As seen on Gizmodo and Curbed NY the interactive “Surging Seas” maps by Climate Central depicts what New York City would look like if global temperatures rose 2 degrees by the end of the century. And for New York City, that’s not so promising. As you’ll see from these maps, more than waterfront condos getting flooded, much of the city’s major infrastructure will too from an approximately 20 foot sea level rise in this scenario.
Fortunately for downtown Manhattan’s waterfront, the “Dry Line,” formerly the “Big U” from Bjarke Ingels’ architecture firm is already in the works to protect 10 miles. The project was one of the winners of the Rebuild by Design competition following Hurricane Sandy. Brooklyn and Roosevelt Island need some attention too, with nearly all of the latter underwater (bad news for the new Cornell campus) and almost all of Greenpoint–basically anywhere in Brooklyn along Newtown Creek.
Hunts Point Produce Terminal, which accounts for 60% of the produce sales in New York City would also be fully underwater, a prospect that could have happened during Hurricane Sandy. The schedule of the tides and the timing of the storm spared the terminal, that time. LaGuardia Airport, built on landfill, as well as much of Rikers Island would also be underwater:
JFK Airport and all of the low-lying communities along Jamaica Bay, Rockaways and Coney Island are also at significant risk, and further north the notoriously dirty Gowanus Canal floods on regular heavy rain days:
The good news is that a lot of people and organizations are already working on these vulnerable areas, from the Rebuild by Design competition from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the New York City’s Vision 2020 plan, and the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance with its new WEDG Principles.
For a more humorous look at a very terrifying prospect, what New York City would look like if sea levels rose 100 feet.