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.