Climate Change Issues
what is global climate change?
There is a scientific consensus that concentrations of greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere are increasing due to human activities
and that this is affecting current and future climate at the
global scale. In the New York metropolitan region, climate
change is likely to lead to warmer temperatures and more heat
waves, more droughts and floods, and accelerated sea-level
rise. Although it is not known how quickly climate change will
occur and what its eventual magnitude will be, there is evidence
that climate changes are already occurring. Scientists project
that these changes are likely to accelerate as the twenty-first
century progresses. These issue briefs focus on providing
key information related to global climate change and its potential
effects on the New York metropolitan region, and on responses
for regional decision-makers and the general public.
Impacts: how will climate change affect the New York metropolitan region?
The impacts of climate change will be felt throughout the
New York metropolitan region. In these questions and answers, we emphasize
the coastal and transportation
sectors, and also discuss briefly energy and public health impacts.
The region’s coastal environments and communities are particularly
vulnerable to storm surges and flooding, which are projected to occur more
in the future. The extensive low-lying transportation infrastructure,
which is vital to the region’s economy, is also at particular risk.
Preparing for a Different Future: Adaptation
Limiting Future Climate Change: Mitigation
Decision-making that recognizes the importance of climate change
could help to maintain or improve quality of life in the New
York metropolitan region. Preparing to adapt to climate change
by taking steps to protect
coastal communities and infrastructure could reduce future damages
associated costs. Taking steps to slow down greenhouse gas emissions
and to enhance the sequestration of carbon dioxide could eventually
curb climate change. Decisions made by public agencies, the private
sector, and individuals are important in how the region experiences
and could contribute to its reduction.
|The CCIR-NYC was developed under a grant from the National
Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to
the Center for International Earth Science Information
Network (CIESIN), Columbia University, with the collaboration
of Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Hunter College.