The New York City Panel on Climate Change 2015 just released its latest report. The reporttracks climate change trends in the NY metropolitan region. it offers an overview that “annual temperatures are hotter, heavy downpours are increasingly frequent, and the sea is rising.” These indications mirror global climate change trends, all of which are expected to worsen because of high concentrations of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) trapped in the atmosphere. GHGs are caused by burning fossil fuels and clear cutting forests. The New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC)is a group of U.N.-sponsored scientists who study the impacts of global warming on the metropolitan area and provide projections through the year 2100. Some of those projections include:
- Sea level rise in New York City are expected from 11 to 21 inches by the 2050s, 18 to 39 inches by the 2080s, and, for the worse case, 6 feet by 2100.
- Mean annual temperature has increased at a rate of 0.3°F per decade (total of 3.4°F) over the 1900 to 2013 period in Central Park.
- Mean annual precipitation has increased at a rate of approximately 0.8 inches per decade (total of 8 inches) over 1900 to 2013 in Central Park.
- Sea level rise in New York City has averaged 1.2 inches per decade
- Temperatures are projected to increase by 4.1 to 5.7°F by the 2050s and by 5.3 to 8.8°F by the 2080s
- precipitation increases from 4 to 11 percent by the 2050s and 5 to 13 percent by the 2080s.
- The frequency of heat waves is projected to triple by the 2080s
The NPCC2015 report is not only an assessment but considers how climate change will impact city residents on a day to day basis. For example, the report looks at potential health risks related to increasing temperatures, heat waves and flooding from coastal storms can increase the chance water/food-borne illnesses, as resulted from Hurricane Sandy 2 years ago. Additional health concerns are more respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and compromised mental health.
In December 2014, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio issued “One City, Built to Last,” a plan calling for government and private buildings to be retrofitted to reduce energy consumption by 2025. City based buildings are believed to emit 75 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Key Scientists and stakeholders on the NYPCC include: Cynthia Rosenzweig (Co-chair), NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA GISS) and Columbia University Earth Institute, Center for Climate Systems Research (Columbia EI CCSR), William Solecki (Co-chair), City University of New York, CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities (CUNY CISC), Reginald Blake, CUNY, New York City College of Technology,Malcolm Bowman, SUNY, Stony Brook, Andrew Castaldi, Swiss Reinsurance America Corporation, represented by Megan Linkin, Craig Faris, Accenture, Vivien Gornitz, Columbia EI CCSR/NASA GISS Klaus Jacob, Columbia Earth Institute, Alice LeBlanc, Consultant, Robin Leichenko, Rutgers University, Edna Sussman, Sussman ADR, LCC, Gary Yohe, Wesleyan University, Rae Zimmerman, New York University, Katherine Greig, New York City Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, NOAA Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN) Technical Team, among others.