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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Developing coastal adaptation to climate change in the New York City infrastructure-shed: process, approach, tools, and strategies

Authors:

Cynthia Rosenzweig

William Solecki

Reginald Blake

Malcolm Bowman

Craig Faris

Vivien Gornitz

Radley Horton

Klaus Jacob

Alice LeBlanc

Robin Leichenko

Megan Linkin

David Major

Megan O'Grady

Lesley Patrick

Edna Sussman

Gary Yohe

Rae Zimmerman

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
2011
Secondary Title:
Climatic Change
Pages:
93-127
Volume:
106
Year:
2011
Date:
5/2011

Abstract

While current rates of sea level rise and associated coastal flooding in the New York City region appear to be manageable by stakeholders responsible for communications, energy, transportation, and water infrastructure, projections for sea level rise and associated flooding in the future, especially those associated with rapid icemelt of the Greenland and West Antarctic Icesheets, may be outside the range of current capacity because extreme events might cause flooding beyond today's planning and preparedness regimes. This paper describes the comprehensive process, approach, and tools for adaptation developed by the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) in conjunction with the region's stakeholders who manage its critical infrastructure, much of which lies near the coast. It presents the adaptation framework and the sea-level rise and storm projections related to coastal risks developed through the stakeholder process. Climate change adaptation planning in New York City is characterized by a multi-jurisdictional stakeholder–scientist process, state-of-the-art scientific projections and mapping, and development of adaptation strategies based on a risk-management approach.