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HomeScienceStudy finds New York sinking due to its own weight.

Study finds New York sinking due to its own weight.


An aerial view showing the skyline of Lower Manhattan, New York City on August 5, 2021.

If New York is the city that never sleeps, how is this to keep you awake at night? It also sinks.

A new study finds that the Big Apple is gradually being held back by the weight of the skyscrapers that make the Concrete Jungle famous.

The researchers noted that subsidence makes the city more vulnerable to rising sea levels and coastal flooding caused by climate change.

The newspaper, published this month in Earth’s future magazine, to estimate how the city’s vast infrastructure affects subsidence.

Subsidence is the sinking of land mass due to natural processes such as erosion or human activity such as mineral extraction.

Geologists have calculated that more than a million buildings in New York add up to a total mass of 1.68 trillion pounds (762 billion kilograms) of downward pressure on the Earth.

CNN said that was the equivalent of 1.9 million Boeing 747-400s fully fueled.

The report concluded that America’s financial capital is sinking at an average rate of one to two millimeters per year.

The study added that some areas built on softer rocks or artificial landfills were subsiding by four and a half millimeters per year.

Lead author Tom Parsons told AFP that building fewer skyscrapers would not solve the problem.

“The main cause of subsidence in New York and along much of the East Coast is tectonic and unstoppable,” said the USGS geophysicist.

A general aerial view shows the skyline of Midtown Manhattan, New York City on August 5, 2021

A general aerial view shows the skyline of Midtown Manhattan, New York City on August 5, 2021.

The subsidence is set to exacerbate the impact of sea level rise caused by rising temperatures and the melting of the world’s ice caps.

Sea Level Rise.org says water levels around New York are nine inches higher than they were in 1950.

The city government projects that the surrounding waters will rise between eight inches (20 cm) and 30 inches by 2050.

The country is spending billions of dollars building seawalls, raising roads, and improving drainage to mitigate the risks.

But low-lying areas have already felt the brunt of the devastating floods caused by the severe storms.

Hurricane Sandy in 2012 killed more than 40 New Yorkers, destroyed nearly 300 homes and left tens of thousands of people without power.

Hurricane Ida in 2021 left more than a dozen dead in New York City, after many of them were unable to escape flooding cellars.

Parsons said it was impossible to say when parts of New York would flood, but it will.

“It is very difficult to predict even a hard time, because while subsidence of the city is relatively constant, projections of sea level rise are uncertain and depend on projected future rates of greenhouse gas emissions,” he told AFP.

New York isn’t the only cosmopolitan city that is sinking.

The subsidence and rising water levels have raised fears that Venice might one day be completely submerged.

Jakarta is sinking at an alarming rate due to over-extraction of groundwater, prompting Indonesia to resettle its capital.

more information:
Tom Parsons et al., New York City Weight: Potential Contributions to Subsidence from Anthropogenic Sources, Earth’s future (2023). DOI: 10.1029/2022EF003465

© 2023 AFP

the quote: New York Sinks Under Its Weight: A Study (2023, June 3) Retrieved June 3, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-05-york-weight.html

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