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Coastal Cities Get Ready for Climate Change Effects

Cities across the globe are bracing for the intense effects of climate change in the near future, especially coastal cities like New York City and Rio de Janeiro. Getting everyone on the same page is challenging but this week, a special webinar workshop joined New York City researchers and agencies with their counterparts 4,000 miles away in Rio de Janeiro to address SEA LEVEL RISE, INCREASED TEMPERATURES and CHANGES IN WATER QUALITY. Organizations involved include NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, the Urban Climate Change Research Network at Columbia University, New York, Rio de Janeiro City Hall, and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency. Read about it here.

The workshop shared NASA satellite data and climate models to measure how the two cities could work with up-to-date information. Coastal cities are most susceptible to sea level rise due to melting glacial ice in the polar regions, thermal expansion of ocean water, and the movement of local ocean currents, among other causes.

Cities also have to deal with extreme heat in sections known as “urban heat islands” in the center of the city where it’s warmer than the surrounding regions. City buildings hold an enormous amount of heat, further warming the city. Researchers will show how the heat content in cities can be monitored through tools such as the joint NASA and U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat 8 satellite

Water quality is also at risk from agriculture runoff and urban sewage which is a result of elevated nutrients in rivers and streams and can drastically affect health, the food chain, impact fisheries, aquaculture and tourism. The workshop used the NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and sensors on the Aqua satellite and the Operational Land Imager (OLI) aboard the Landsat 8 satellite to study water quality.

Last year UCCRN published Climate Change and Cities, a guide for city governments world wide on how to prepare for climate change. See this UCCRN video  and this  youtube video about the conference .

Comment on this article

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3 Responses

  1. Reading this blogs, make me realized that so many people are trying and fighting for a cause that the entire global are facing. New York and Rio DE Janeiro on of the biggest and most business city in wold are having issues with the sea level rising. And this is not a science fiction because, scientists and technology are proving that the sea level is rising and the water is changing, also because of the heat the agriculture is not producing the same amount as usual. This will lead the global to a crisis of aliment production. Hopefully, the world leads sign Paris agreement before they left Morocco.

  2. I think that it is good that each respective city is coming together to assists each other by way of sharing information in order for them to mitigate the problem facing them.

  3. For some who don’t believe in climate change, how would this workshop clarify or expand (convince) anyone of the dangers facing coastal cities? Has there been any recorded any coastal cities that have been devastated by climate change? Although I do believe in climate change my self I do believe that these kind of workshops are made to enhance people knowledge.

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