Publication Abstracts

Rosenzweig et al. 2007

Rosenzweig, C., R. Horton, D.C. Major, V. Gornitz, and K. Jacob, 2007: Appendix 2: Climate Component, 8.8.07 MTA Task Force Report. In August 8, 2007, Storm Report, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, p. 73.

The New York metropolitan transportation system is particularly vulnerable to disruption by major storms now and in the future at both inland and coastal locations. The sudden downpour on August 8, 2007 dumped 1.7 inches (43.2 mm) in one hour, with a daily total of 2.8 inches (71.1 mm) in Central Park (Barron, 2007), and caused system-wide delays. Portions of the three major airports (JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark), most area rail lines, tunnel points of entry, and many subway entrances as well as sections of some highways lie at elevations of 10 feet (3 m) or less; this elevation represents a critical threshold for coastal flooding. In the future, water heights of only 1 to 2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 m) above that which occurred during the December 1992 Nor-easter or Hurricane Donna in 1960 could result in serious inundation and even loss of life.

The worst-case scenario of a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale following a track slightly west of New York City would produce a storm surge far surpassing the 10-foot level in many places, even at present-day sea level. The region has experienced several Category 3 hurricanes in the past two centuries. Moreover, the intensity of Atlantic hurricanes appears to have increased within the past 30 years as the climate has warmed, although this could possibly reflect normal variability, rather than climate change.

With rising sea levels, not only would the New York Metropolitan Region be threatened by higher floods associated with hurricanes and other coastal storms, but the interval between floods of a given elevation could drop sharply. Significant sections of the Financial District, lower Manhattan, Coney Island, the Rockaways, and low-lying Staten Island neighborhoods could experience more frequent coastal flooding, and risks of city-wide shutdowns of the metropolitan transportation system could increase.

This report describes climate risks and vulnerabilities for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority 8.8.07 Task Force Study. The report provides a concise review of the relevant climate science; describes how precipitation, storms, and sea level are currently changing in the New York metropolitan area; presents potential future changes due to global warming; and assesses expected impacts on the transportation system. Detailed assessment is based on three key MTA facilities: Hillside Avenue, Corona/Shea Yards, and Mott Yard (Figure 1). The report has 6 parts: 1) Global Climate Change; 2) Current Trends in the Region; 3) Future Projections; 4) Historical Record of Regional Flood Events; 5) Case Studies; and 6) Conclusions and Recommendations.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Rosenzweig, C. and Horton, R. and Major, D. C. and Gornitz, V. and Jacob, K.},
  title={Appendix 2: Climate Component, 8.8.07 MTA Task Force Report},
  booktitle={August 8, 2007, Storm Report},
  publisher={Metropolitan Transportation Authority},
  address={New York, N.Y.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - ro03900e
AU  - Rosenzweig, C.
AU  - Horton, R.
AU  - Major, D. C.
AU  - Gornitz, V.
AU  - Jacob, K.
PY  - 2007
TI  - Appendix 2: Climate Component, 8.8.07 MTA Task Force Report
BT  - August 8, 2007, Storm Report
SP  - 73
PB  - Metropolitan Transportation Authority
CY  - New York, N.Y.
ER  -

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