New York prepares for climate change
The Coney Island Shoreline, as well as all of New York City, will benefit from climate change studies
June 8, 1999
Web posted at: 3:00 PM EDT
New York City now has a tool for fighting future environmental challenges. Early results from a study conducted by Cynthia Rosenzweig, a researcher at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, will help scientists and local government leaders in New York City make a plan to moderate future climate change.
The project, sponsored by several federal agencies and NASA, is part of the U.S. National Assessment on the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. Rosenzweig says the study, Climate Change and a Global City: An Assessment of the Metropolitan East Coast Region, will allow scientists and government officials in the 31-county area that is metropolitan New York to handle environmental concerns like water supply, public health, coastal erosion and wetlands.
An advantage to the study is that New York City will gain scientific analysis from the research teams that can be turned into useful information to take action against environmental woes affecting the city.
For instance, New York City public water supply planners and hydrologists discovered that sea-level rise is eroding the shoreline and is predicted to increase the salt level in the city's drinking water supply.
Another team, made up of the New York City Department of Health staff and climate researchers is studying the affects of climate change on asthma patients. Studies are also being conducted on how urban heat island affect in the city. Urban heat islands occur because asphalt and concrete absorb and retain more heat than vegetation, causing the city to be warmer than surrounding green areas. The increased temperatures create smog, which enhances asthma and other respiratory conditions.
The project will also address wetland conservation. Aerial photography and remotely sensed data have enabled city planners and researchers to see changes in the city's wetland areas over the past 20 years. Information gathered from this study will determine whether climate change caused the wetland areas to grow or shrink.
The National Assessment includes 20 regional projects focused on agriculture, coastal areas and marine resources, forests, human health and water resources. The regional reports include data collected between 1997 and 2000. Results from the next 25-30 years as well as 100 years will also be compiled into results for a national synthesis.
Copyright 1999, Environmental News Network, All Rights Reserved
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New York City
American Geophysical Union
Goddard Institute for Space Studies
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