The student news site of Baruch

The Ticker

The student news site of Baruch

The Ticker

The student news site of Baruch

The Ticker

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

New study reveals New York City is sinking at alarming rate

UN Photo/Manuel Elias
United Nations Photo | flickr

A NASA study released on Oct. 3 revealed that the surface level in New York City is changing at an alarming rate. The study found that the city’s countless skyscrapers were not the cause of the environmental problem.

In order to gather that data of this phenomena, the study used high-resolution satellite images to analyze the ground elevation covering 300 square miles of the city.

“The city has long dealt with coastal flooding from both hurricanes and extratropical storms, but as seen with Superstorm Sandy in 2012, storm surges associated with severe weather events are becoming more destructive because of ongoing sea level rise,” the study authors said. “The relative rise in sea level during the 20th century resulted in an additional $8.1 billion in damages from Sandy than would have occurred a century prior.”

The reasoning for some of the sinking goes back to ancient times, specifically the Ice Age period according to Gizmodo. A majority of the United States was covered in ice and much of NYC sits on land that was once slightly elevated and is now returning down, NASA explained in a post.

“Much like a mattress, if you push down, you get a sort of depression underneath the mattress and then a bulge on the edge,” Robert Kopp, the co-author of the study and co-director of the Rutgers University Office of Climate Action, explained.

The bulge then goes back up once the weight is lifted off the mattress.

The study highlighted specific areas of the city and beyond that are experiencing an alarming rise in sea levels. Between 2016 and 2023, some neighborhoods in Queens experiencing sinking include the LaGuardia Airport and Arthur Ashe Stadium areas, the latter being home to the U.S. Open.

Brett Buzzanga, a postdoctoral researcher at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology told ABC News that when the Arthur Ashe Stadium was constructed, it was outfitted with a lightweight cloth roof because the sinking land is unable to support the weight of a regular constructed roof.

Buzzanaga also added that mass removal of water from underground aquifers could play a factor in the increasing sinking levels.

Areas beyond NYC have also experienced sinking. For instance, Highway 440 and Interstate 78 were discovered to be sinking at faster rates than the surrounding areas.

The release of NASA’s study coincides with the consequences of the city facing a worsening climate crisis, including heavy rainfall. NYC has been met with rainfall leading to flash flooding in subway stations, highways and airports on more than one occasion.

New Yorkers who were caught in the flooding during the week of Sept. 29 had to combat through several inches of water in airport terminals, NBC New York reported.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jahlil Rush
Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant
Jahlil Rush is a Production Assistant for The Ticker.
Donate to The Ticker

Comments (0)

All The Ticker Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

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