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Thousands turn out for D.C. climate strike

The District could see a 3.4-foot increase in sea level by 2080 

A large group of protesters carry signs demanding action on climate change on the National Mall.
D.C. climate strike on September 20, 2019
AFP/Getty Images

Equipped with all manner of banners and signs, thousands of people, spearheaded by students, descended on the National Mall and the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Friday as part of the global climate strike being waged over the next week. Many of the protesters assembled this morning just north of the Mall, at John Marshall Park, proceeded east along Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and stood en masse around the Congress, urging lawmakers to take meaningful action on climate change, like by implementing the Green New Deal. People of all ages showed up, according to news and social media reports.

The District is particularly at risk from the impacts of climate change, given that it includes two rivers, the Anacostia and the Potomac. As D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine points out on Twitter, the city is projected to witnesses a 3.4-foot increase in sea level by 2080. “While this estimate accounts for both ice loss and ocean warming, recent studies have found faster rates of ice loss, which could result in even higher sea levels by the end of the century,” says the District’s climate readiness plan. Extreme heat and storms could become more common.

Both the National Park Service and the D.C. police department declined to comment on the estimated attendance numbers for Friday’s demonstration, saying they do not provide crowd estimates. Similar actions are taking place today in New York, Chicago, and other American metros. Photos, videos, and commentary from the event in the nation’s capital follow below.