Article

Climatic Change

, Volume 106, Issue 1, pp 93-127

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

  • Cynthia RosenzweigAffiliated withNASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Email author 
  • , William D. SoleckiAffiliated withHunter College of City University of New York
  • , Reginald BlakeAffiliated withCity University of New York, New York City College of Technology
  • , Malcolm BowmanAffiliated withState University of New York, Stony Brook
  • , Craig FarisAffiliated withAccenture
  • , Vivien GornitzAffiliated withColumbia University
  • , Radley HortonAffiliated withColumbia University
  • , Klaus JacobAffiliated withColumbia University
  • , Alice LeBlanc
    • , Robin LeichenkoAffiliated withRutgers University
    • , Megan LinkinAffiliated withSwiss Reinsurance America Corporation
    • , David MajorAffiliated withColumbia University
    • , Megan O’GradyAffiliated withColumbia University
    • , Lesley PatrickAffiliated withHunter College of City University of New York
    • , Edna SussmanAffiliated withSussman ADR, LLC
    • , Gary YoheAffiliated withNASA Goddard Institute for Space StudiesWesleyan University
    • , Rae ZimmermanAffiliated withNASA Goddard Institute for Space StudiesNew York University

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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.