Climate Change and the City
A look at how climate science can help New York City prepare for the next major weather event.
Published November 12, 2012
As the New York City metropolitan area continues cleanup and recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many are raising questions about the relationship between climate change and this devastating weather event. In addition, many are wondering how the city can better prepare for the future.
In recent years the Academy has convened numerous meetings addressing the impacts of climate change on New York City, as well as looking at the specific ways that major infrastructure, such as the subway, can be changed in order to reduce damage during storms and floods. Below is a selection of eBriefings, Annals volumes, and podcasts that explores some of these topics and reviews existing research on climate change and the city.
More than half the world's population now lives in cities, and the rate of urbanization is accelerating. Cities produce roughly between 40% and 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. They are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The limited success of the December 2009 Copenhagen climate negotiations heightens the urgency of cities' efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. New York City has emerged as a global leader on this front. This conference was co-hosted by the Academy and the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC).
The New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) was convened by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in August 2008 as part of PlaNYC, the city's long-term sustainability plan. This Annals volume presents the NPCC report, including New York City-specific climate change projections; tools to help entities identify climate vulnerabilities and develop adaptation strategies; and recommendations on how to foster an effective climate resilience program.
The New York metro area—with its dense population, concentration of essential infrastructure systems, and high-value buildings—is particularly vulnerable. Today, city government, the Port Authority, and private insurers are developing risk management tools for identifying, assessing, and managing risks posed by climate change. This eBriefing contains insights from local stakeholders on complex climate adaptation issues—some of which are beyond the realm of past experience—and how decisions about adaptation are being made.
Facing the Elements: Transportation System Resilience in an Era of Extreme Weather and Climate Change
This eBriefing addresses how New York City is building resilience into its transportation infrastructure in order to mitigate the potential impact of extreme weather events.
According to the New York City Panel on Climate Change, global warming could have a big impact on the five boroughs. Three experts discuss the Panel's recent findings and tell us what weather and policy changes to expect.
Seismic records from ocean wave patterns and iceberg behavior around the world are being analyzed for the first time. Geophysicist Rick Aster describes what his data can tell us about our warming planet.
Responding to Climate Change in New York State: The ClimAID Integrated Assessment for Effective Climate Change Adaptation Final Report
The ClimAID assessment presented in this volume provides information on climate change impacts and adaptation for eight sectors in New York State: water resources, coastal zones, ecosystems, agriculture, energy, transportation, telecommunications, and public health. Download the free report.
The main outcome of the study presented in this Annals volume is that flood-zoning policies, flood insurance, and building codes are powerful tools for controlling future land use, and hence the potential vulnerability of land to flood risks.