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The Impact of Rising Sea Levels and Storm Surges - Malcolm Bowman


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Presentation from NY/NJ Metropolitan Storm Surge Working Group Conference, May 18, 2017

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The Impact of Rising Sea Levels and Storm Surges - Malcolm Bowman

  1. 1. The  Impact  of  Rising  Sea  Levels   and  Storm  Surges  in  the  New   York  -­ New  Jersey  Metropolitan   Area:  Sandy  and  Post  Sandy Malcolm  Bowman School  of  Marine  &  Atmospheric   Sciences State  University  of  New  York Stony  Brook
  2. 2. Metro   NY-­NJ:   what  a   great   place  to   live,  work   and  play!
  3. 3.­york-­1764-­french-­indian-­war-­era-­bellin-­map/ Benjamin  Franklin’s  Gulf  Stream  Map
  4. 4. Metro  NJ-­NY-­LI:  Natural  ports,  abundant   resources,  strategic  location….
  5. 5. Courtesy  Regional  Plan   Association
  6. 6. Coastal  areas  flooded  by  Superstorm  Sandy  – courtesy  WNYU
  7. 7. Courtesy  Regional  Plan  Association Welcoming  but  dangerous  approaches  to  New  York  Harbor  – especially  in  sailing  ship  days.  There’s  Bill’s  lightship  LTV-­612!
  8. 8. New  York  Harbor  has  two  tidal   entrances  – Verrazano  Narrows   and  the  East  River  – and  two   avenues  for  storm  surges!
  9. 9. 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   decades  ahead.
  10. 10.­level-­rise-­the-­new-­york-­times-­got-­the-­story/ 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.
  11. 11. Global  temperature  and  atmospheric  CO2  are  highly  correlated.
  12. 12. Atmospheric  CO2  also  correlates  with  global  human  population.
  13. 13. The  NY  Times  has  been   closely  following  the  rapidly   increasing  melting  of  the   Greenland  mile-­high  ice   sheet. Dated:  May  17,   2017
  14. 14. Terrifying  Greenland  Moulin:  melt-­water  cascades  to  the  base  of  the  sheet   and  lubricates  the  accelerating  flow  of  the  glaciers.
  15. 15.­iceberg-­climate-­21167 Dated:  Feb.  15,   2017. Source:  Climate  Central
  16. 16. Newark  Airport:  Google  Earth-­Climate  Central  mashup
  17. 17. Newark  Airport:  6  ft  flood  Google  Earth-­Climate  Central  mashup
  18. 18. Business  District:  Google  Earth-­Climate  Central  mashup
  19. 19. Business  District:  6  ft  flood.  Google  Earth-­Climate  Central  mashup
  20. 20. LaGuardia  Airport:  Google  Earth-­Climate  Central  mashup
  21. 21. LaGuardia  Airport:  6ft  flood.  Google  Earth-­Climate  Central  mashup
  22. 22. The  Great  New  England  Hurricane  of  1938
  23. 23. Superstorm  Sandy  – 1,100  mile  diameter  monster.  Source:  NOAA
  24. 24.­surveys-­hurricane-­sandy-­damage-­provides-­power-­from-­solar-­truck/ Will  this  destruction   ever  happen  again?   Yes! In  our  lifetimes? Probably! Can  we  protect  the   region  to  stop  it  ever   happening  again? Yes! How? Next  speaker   please!
  25. 25. Summary •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   by  2100. •Storm  surges,  sea  level  rise  and  astronomical  high  tides  are   additive. •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.
  26. 26.­york-­1764-­french-­indian-­war-­era-­bellin-­map/ Historic  maps   are  always   fascinating. Thank  you! Copy  of  this  presentation   available  on  request
  27. 27.­Surge_Barrier Thanks  to  Dan  Gutman:  webmaster