New York City At Greater Risk For Damage Due To Global Warming

by Aruna on  March 17, 2009 at 11:40 AM Environmental Health   - G J E 4
 New York City At Greater Risk For Damage Due To Global Warming
A new study has suggested that global warming is expected to cause the sea level along the north-eastern U.S. coast to rise almost twice as fast as global sea levels during this century.
This would put New York City at greater risk for damage from hurricanes and winter storm surge.

The study was led by Jianjun Yin, a climate modeler at the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) at Florida State University, US.

According to Yin, there is a better than 90 percent chance that the sea level rise along this heavily populated coast will exceed the mean global sea level rise by the year 2100.

The rising waters in this region, perhaps by as much as 18 inches or more, can be attributed to thermal expansion and the slowing of the North Atlantic Ocean circulation because of warmer ocean surface temperatures.

Yin and colleagues Michael Schlesinger of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Ronald Stouffer of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University are the first to reach that conclusion after analyzing data from 10 state-of-the-art climate models, which have been used for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report.

"The northeast coast of the United States is among the most vulnerable regions to future changes in sea level and ocean circulation, especially when considering its population density and the potential socioeconomic consequences of such changes," Yin said.

"The most populous states and cities of the United States and centers of economy, politics, culture and education are located along that coast," he added.

The researchers found that the rapid sea-level rise occurred in all climate models whether they depicted low, medium or high rates of greenhouse-gas emissions.

In a medium greenhouse-gas emission scenario, the New York City coastal area would see an additional rise of about 8.3 inches above the mean sea level rise that is expected around the globe because of human-induced climate change.

Thermal expansion and the melting of land ice, such as the Greenland ice sheet, are expected to cause the global sea-level rise.

The researchers projected the global sea-level rise of 10.2 inches based on thermal expansion alone.

"Considering that much of the metropolitan region of New York City is less than 16 feet above the mean sea level, with some parts of lower Manhattan only about 5 feet above the mean sea level, a rise of 8.3 inches in addition to the global mean rise would pose a threat to this region, especially if a hurricane or winter storm surge occurs," Yin said.

Source: ANI

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