Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hurricane Threat to the Big Apple

Powerful Hurricanes and Northeasters: Threat to the Big Apple
By Alexis Sloan Nussbaum, Research Associate, Climate Institute

This article states "According to the catastrophe-modeling and weather-risk management firm AIR Worldwide Corporation, New York City is the American city at second highest risk for potential total economic loss from nearly worst-case hurricane scenarios, preceded only by the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area of Florida."
"Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in 2005 and the four costly hurricanes that battered Florida and Alabama in 2004 would suggest that the Southeast is the region of the United States that is most susceptible to damage from major storms. However, such an assumption overlooks the enormous threat that such storms pose for the East Coast and, in particular, for New York City, which is considered to be quite vulnerable to the types of impacts that can be inflicted by hurricanes (tropical cyclones), northeasters (extratropical cyclones), and coastal flooding events. Contributing to this vulnerability are the area�s nearly 1500 miles (about 2400 kilometers) of coastline and that four out of five boroughs are islands, supported by a regional transportation infrastructure that includes approximately 2,200 bridges and tunnels. In addition, massive development and high population density make evacuation difficult and therefore put coastal residents at high risk of storm damage and loss of life."

"Despite a history of tumultuous weather, climate scientists warn that New York City�s earlier weather patterns and current climate may pale in comparison to the possible onslaught of weather-related changes being brought about by global warming, including increased temperatures and higher precipitation levels."

The article goes on to explain vunerabilities such as the flooding of subways and tunnels.

text link: http://www.climate.org/topics/weather/new_york_severe_storm_threat.shtml

No comments: