LifestyleNew York sinking: skyscrapers' weight and climate change put the city under threat

New York sinking: skyscrapers' weight and climate change put the city under threat

New York is sinking into the ground
New York is sinking into the ground
Images source: © Licensor | Mihai Simonia

8:33 PM EST, January 22, 2024

The city that never sleeps, known for its myriad opportunities, might soon grapple with significant challenges. According to geodesic analyses, the city's rapid subsidence, primarily due to the skyscrapers' weight, alarms scientists.

An article unveiled in the early May edition of the journal 'Earth's Future' outlined New York's sinking pace. The latest studies, it suggests, leave no room for doubt. The recorded average rate of city subsidence sits at 0.04-0.08 inches annually.

The weight of the buildings is a core influencer of this phenomenon. As per scientific studies, the most susceptible boroughs include Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, strategically positioned at the Hudson River estuary and its meeting point with the ocean.

The Issue taken Lightly by the Authorities

As per recent reports, the city's sinking pattern, considering it's essentially based across multiple islands, is precipitated not only by the significant weight of the constructions but also by natural factors.

Rampant urbanization, notably in the city's eastern section, leaves it vulnerable to natural disasters. Greenhouse gas emissions also contribute to the issue. Damage within the city in the past has been caused by calamitous events such as hurricanes that struck New York in 2012 and 2021. While the initial catastrophe resulted in seawater intrusion, Hurricane Ida, nearly a decade later, disrupted the city's sewer systems due to heavy rainfall-induced outflows.

National Geographic highlights that based on published research, 90 percent of recently constructed buildings fail to comply with flood prevention standards. Despite global media coverage, the New York authorities appear to be downplaying the severity of the issue.

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