Nowadays, New York City is hit with a six-and-a-half-foot flood of seawater once every 100 years or so. By the end of this century, thanks to climate change, that could happen every three to 20 years, says a new analysis from researchers at MIT and Princeton.
New York City’s seawalls are about five feet high, so that’s more than enough to overwhelm them. Plus, plenty of Long Island — including Brooklyn — has no real sea walls at all.
Scientists have already visualized what flooding on this scale could look like. It will take centuries for the concrete canyons of Wall Street to turn into the canals of Venice, but these storm surge events are likely to cause billions in damage in the meantime.
It’s also worth noting that the researchers used the IPCC’s projections of future “moderate” carbon output as the basis for their models. And we already know that the IPCC’s predictions are alarmingly conservative.