Awesome, that's exactly what New York needs.
Bad news for New Yorkers: the Big Apple appears to be sinking a little deeper into the Earth each year, under the unfathomable weight of its iconic skyscrapers.
A new study published in the journal Earth's Future finds that the geological process of subsidence, in which sediments shift and settle, seems to be occurring rapidly in specific parts of NYC, including the just-at-sea-level area of Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn and Queens as well.
Overall, wrote researchers from the United States Geological Survey and the University of Rhode Island, New York is sinking at one to two millimeters per year— though in those particular problem areas, the situation seems to be worse.
As with everything else, this sinking doesn't happen in a vacuum. The further New York descends, the more vulnerable it becomes to climate change-related catastrophes, too, with 2012's Hurricane Sandy serving as a cautionary tale.
"New York faces significant challenges from flood hazard; the threat of sea level rise is 3 to 4 times higher than the global average along the Atlantic coast of North America," the team behind the paper wrote. "A deeply concentrated population of 8.4 million people faces varying degrees of hazard from inundation in New York City."
Lower East Side
NYC isn't alone among coastal cities that are sinking more and more each year. In 2021, one of the same researchers from the US Geological Survey found similar results in San Francisco.
"New York is emblematic of growing coastal cities all over the world that are observed to be subsiding," the new paper notes, "meaning there is a shared global challenge of mitigation against a growing inundation hazard."
As it often goes with these sorts of alarm-raising studies, Parsons and his team don't really give much in the way of solutions for the problem, even as they note that more and more people move to coastal urban regions each year.
"Globally," the paper concludes, "populations who live in subsiding cities will face rising seas at rates up to four times faster than stable regions."
So yeah, New York is sinking a bit more each year, which sucks for the many millions of people who call it home, not to mention the millions more projected to move to it in the coming years.
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