summer of 2013 the southern ice caps had melted and most of the world's levies finally broke with the rising tide, flooding most of the planet's costal cities. This left as many as 2 billion people displaced as climate refugees all around the world. Much of the world's oceans ended up desalinated, killing billions of tons of fish and crippling the world's fishing industries. The Flood was an ecological and human disaster caused by misuse of resources and years of sustained warming. Millions of acres of farmland became useless, and billions of people were forced to leave their homes; many of these families (often known as "floodies") traveled to areas where they found ecological and economic conditions little better than those they had left. Owning no land, many traveled from place to place picking crops and doing menial labor at starvation wages.
While the summer of 2012 lasted until November 2013, the Winter of 2013 lasted until June 2014. This pattern of year long weather extremes continued until 2024 when the Oceans were finally resalinated, and the climate stabilized. Due to these radical temperature sifts the Flood Zone (the areas where water had totally overtaken global coastlines) remained either drowned by the ocean, or completely frozen over. Europe suffered the worst from the winters, as the whole continent would be covered in close to 5 meters of snow for most of the winter years. Canada also suffered from the Big Chill's as they were called, while its major cities were basically untouched by the rising tides, including Halifax, because of massive sea barriers built around the city. Many attribute the Big Chills to the eventual Canadian Civil War where food shortages from the Big Chills drove the Canadian provinces to hoard food and eventually pass laws to limit the movement of starving fellow Canadians to their respective territories. With the Heat Waves, floods, human displacement, brushfire wars, Big Chills, and food shortages, the Flood claimed an estimated 210 million lives, more than the Black Death and every major war of the 20th century combined.
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The conditions of the Flood fomented an exodus of the displaced from deep South and East Texas, to adjacent regions. More than 100 million Americans were left homeless. Many Americans migrated west looking for shelter and work. Some residents of the South, especially in Florida and Louisiana fell ill and died of dysentery or malnutrition.
The Flood exodus was the largest migration in American history within a short period of time. By 2018, 59 million people had moved out of the deep south and eastern states; of those, 10 million moved to the Mountain States, some to as far as coastal Mexico. With their land gone and homes lost, many farm families were forced to leave. Migrants left farms in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Louisiana and Florida, but all were generally referred to as "Dixies". The second wave of the Great Migration by those from Texas to the Eastern Coast was larger, involving more than 25 million people, taking place once it became clear that major cities could not be saved in the short term. The largest of the migrations however were by those from the South West and parts of Mexico that moved northward into the Mountain states as well. Many demographics disappeared in the US during the flood, and whole new ones were born though the shift of various cultures into small concentrated pockets. Since New York and Washington were underwater for a few years, cities rose and fell due to the respective population's success at controlling whatever was left of a once-proud nation. In the mean time, the government (still led by an embattled President Obama) controlled the country from the provisional capital of Denver.
Also note the very influential migration of Americans from the deep south and south west to the mountain states, even as close as west Texas, is considered to be the greatest demographic shift in American history. With millions of Southerners (most of them of Caucasian and African-American decent), mountain state Mormons, and those from the largely hispanic southwest and sections of northern Mexico concentrated in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, these three vastly different demographics experienced a mixing of cultures that have come to define the restored South and the South West for decades. What stared as a culture shock on all sides, merged into a new demographic known as the Mezies, short for Mezclados the Spanish word for Mixed.
Mezies eventually came to inhabit the restored South, the Mountain States and the American South West, and are one of the largest demographics in the country. They are bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English, and are the largest religious demographic in the country, taking elements of Catholicism, Baptism, and Mormonism and melding it into a hodgepodge of Christian philosophy. Ironically a group composed of evangelical southerners, repressive Mormons, and reactionary catholics formed one of the most progressive religious institutions in the world. In 2033 the United Christian Congress was founded as a formalization of these ideas, and is the single largest branch of christianity in America.
The Flood also resulted in a dramatic exodus in Europe that today many attribute to the more homogenized European Culture. The flooding effected all of costal Europe save for much of the Iberian peninsula and the Balkans. Well over half of Europe's population was forced into the interior of the continent with Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Spain and the Alps becoming the largest refugee centers.
The European exoduses were the largest migrations the continent has ever seen, and dramatically reshaped European society and culture. Prior to the flood, Europe was united only by the EU and NATO, both organizations left several states out. With centuries of bitter rivalries, wars, and various conflicts between them, the EU as it was was considered nothing less than a miracle by some. The demographic mixing that Europe's Flood Generation experienced united cultures in a way that Europe had not seen since the time of the Roman Empire. the British isles, largely left inhospitable by the flooding drove most of the British population to Scandinavia and France. The Germans also found themselves sharing their country with refugees from Poland and visa versa. Most of the French refuges took shelter in Northern Spain and most of the Italian refugees were calling Croatia and Austria their home. Along with the culture shock, a mixing of languages began to occur. By 2016 most were expecting a great territorial imbalance to result in another great war in Europe. However, due to the signing of the Treaty of Madrid and the Unification of Europe as the European Federal Union a bloody conflict was avoided.
