New York’s Skyscrapers are Sinking the City
The weight of the more than one million buildings in the city is causing the city to sink at a rate of 1-2 millimeters a year.
The weight of New York City’s skyscrapers is causing the city to sink, according to a new report.
Research from Advancing Earth and Space Science, an international nonprofit association, found that the weight of the more than one million buildings in the city is causing the city to sink at a rate of 1-2 millimeters a year. The rates are even higher in some parts of the city.
The report noted that much of lower Manhattan only lies between one and two meters above sea level.
Sea level rise means the Big Apple faces accelerating flooding risk and the sinking could make things worse.
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The researchers warned that New York is emblematic of growing coastal cities all over the world facing a growing flooding hazard.
The 8.4 million people in the city face varying degrees of risk.
The report noted that two recent hurricanes caused casualties and heavy damage in New York City.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy forced seawater into the city. Heavy rains from Hurricane Ida in 2021 overwhelmed drainage systems because of heavy runoff within the mostly paved city.
The authors said their goal was to raise awareness that every additional high-rise building constructed at a coastal, river or lakefront setting could contribute to future flood risk, and that mitigation strategies may need to be included.
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