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Enhancing New York City's Resilience to Sea Level Rise and Increased Coastal FloodingThe large population and major economic assets along New York City's extensive waterfront face exposure to sea level rise (SLR) and coastal flooding. The New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), an advisory group of academic and private-sector experts, provides the city with scientific guidance on future climate risks. Here we highlight current NPCC research on sea level rise, coastal flooding, with some of the City's current and planned responses.Twentieth century SLR in New York City (2.8 cm/decade) exceeded the global average (1.2-1.9 cm/decade), underscoring a greater regional risk. In 2015, the NPCC projected a 2080s SLR of 46-99 cm relative to 2000-2004 (25th -75th percentile) at the Battery, with high-end SLR estimates (90th percentile) of 1.9 m by 2100. Growing evidence of potential instability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) suggests the possibility of even higher future sea levels. We therefore present a new low probability, yet high impact SLR scenario for New York City, which incorporates these ice sheet instabilities. The new SLR projections will be combined with coastal flood return period curves for the 100-year storm flood levels. Related ongoing research examines changes in storm characteristics, surge--sea level rise interactions, and mapping of neighborhoods at risk.Guided by NPCC findings, New York City undertakes programs to strengthen coastal defenses, tailored to specific neighborhood needs. NPCC in collaboration with the city, continues to investigate vulnerability to extreme climate events, such as inland floods and coastal storms, and to develop stronger links with community-based stakeholder groups. New York City's plans to enhance coastal urban resiliency stand as a model for other urban coastal centers as they prepare for climate change.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Gornitz, Vivien
(NASA Goddard Inst. for Space Studies New York, NY, United States)
Oppenheimer, Michael
(Princeton Univ. Princeton, NJ, United States)
Horton, Radley
(Columbia Univ. New York, NY, United States)
Bader, Daniel A.
(Columbia Univ. New York, NY, United States)
Orton, Philip
(Stevens Inst. of Tech. Hoboken, NJ, United States)
Rosenzweig, Cynthia
(NASA Goddard Inst. for Space Studies New York, NY, United States)
Date Acquired
October 30, 2018
Publication Date
August 6, 2018
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Symposium on the Urban Environment Meeting(New York, NY)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Use by or on behalf of the US Gov. Permitted.

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