The Impact of Rising Sea Levels and Storm Surges - Malcolm Bowman
The Impact of Rising Sea Levels
and Storm Surges in the New
York - New Jersey Metropolitan
Area: Sandy and Post Sandy
School of Marine & Atmospheric
State University of New York
Benjamin Franklin’s Gulf Stream Map
Metro NJ-NY-LI: Natural ports, abundant
resources, strategic location….
Coastal areas flooded by Superstorm Sandy –
Courtesy Regional Plan Association
Welcoming but dangerous approaches to New York Harbor –
especially in sailing ship days. There’s Bill’s lightship LTV-612!
New York Harbor has two tidal
entrances – Verrazano Narrows
and the East River – and two
avenues for storm surges!
Measured sea level rise at The
Battery NYC since 1855. Slow,
steady, about 3 mm/yr or 1 ft/century.
Expected to accelerate in the
Sea level is expected to rise up to 6 ft by the end of this century.
Sources: Aalto Univ., Potsdam Institute, NASA, CNES, NY Times.
Global temperature and atmospheric CO2 are highly correlated.
Atmospheric CO2 also correlates with global human population.
The NY Times has been
closely following the rapidly
increasing melting of the
Greenland mile-high ice
Dated: May 17,
Terrifying Greenland Moulin: melt-water cascades to the base of the sheet
and lubricates the accelerating flow of the glaciers.
Dated: Feb. 15,
Source: Climate Central
Newark Airport: Google Earth-Climate Central mashup
Newark Airport: 6 ft flood Google Earth-Climate Central mashup
Business District: Google Earth-Climate Central mashup
Business District: 6 ft flood. Google Earth-Climate Central mashup
LaGuardia Airport: Google Earth-Climate Central mashup
LaGuardia Airport: 6ft flood. Google Earth-Climate Central mashup
Will this destruction
ever happen again?
In our lifetimes?
Can we protect the
region to stop it ever
happening again? Yes!
How? Next speaker
•Metropolitan New York is particularly vulnerable to flooding
due to its geographic location and low relief.
•Devastating storm surges are nothing new – but they are
expected to increase in intensity, perhaps not in frequency.
•Although a Category 3 or 4 hurricane is highly unlikely at our
latitude, we must be prepared for the worst.
•Sea level rise is slow, but insidious, expected to accelerate.
NY State has declared an “official” sea level rise of up to 6 ft
•Storm surges, sea level rise and astronomical high tides are
•New York Harbor’s unique configuration makes it amenable to
cost-effective protective measures to protect the region from
Nature’s worst attacks for at least 100 years.
Copy of this presentation
available on request
Thanks to Dan Gutman: webmaster