“If you want to survive an earthquake, don’t buy a brownstone,” he once cautioned me, citing the catastrophic potential of a long-dormant fault line that runs under the city.When Mayor Bloomberg announced nine years ago an initiative to plant a million trees, Jacob thought, For the past 15 years or so, Jacob has been primarily preoccupied with a more existential danger: the rising sea.
“If you want to survive an earthquake, don’t buy a brownstone,” he once cautioned me, citing the catastrophic potential of a long-dormant fault line that runs under the city.When Mayor Bloomberg announced nine years ago an initiative to plant a million trees, Jacob thought, For the past 15 years or so, Jacob has been primarily preoccupied with a more existential danger: the rising sea.Tags: Unusual Research Paper TopicsFashion Institute Of Technology Essay PromptEmerson Culture EssayGcse Poetry Essay QuestionsEssay.Com/Ef-Contributor-PageA Restaurant Business Plan
At three feet, though, a tide of blue covered Hudson River Park and West Street.
Four feet, five feet: The blue crept east along Canal, toward the entrance to the Holland Tunnel.
I tried to convince her as a scientist, but I’m married to her.” Jacob had taken some protective steps, raising the house’s foundation two feet above the FEMA flood line, and hoped for the best.
Every year, summer through fall, Jacob would closely monitor reports from the National Hurricane Center, and he followed Sandy online as it blew in from the Caribbean. “This tide gauge, the next tide gauge.” When Sandy hit New York City, as a mammoth cyclone more than a thousand miles in diameter, a wall of water rushed over Staten Island and the Rockaways and up through the Narrows.
The latest scientific findings suggest that a child born today in this island metropolis may live to see the waters around it swell by six feet, as the previously hypothetical consequences of global warming take on an escalating — and unstoppable — force.
“I have made it my mission,” Jacob says, “to think long term.” The life span of a city is measured in centuries, and New York, which is approaching its fifth, probably doesn’t have another five to go, at least in any presently recognizable form.Jacob took a look at the readings from Battery Park, showing an unprecedented 14-foot storm surge, and resigned himself to the inevitable. “My wife was sitting on the stairs, watching the water coming under the door and up through the floorboards,” Jacob said.“I was sleeping, because I knew within half a foot where the water would go.” No one is very good at acting on the unthinkable. No serious thinker doubts this man-made reality any longer. Try as we might to contemplate how New York City might go under, our imagination fails us.High tides will spill over old bulkheads when there is a full moon. All the commercial skyscrapers, housing, cultural institutions that currently sit near the waterline will be forced to contend with routine inundation.And cataclysmic floods will become more common, because, to put it simply, if the baseline water level is higher, every storm surge will be that much stronger.Looking elsewhere, the blue covered parts of La Guardia and JFK airports, the Williamsburg waterfront, Roosevelt Island, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Strauss told me that even the supposedly manageable increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius envisioned by the Paris Agreement would translate to around ten feet of eventual sea-level rise.When I clicked up to ten feet, much of Battery Park City, the Lower East Side, and Brooklyn’s waterfront was submerged.Outside, Jacob noticed a neighbor hanging up some early holiday decorations. Despite his acute awareness of risk, he had chosen to make his home on a lane that bordered a grassy marsh.Sitting in his third-floor office, with classical music playing softly in the background, Jacob recounted how he had purchased the house after his wife, an artist, fell in love with it.Instead, Jacob has said, the city will become a “gradual Atlantis.” The deluge will begin slowly, and irregularly, and so it will confound human perceptions of change.Areas that never had flash floods will start to experience them, in part because global warming will also increase precipitation.