The British Isles were devastated by the Flood, leaving much of the landmass underwater, including most of England and Ireland. London had been swallowed by the Thames and the the British Government had been forced to evacuate to Sheffield (one of the last remaining northern cities). The Prime Minister met in Madrid with a number of other European leaders to sign the Treaty of Madrid, agreeing to divide the former United Kingdom into seven provinces of the new federation - Anglia, Northumbria, Wessex, Mercia, Scotland, Wales and Ulster. Most of the refugees from London and the rest of of the UK had moved to Scotland (now the most densely populated area of the British Isles), Scandinavia and France - these areas became predominately English-speaking and were nicknamed New Britain by the refugees and the inhabitants that had remained.
China suffered more from the flood than almost any other industrialized nation. With the vast majority of its population concentrated on the costal cities, well over two-thirds of China were left displaced by the flooding. With an already hegemonic regime trying to maintain order in the refugee camps on the coast, the rise in water levels also attributed to the bursting of the Three Gorges Damn, destroying many inland cities. The results from the flooding sent China into civil war, and drove millions of its citizens to the most remote regions of Mongolia and Tibet, or leave the country.
The Flood affected China's lowland coasts worse than most large nations, leaving 600 million people without any reliable source of food, shelter, or clean water for almost two weeks until the PRC was able to organize stable supply lines to the refugee camps. By the time any of these refugees were moved inland the Three Gorges Damn had already destroyed the cities they were supposed to take refuge in. With millions left homeless, and the PRC unable to quite the voices of anger within their own country civil war broke out on March 3rd, 2014. Many Shanghai and Hong Kong residents chose to flee their drowning homeland to the US and Canada, while a few left to go with family in Europe. Approximately 30 million Chinese citizens emigrated to the United States and Canada during the Flood, most to the Pacific North-West (Washington, Oregon, Northern California, British Columbia). Most of these refugees were greeted with cautious hospitality in a country that already was dealing with its own internal refugee problem, but related to the plight of an oppressed people. The Chinese civil war was concluded in December of 2019, with the formation of the United Federation of China. Many Chinese citizens had left for Mongolia and Tibet during the war, and effectively united the new nation simply by demographic mixing.
Japan was nearly decimated by the Flood. Nearly all of the Tokyo and Kyoto Metroplexes were completely submerged by the rising tide driving most of Japan's population of traditionally city dwellers into the Japanese countryside. Most of the Japanese Population took refuge in the mountains of Hokiado, an ironic twist for the native Ainu people who now found themselves in the care of those who nearly drove them into oblivion. Those that could, escaped to the United States or South America. In many ways the flood drove the worst aspects of Japanese life towards retrobution. The Ainu people refused to allow refugees onto Hokaido until the Japanese Diet passed a Civil Rights Act, similar to that of the United States. This was driven home by the countless other ethnic minorities in Japan and ended in the passing of the Unity Act, granting everyone born in Japan the rights and protections from discrimination as the majority of Japanese citizens.
Russia was also driven into civil war during the flood. This was primarily due to geography, not government oppression. The flood split the Russian federation right along the Ural Mountains, creating the Sea of Siberia, a gap that was filled only during the winter years.
Ecologically, no continent suffered more than South America. The Flood turned the Amazon Rainforest, home to more biodiversity than any where else on Earth, into the Amazon Swamp. The damage done by this would have been permanent if not for the Ark. The Guiana were isolated as a single island, as was a large portion of Venezuela and Norther Brazil. Both of these Islands eventually united as their own nations, and what was left of Venezuela was eventually conquered by Colombia. Unlike the other continents of the world. The flood actually divided South America, more than it united it. During the Flood, Brazil annexed Uruguay, half of Paraguay, and fought a war with Peru and a naval war with Argentina over territory and resources. Columbia fought a war of annexation with Ecuador, and Argentina dealt with the annexation of the rest of Paraguay as well as a civil war in their own country that eventually led to the creation of the Bioregion of Patagonia
While flooding in Africa did obliterate a few of the smallest coastal nations, only three major cities were lost to the Sea. The Winter Years if anything, offered relief to the hottest places on the continent, and the melt off during the summer helped communities prepare for the long summer. What was so devastating to Africa during the flood, were the droughts in the middle of the seasons. These droughts sparked almost habitual brushfire conflict during the first two years of the Flood, and drove African leaders to conclude that only a strong continental government could properly ration African water supplies without sparking further bloody conflict. This culminated in the formation of the African Union, which succeeded to some extent to prevent conflict between communities. Many Africans today claim that Africa was the only country that benefited from climate change.
A number of conflicts resulted from the Flood, that collectively came to be known as the Climate Wars.
- Russian Civil War : Once sea levels peaked Russia was geographically divided in two by the new Ural Sea. With their greatest economic asset now gone, and their people divided, civil war quickly followed.
- Chinese Civil War : With the loss of Shanghai and record low crop yields from the Great Drought, years of political instability and resentment came to the surface leading to internal conflict between pro-democratic forces and the PRC regime.
- European Unification War : Brought on by greater geographic isolation of culturally unique peoples in Europe after the formation of the European Federal Union
- Canadian Civil War: Resulted from closing of Quebec's borders in response to the Food Rationing Acts and secession of the French speaking province.
- The Panama Wars: Fought between the US and the expansionist regime of Gran Columbo over control of the Panama Canal.
The Flood resulted in a massive global committment by the world's major powers to restore some semblence of order to the world. Beyond the refugee crisis a slew of new taxes and regulations began to be implemented in most countries on the wealthiest citizens and the greatest polluters.