DNY: Landscapes in New York
Term Paper – Rising Sea Levels and PlaNYC
Ban Ki-moon once said, “Climate change does not respect border; it does not respect who you are - rich and poor, small and big. Therefore, this is what we call 'global challenges,' which require global solidarity.” This quote shows how we as a world must work together to try and slow down climate change because it is something that is affecting us all, and eventually will distress us all in a very drastic manner, due to climate change leading to more natural disasters and extreme living conditions no matter where you are. On a smaller scale, we as New York citizens must work together to prevent climate change, and something that applies to us much more directly, rising sea levels. We as a city have already seen the problems caused by climate change and these rising sea levels in some of the low lying neighborhoods here in the city, more specifically when Hurricane Sandy ended up in New York City and left many of us New Yorkers without electricity, and some even without homes. Scientific researchers at NASA had started predicting our rising sea levels and what effects it would have on our city in 2006, and published an article stating what problems we as a city are going to face such as flooding. In 2007, New York City’s government responded to our environmental problems by creating PlaNYC, an initiative to slow down climate change and perhaps look towards the future and change New York for the better, being able to be much more efficient with our energy and trying to slow down and perhaps even stop rising sea levels and climate change. After four years, the city government revised PlaNYC and improved upon it greatly, making it an amazing plan for the future of New York City to prevent climate change. It is a great plan that will include great ways for us to avoid having rising sea levels that could lead to the shutdown of our subway systems and the destruction of many of our buildings of low laying neighbourhoods.
Rising sea levels are a problem that us New Yorkers along with the rest of the world have been facing for a very long time. Our sea levels have been rising significantly and this could ultimately lead to a huge natural disaster here in New York City. We have seen glimpses of what these rising sea levels can do when we as a city experienced Hurricane Sandy, leaving many New Yorkers without electricity, and some without homes. In 2006, NASA published an article talking about how much our sea levels in the metropolitan New York area are projected to rise in the future if society keeps on its current course. “A study conducted by Columbia University scientists for the U.S. Global Change Research Program in 2001 looked at several impacts of climate change on the New York metropolitan area, including sea level rise. The researchers projected a rise in sea level of 11.8 to 37.5 inches in New York City and 9.5 to 42.5 inches in the metropolitan region by the 2080s” (NASA). These sea level changes are quite alarming and are due cause for panic because of how low laying parts of New York City are…if we continue on this course, our mainland city, the island of Manhattan and it’s port at Battery Park could be flooded soon. “With sea level at these higher levels, flooding by major storms would inundate many low-lying neighborhoods and shut down the entire metropolitan transportation system with much greater frequency,” (NASA). With the rising sea levels here in New York, we are at greater risk for hurricane storm surges and these storms will flood our low lying neighbourhoods (many central parts of Lower Manhattan around Battery Park) and all this flooded water would end up in our subway systems, creating chaos in a city that relies on this public transportation. Without our subway system functioning, I truly do believe that we would not be able to function as a society in New York. Our city relies so heavily on the subway system that if it...
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