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Images show potential drastic effects of increasing temperatures on Santa Monica Pier

Climate change could alter the entire landscape of one of California's most popular tourist spots.
/ Source: TODAY

Sometimes it's hard to visualize the effects of climate change, but a graphic that shows what the Santa Monica Pier could look like in less than 100 years if temperatures continue to rise certainly puts things into perspective.

The 3rd hour of TODAY on Tuesday aired Al Roker's interview with climate activist Greta Thunberg that was conducted as part of NBC News' partnership with Covering Climate Now. The segment ended by showing a side-by-side look at the impact that climate change could have on one of California's well-known tourist spots.

In the graphic, the left side depicts what the Santa Monica Pier could look like if we sharply reduce carbon pollution, with most of the scenic spot still in existence. The right side shows what could happen if we continue on our current carbon path: a pier that's mostly covered with rising sea levels.

The image is striking and puts into perspective the long-term effects of climate change.Climate Central via TODAY

The 3rd hour co-hosts found the image pretty shocking, with guest co-host Jacob Soboroff noting that these changes could happen during the lifetimes of kids living today.

"I grew up going out there. It gave me the chills to see that," he said.

Al explained that ice cap melting would be responsible for the drastic changes to the pier. After examining the photo, Sheinelle Jones stated, "That puts it in perspective."

"Those are the kind of things I think that will resonate because I think sometimes people almost lose sight of it," she said. "You almost hear 'climate change,' and there are some like Greta who take it seriously and then others who just kind of say, 'OK, let me just recycle that and keep it moving,' but it's so much more than that."

Al went on to explain that infrastructure changes are already happening in cities like Miami due to a combination of high tides, winds and rising sea levels.

During his interview with Thunberg, Al asked the 18-year-old what she thinks it'll take for true change to happen and slow down climate change.

"It's a very big task that's ahead of us. We need to change social norms. But one thing that it will take is honesty. We need to be honest about what we are doing and we need to be brave because if we do not start to treat the crisis like a crisis, then the people around us will not understand that we are in an emergency," she said.

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