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Climate change, ecotoxicology and flood resiliency in New York

A review of climate science basics, climate change in NY, ecotoxicology and flooding, communities working toward resiliency, flood adaptation and how to get involved.

Presented to NYU Ecotoxicology graduate level course, 2014

Audience: graduate students

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Climate change, ecotoxicology and flood resiliency in New York

  1. 1. Climate change, ecotoxicology and flood resilience in New York NYU Ecotoxicology Class November 11, 2014 Libby Murphy NYS  Department  of  Environmental  Conserva5on  
  2. 2. Hudson River Estuary Program Core  Mission   •  Ensure  clean  water     •  Protect  and  restore  fish,  wildlife,  and  their   habitats     •  Provide  water  recrea5on  and  river  access     •  Adapt  to  climate  change     •  Conserve  world-­‐famous  scenery    
  3. 3. Roadmap •  Climate science basics •  Climate change in NY •  Ecotoxicology and flooding •  Communities working towards resiliency •  Flood adaptation •  How to get involved
  4. 4. Basics of climate science
  5. 5. What is climate? •  Longer-term average weather •  Part of larger planetary system •  “You dress for the weather and build a house for the climate” •  “Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get”
  6. 6. The Climate System & GH Effect
  7. 7. What does climate change mean?
  8. 8. Why is the climate changing?
  9. 9. How do we know? •  Greenland ice cores, detailed 800K year record of CO2 •  Instrumental record since 1850 •  Rapid warming since 1910
  10. 10. What are the impacts of climate change?
  11. 11. Climate change in New York
  12. 12. Changes to our climate Increasing temperatures • Rising sea level • Changing precipitation patterns
  13. 13. Increasing temperatures Since  1970:   • Global  annual  average  temp.  up  nearly  1°F     • US  annual  average  temp.  up  1.8°F     • New  York  annual  average  temp.  up  nearly  2°F   • New  York  winter  temperatures  up  almost  5°F    
  14. 14. y  =  0.0262x  -­‐  1.346   R²  =  0.37491   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   1895   1900   1905   1910   1915   1920   1925   1930   1935   1940   1945   1950   1955   1960   1965   1970   1975   1980   1985   1990   1995   2000   2005   2010   Annual  Mean  Temperature  (F)   Year   Annual mean temperature in Poughkeepsie has been increasing
  15. 15. Increasing temperatures
  16. 16. Sea level rise Historic:   • 15”  in  NY  Harbor  in  the  past  150  years    
  17. 17. Changing precipitation patterns •  74% Increase in heavy downpours between 1950-1979 and 1980-2009 •  More variability and volatility
  18. 18. 20   25   30   35   40   45   50   55   60   65  1895   1900   1905   1910   1915   1920   1925   1930   1935   1940   1945   1950   1955   1960   1965   1970   1975   1980   1985   1990   1995   2000   2005   2010   Annual  Precipita8on  (inches)   Year   Annual rainfall in Poughkeepsie has become more variable
  19. 19. So how will this affect us? Ø Heat waves Ø Short-term drought Ø Flooding
  20. 20. Heat waves
  21. 21. Short-term drought •  Higher  temperatures,   increased  evapora5on   •  Reduc5on  in  steady  rain   and  snow  precipita5on    
  22. 22. Flooding •  Intense  precipita5on   •  Sea-­‐level  rise   •  Intense  storms  
  23. 23. Sea Level Rise Mapper by Scenic Hudson hp://www.scenichudson.org/slr/mapper  
  24. 24. HRECOS
  25. 25. Ecotoxicology •  Oil spills •  Sediment •  Ecosystem •  WWTP •  Wetland migration
  26. 26. We need to productively adapt to our changing climate •  Climate adaptation = reducing the effects of climate change •  Ecologically enhanced and natural solutions provide additional benefits
  27. 27. Resilience
  28. 28. Flooding adaptation
  29. 29. Flooding Adaptation Strategies • Fortify • Accommodate • Strategically Relocate
  30. 30. Fortify Levee, New Orleans, LA Seawall, Beacon, NY
  31. 31. Elevated structures with flood gates, Hamburg, Germany Accommodate Floodable park concept, NYC
  32. 32. Riverwalk Park, Tarrytown Accommodate: Use green infrastructure to reduce water energy Brooklyn  Bridge  Park  
  33. 33. Steelhouse  restaurant,  Kingston,  NY   Local example of accommodation
  34. 34. Strategic Relocation Natural shoreline with gazebo, Cold Spring Wetland with walkway concept, Toronto, Canada
  35. 35. Current  Marsh  Zone   Future  Marsh  Zone  
  36. 36. Redesign: Win-Win Engineering •  lower cost •  maintains ecosystem services •  adapts to sea level rise
  37. 37. Current situation
  38. 38. Sandy and Irene: two different storms • Irene: extreme rain event • Sandy: extreme storm surge at height of spring tide • The Perfect Storm? Irene plus Sandy
  39. 39. Hurricane  Irene  (2011)                    Hurricane  Sandy  (2012)    
  40. 40. Kingston  waterfront  low  8de   E Strand in Kingston
  41. 41. Kingston  waterfront   Simula8on:  elevated  sea  level  (4’)  at  low  8de     4’ of Sea Level Rise
  42. 42. Kingston  waterfront     Simula8on:  elevated  sea  level  (low  8de),  armored  protec8on     Example of Fortify
  43. 43. Kingston  waterfront     Simula8on:  elevated  sea  level  (low  8de),  vegetated   revetment,  floodproofed  buildings   Example of Accommodate
  44. 44. Kingston  waterfront     Simula8on:  elevated  sea  level  (low  8de),  strategic  retreat   Example of Strategic Relocation
  45. 45. Participatory Mapping
  46. 46. Year  2100,  With  High  Sea  Level  Rise  and  a  100-­‐year  Storm   1%  Probability  of  Occurrence  in  Any  Given  Year     Total  Damage  for  this  Event:          $39.9  Million   Damage  to  Wastewater  Treatment  Plant:  $27.6  Million     •  Lost  Value  Due  to  Sea  Level  Rise   •  Lost  Value  Due  to  Sea  Level  Rise  +  Storm  Surge   Cumula8ve  Expected  Damages  by  2100   With  High  Sea  Level  Rise  =  $126  Million  
  47. 47. 100  Year  Storm  in  2060   Buildings  Damaged  by  Storm  Surge  from  this  Single  Event  (Height  of  Bar  indicates  rela5ve  damage  amount)   Buildings  Permanently  Inundated  due  to  Sea  Level  Rise  by  this  Year,  if  No  Ac5on  is  Taken   Extent  of  Flooding  from  this  Event     COAST: cost benefit tool
  48. 48. You can get involved •  We need many policy makers, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and much more •  We need people involved in local government •  We need people making smart decisions day to day
  49. 49. Recap •  The global average temp is rising •  Climate change is the regional and local impacts •  Our climate is changing more rapidly in NY •  Flooding is serious risk to Hudson River communities •  Flooding poses eco toxicology risks •  Adapting to flooding and becoming resilient is our goal •  Communities are already stepping up as leaders •  You can get involved
  50. 50. Questions? Thank you. Libby  Murphy   Hudson  River  Estuary  Program   Phone:  (845)  256-­‐3016   Email:  Elizabeth.murphy@dec.ny.gov   NYS  Department  of  Environmental  Conserva5on  

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