If CO2 levels continue to rise, stratocumulus clouds and their cooling effect could disappear, causing temps to skyrocket.
ALBANY, N.Y. – New York wants to extend its shoreline around lower Manhattan in an effort to fight off climate change and another potential flood.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced that the city intends to embark on a $10 billion plan to protect lower Manhattan, the epicenter of the financial markets and the nexus of its subway system, from the type of damage sustained during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
“Hurricane Sandy showed us how vulnerable areas like lower Manhattan are to climate change,” de Blasio said.
“That’s why we not only have to reduce emissions to prevent the most cataclysmic potential effects of global warming, we have to prepare for the ones that are already inevitable.”
The initial plan is to spend $500 million to fortify most of lower Manhattan with grassy berms in parks and removable barriers than can be installed this year when major storms approach.
But the mayor and the city’s Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency project call for a more ambitious long-term plan.
Lower Manhattan is home to the financial district, 500,000 jobs, 90,000 residents and is the hub of the regional transit system.
“It will be one of the most complex environmental and engineering challenges our city has ever undertaken and it will, literally, alter the shape of the island of Manhattan,” de Blasio said in a column in New York magazine.
The 3.3-mile shoreline in lower Manhattan, city officials said, needs to be better protected because it sits so close to sea level, just 8 feet above the waterline, and is packed with utilities and subway lines that make any coastal protections difficult to achieve.
So the proposal is to extend the shoreline into the East River by as much as 500 feet, or two full city blocks.
The new land will have high points that are 20 feet from sea-level, creating a flood barrier as the city braces for future storm surges.
It’s unclear how the city would pay for it, but de Blasio said he will advocate for the federal government to help cover the cost, saying too often funding only comes after a disaster.
Superstorm Sandy ravaged parts of the city, putting 51 square miles of it under water, damaging or destroying 17,000 homes and killing 44 people.
“It’s only when the destruction is done when the money starts to flow,” de Blasio said. “We can’t live that way anymore.”
The city’s study Thursday said the changes are desperately need.
By the 2050s, 37 percent of properties in lower Manhattan will be at risk from storm surge.
And by 2100, with over 6 feet of projected sea level rise, almost 50 percent of properties will be at risk from surge.
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