According to a new NPCC climate change report released this week, NYC’s climate future is going to be increasingly hot and perilously wet. The paper, which is the first of its kind to provide climate predictions for the city until 2100, estimates that the Big Apple and surrounding areas will be hit with higher temperatures, dramatically higher sea levels, and more rainfall and flooding over the next 85 years.
The New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) report, entitled Building the Knoweldge Base for Climate Resiliency, was put together by a group of leading scientists working to study the future impact of climate change on New York. The information revealed in the report will be used to implement new resilient strategies for the city’s infrastructure.
Using a NASA climate model, climate projections for the city include rising temperatures, heavy rainfall and flooding. According to NPCC estimates, temperatures in the New York area are expected to rise 4.1 to 5.7 degrees by the 2050s. In fact, the findings indicate that, by mid-century, NYC could be exposed to at least five heat waves a year, compared to the current average of two. Additionally, the city will see temperatures of 90 degrees and over during the year with the mercury rising to 100 degrees three to five days a year, basically tripling what the city experiences currently.
According to one of the NPCC’s panel members and Columbia University Scientist Radley Horton,“We expect temperatures to increase, precipitation likely to go up as well, and an acceleration of sea level rise. Sea level rise alone is going to increase the flood risk.”
Regarding the city’s flooding potential, the report reveals that sea levels in the area will increase 11 to 21 inches by the 2050s, gradually increasing up to 22 to 50 inches by 2100. These increases will also cause the city’s flood zones to double in size, eventually covering 99 square miles of the city.
The combination of heavier and more frequent rainfall mixed with higher sea levels will convert many NY neighborhoods such as Queens and Brooklyn into high-risk zones, with potential daily flooding due to high tide levels. With memories of Hurricane Sandy’s havoc still very fresh on the city’s mind, the thought of higher sea levels and subsequent flooding is quite alarming.
“The projections we’re hearing about today assume that we don’t act,” said Dan Zarrilli, director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency. “The good news here is that we as a city are continuing to act.”
According to the NY Daily News, the mayor’s plan to avert a potential flood crisis includes an arsenal of strategic flood protection systems for the Lower East Side, shoreline upgrades in Coney Island, armored levees in Staten Island’s Midland Beach as well as adding 4.15 million cubic yards to city beaches among other resiliency programs throughout the city.
Via NY Daily News