Addressing Sea Level Rise in Nyc Essay

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Introduction Coastal areas are extremely vulnerable to climate change, particularly rising sea level. During the last century, sea level rose 5 to 6 inches more than the global average along the eastern coast of the United States. Sea levels will continue to drastically rise due to an increase in the Earth’s average temperature. The projected rise in temperature causes the melting of ice caps and glaciers and thermal expansion of oceans. It is estimated sea levels will rise 0.1 m by 2030 and 0.5 m by 2100 (IPCC 2007). Rising sea levels overflow wetlands, erode beaches, escalate flooding, and increase the salinity of rivers and bays. New York City, the largest city in the United States, houses 8.3 million people in its five boroughs. This densely populated coastal region will be directly affected by sea level rise. As sea levels rise, the risk of flooding occurs through direct inundation and as a result of increased storm surge height due to higher sea levels. The New York City region will experience a projected sea level rise of .6 m by 2030 and 1m by 2050. In fact, a storm surge could potentially flood this coastal area by as much as 2.7 m in 2050. Nor'easters, striking 1-2 times a year, do most of the damage. Severe storms also cause major flooding every 40 to 50 years (Neumann 2003). With these projected statistics, New York City will witness immense damage to coastline and infrastructure accompanied by an increase in fatalities. New York City has over 600 miles of coastline. Four of the five boroughs are on islands connected to the mainland by 88 of the 2200 NYC bridges and tunnels. Entry to tunnels and subways lie less than or near 10ft above sea level. Sea level rise will contribute to temporary and permanent flooding of infrastructure closely connected to waterways. Much of NYC infrastructure is the largest, oldest, and busiest in the world, including

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