Cities along the East Coast are sinking

Cities along the East Coast are sinking

Here’s a new card for your Climate Change Bingo card. Major cities along the Atlantic Coast are sinking, Virginia Tech News reports, at rates in some areas exceeding global sea level rise. A research published by researchers from Virginia Tech in PNAS Association He analyzed radar data sets to monitor land subsidence (which occurs when the Earth’s surface sinks) along the East Coast. Large parts of the rise stabilized at at least 2 mm per year, while coastal land areas in the mid-Atlantic were sinking more than 5 mm per year, faster than the global annual sea level rise rate (4 mm). While speaking in millimeters may seem insignificant, the study’s lead author, Leonard Ohnen, warns that “it may be gradual, but the effects are real.”

Land subsidence is not friendly to roads, railways, airports and dams, all of which will be affected by different rates of subsidence. The problem is “sunken land hotspots” that are critical for infrastructure, says Ohnen, a graduate student at Virginia Tech’s Earth Observation and Innovation Laboratory. “For example, large areas of critical infrastructure in New York, including JFK and LaGuardia airports and their runways, along with rail systems, are affected by subsidence rates exceeding 2 mm per year,” he says. He and his team used data points from space-based radar satellites to measure changes over several years, then created a terrain map that highlights places where infrastructure is at risk from falling elevation. In addition to New York, other affected cities included Baltimore, Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

“The implications of these now and in the future are potential damage to infrastructure and increased flood risk,” Ohnen says. Groundwater extraction and sediment compaction from urban weight are examples of human-induced factors in urban areas. Newsweek He notes that this is hardly limited to the East Coast. Across the world, any land that touches water, especially low-lying coastal areas and small island states, is particularly vulnerable. “As sea levels continue to rise, coastal areas are at risk of flooding, coastal erosion, and salinization of soils and water sources,” says UN University senior scientist Zita Sepesvari. “Erosion and flooding can damage infrastructure, homes and businesses, and even displace people from their homes.” (Indonesia plans to replace its sunken capital.)

(tags for translation) American cities

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *