Annals Publishes Report on NYC Climate Change Preparedness

The Academy publishes the first assessment report of the New York City Panel on Climate Change.

Published January 15, 2010

The New York City Panel on Climate Change, an expert body convened by Mayor Michael Bloomberg with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation to advise the City on issues related to climate change and adaptation as it relates to infrastructure, has published its First Assessment Report in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. The report details the localized effects of climate change on New York City and includes a set of workbooks to assist the City’s Climate Change Adaptation Task Force with their plans for mitigating the risks associated with rising sea levels, warmer weather, and extreme weather events.

The report was the focus of a December 2, 2009, meeting at the Academy that included Task Force members, scientists, and other key stakeholders. It was presented a week before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen to highlight the fact that cities will play a large role in climate change adaptation. Building on the International Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, the NPCC report is the first in-depth report on responses to climate change in a major city with a focus on infrastructure adaptation. According to the report, New York City will face risks such as increased street, basement, and sewer flooding, reduction of water quality, increased peak electricity loads in summer, and increased structural damage and impaired operations.

The NPCC is co-chaired by Academy member Cynthia Rosenzweig of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies/Columbia Earth Institute and NYAS Green Science and Environmental Policy Steering Committee member William Solecki of the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities at Hunter College. The panel is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.