A major port city with a dense population and remarkable islands and waterways, New York faces unique environmental challenges. New York today is facing a major challenge of meeting the needs of its expanding population (with a current population of 8. 2 million people, which is estimated to grow by one million between now and 2030) with its aging infrastructure system. Although low automobile dependence help make New York among the most energy efficient in the United States, still the increasing impact of global warming in the city cannot be neglected.
Global warming is expected to cause the sea level along the northeastern U. S. coast to rise almost twice as fast as global sea levels during this century, putting New York City at greater risk for damage from hurricanes and winter storm surge. (www. PhysOrg. com) Even 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, 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.
According to the projection the global sea-level will rise 10. 2 inches based on thermal expansion alone. Considering that New York has 600 miles of coastline with half a million residents living on current flood plain, global warming is very dangerous for New York. Also, much of the metropolitan regions of New York are less than 16 feet, above the mean sea level, and a rise of 8. 3 inches in addition to the global mean rise would definitely pose a threat to this region, especially if a hurricane or winter storm surge occurs.
(Source: Florida State University). The impact of global warming is already being felt in the city. The temperatures have begun to rise and because of ‘Urban heat island effect’, New York is generally 4-7 degree Fahrenheit warmer than its surrounding areas. The snow falls have already decreased and the probability of floods, storms and hurricanes has increased. Concentrated pollution in City is leading to a high incidence of asthma and other respiratory conditions among the city’s residents. The causes of such a change in the environment are clearly known.
New York’s CO2e emissions were approximately 58 million metric tons in 2005, with 79 percent coming alone from buildings. Citywide carbon emissions have increased by about eight percent in the last 10 years, and are on trend to increase 25 percent above 2005 levels by 2030. In recent years the city has been focusing on how to lessen its environmental impact. New York already has the most energy-efficient equipment for use in city offices and public housing. It has the largest clean-air diesel-hybrid and compressed natural gas bus fleet in the country.
The city introduces various policies and rules such as switching more than 11,000 traffic lights, “Don’t Walk” signals and new energy-efficient light-emitting diodes that use 90% less energy than conventional fixtures. Over 180,000 inefficient refrigerators in public housing projects have been replaced with new ones that use a quarter of the power of the old ones. The city also makes the use of wind power for generating electricity. Conclusion Global warming as an environmental issue does not only impact one city or nation as a whole but is affecting the whole world at large.
Every human being is being from the global warming. There is a gradual increase in health problems and a decline in the availability of our natural resources. Apart from the Government initiatives, it is the responsibility of every citizen to lessen the impact of global warming. The use of private vehicles should be minimized and public transport be used. Car pooling can be a very important method for reducing individual use of car. More over instead of using petrol as fuel compressed natural gas can be a better alternative.
Simple steps like turning vehicle off at traffic signals would lead to less carbon emissions in the environment. The use of air conditioners and electronics should be curtailed. Also, the article attached, clearly shows the extent of the climatic change, which the New York City is facing today. As I belief every small step in the direction can help us to make New York city more eco friendly city. Journal: Sea Level Rise Due To Global Warming Poses Threat to New York City ScienceDaily (Mar. 16, 2009) — Global warming is expected to cause the sea level along the northeastern U.
S. coast to rise almost twice as fast as global sea levels during this century, putting New York City at greater risk for damage from hurricanes and winter storm surge, according to a new study led by a Florida State University researcher. Jianjun Yin, a climate modeler at the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) at Florida State, said 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.
Yin’s study is published in the journal Nature Geoscience. “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. “
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. The contribution from the land ice melting was not assessed in this study due to uncertainty. 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.
Potential flooding is just one example of coastal hazards associated with sea-level rise, Yin said, but there are other concerns as well. The submersion of low-lying land, erosion of beaches, and conversion of wetlands to open water and increase in the salinity of estuaries all can affect ecosystems and damage existing coastal development. Although low-lying Florida and Western Europe are often considered the most vulnerable to sea level changes, the northeast U. S.
coast is particularly vulnerable because the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) is susceptible to global warming. The AMOC is the giant circulation in the Atlantic with warm and salty seawater flowing northward in the upper ocean and cold seawater flowing southward at depth. Global warming could cause an ocean surface warming and freshening in the high-latitude North Atlantic, preventing the sinking of the surface water, which would slow the AMOC.Sample Essay of Custom-Writing