Can Cities Adjust to a Retreating Coastline?

The main idea of this article talks about if it is possible for us to adapt to a “retreating” coastline. A twenty billion dollar plan to grid New York City against the effects of storm surges and rising sea levels in a warming climate. In the New York there is discussion on the topic deciding where to cut off and grid where cities would end, and the rest would belong to nature. It would also protect the homes of many people being affected greatly by natural disasters. Klaus Jacob, an earth scientist at Columbia University has been asking for the necessary urban design approach “managed retreat”. This means that he thinks it is vital that the city develops a grid system where coastlines would be adjusted. Hurricane Sandy affected his home. Scientists say that there will be no new “normal” coastlines for millenniums. Even a decrease in greenhouse gasses will not fix it. Anders Levermann, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (with others), calculated that reducing the amount of carbon dioxide produced by humans can decrease “the “locked in” amount of eventual sea rise”. What worries  most is how cities residing near coastlines are going to adapt to the changes in a new warming climate. Flooding is a big issue. Urbanization will negatively affect the coastlines and flooding will become a bigger issue than it already is. In “Melting Ice = Rising Seas? Easy. How Fast? Hard” talks about scientist studying the future of ice sheets of Greenland and West Antarctica have a hard time determining how long until we have until the ice sheets completely melt, and the fate of cities near coastlines. Adapting to the coastlines can reduce the amount of disasters occurring but cities will become vulnerable to defense and most systems can fail. This is also another topic that relates to Florida.

Population: urbanization, climate change

Hana Borhani

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