Vulnerable NYC gets jump-start on global warming fight
New Yorkers have put up with some odd weather this year. Inches upon inches of rain. An unseasonably warm fall.
Are these indicators of global warming? It’s too soon to tell, climate experts say, but there’s reason to be worried.
”These are indicative of the kinds of changes associated with climate change,” said Cynthia Rosenzweig, co-chairwoman New York City Panel on Climate Change.
Low-lying and home to 8 million, New York is susceptible to inland flooding, rising sea levels and heat waves in the longterm, according to the panel.
The panel, formed as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative for sustainability, has recommended adjusting disaster response plans and building codes — among other actions — to prepare.
If adopted, New York’s plan, made to be adaptable as environmental conditions and scientific findings evolve, would make it a leader among other cities worldwide, said Rosenzweig, who is also a senior research scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
The city’s research already is lauded worldwide. “We have a friendly rivalry with London,” she said.
In a step backward for environmentalists, however, the mayor last week dropped plans to mandate renovations and make some buildings more energy-efficient. Building owners said the requirements would be too costly.