A new study suggests that the sea level could rise as much as six feet by 2100, leaving New York City underwater. Could NYC be the new Venice in the near future? It appears at least some scientists think so.
The Scientific American reports that by 2100, New York City may look more like Venice than the Big Apple. According to the New York City Panel on Climate Change, an independent body composed of climate scientists, New York could see as much as a 6-foot rise in water level under the worst-case scenario. This would leave large portions of the city’s five boroughs under water, especially from water surges during hurricanes.
The areas that will take the biggest hit are obviously the coastal areas. Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens, which are all low-lying, would almost certainly be covered in water should the sea level rise to the levels indicated. The report notes that the city has already altered Staten Island with over 26,000 linear feet of sand due to the changing sea levels and beach geography.
The full report indicates that coastal flooding will become more common along New York City as more rainfall is expected. In addition to rainfall, overall mean temperatures are also expected to rise. The sea level rises will take place in phases, with the majority of NYC sinking below the sea by 2100.
“Projections for sea level rise in New York City are 11 to 21 inches by the 2050s, 18 to 39 inches by the 2080s, and could reach as hig h as 6 feet by 2100.”
The study was conducted to help shape green house emission plans and to shape future flood insurance rate maps. Mayor de Blasio says he is committed to combating global warming in New York City and has a thorough and effective plan in place. Just last year, de Blasio announced a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The 80 percent goal came from the United Nations suggestion for developing countries. The administration plans to meet the goal by retrofitting existing buildings with more energy efficient items. One part of the plan includes painting rooftops white instead of black to decrease the amount of heat radiated into the atmosphere.
The report claims that there are still many “uncertainties,” but that a long-term climate change plan is needed.
“Although there remain significant uncertainties regarding long-term climate change, the NPCC 2015 report supports the large body of evidence indicating that decision-makers are better served by consideration of the future climate risks rather than reliance on the climate of the past in development of resiliency and rebuilding programs.”
What do you think of the report that a large portion of New York City could be underwater by 2100? Do you see global warming as a major issue? What about de Blasio’s carbon emissions reduction plans? Are they enough?