Right about the time Miami has turned into a barrier island, a single flood supercharged by higher sea levels and rowdier storms will overwhelm New York City's low-lying infrastructure, including its iconic subway system. It will cost $80 billion to clean up … and then it will cost another $80 billion to clean up again 10 years later. These so-called "100 year floods" (because in the past, meteorologists expected them to happen only once ever 100 years) will become commonplace, once-a-decade events, says a new report from New York State on vulnerability to climate change.
“The frequency of flooding will drastically increase, which means the cost of flooding will increase horrendously,” said Klaus Jacob, a scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
Anyone who's ever looked at New York City's terrifying storm surge map knows that things are bad enough now. But it turns out that the areas in danger represent only 11 percent of the city's streets. In the future, up to 34 percent of its streets will be in harm's way.
Venice on the Hudson, anyone?