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July 2024
S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

Andrew Lewin discusses a recent study that reveals major cities on the U.S. East Coast are sinking at a rate of up to 5 millimeters per year. The sinking land poses a significant risk to infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports, and pipelines. The study highlights the need for increased awareness and action to mitigate the potential damage and increased flood risks. The episode emphasizes the importance of considering sinking land alongside sea level rise and the challenges faced by cities in upgrading and adapting their infrastructure. 

Link to article: https://phys.org/news/2024-01-nyc-dc-cities-east-coast.html

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According to a recently published paper by Virginia Tech and the U.S. Geological Survey, major cities on the U.S. East Coast are sinking at a rate of up to 5 millimeters per year. This may not seem significant, but the long-term implications are concerning, especially considering the high population and infrastructure density in these areas. The study focuses on the sinking of the land itself, separate from sea level rise, which exacerbates the issue. The sinking land poses a threat to critical infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports, and levees, increasing the risk of damage from flooding and storm surges. The study highlights that this sinking land intersects directly with population and infrastructure hubs, such as New York City, Long Island, Baltimore, Virginia Beach, and Norfolk.

The authors emphasize the need for attention to this issue, as it can lead to significant damage and increased flood risks. The cost of upgrading and maintaining infrastructure in these sinking areas is expected to be substantial, and the process of making necessary changes is often complex and expensive. The study provides valuable information on the sinking of land along the U.S. East Coast, which is not being widely addressed by other sources. It serves as a wake-up call for cities to prioritize infrastructure updates and consider the sinking land when planning for the future. The sinking land, combined with rising sea levels and increased storm intensity, poses a major challenge for coastal cities and requires proactive measures to mitigate potential damage and protect vital infrastructure.

According to the podcast transcript, the sinking of land along the US East Coast is a separate issue from sea level rise. The sinking of the land, also known as subsidence, is occurring at a rate of up to five millimeters per year in certain areas, such as New York City, Long Island, Baltimore, and Virginia Beach. This subsidence is causing the land to sink, while sea levels are simultaneously rising. When these two factors are combined, it can lead to increased flood risks and damage to critical infrastructure.

The sinking of the land is a significant concern because it affects areas with high population and property density, as well as historical complacency towards infrastructure maintenance. The podcast highlights the potential impacts on roadways, runways, building foundations, rail lines, and pipelines. These infrastructure elements are at risk of damage from flooding and storm surges.

The podcast emphasizes the importance of addressing this issue, as the sinking land intersects directly with population and infrastructure hubs. For example, major airports like JFK and LaGuardia in New York City, as well as railway systems, are already being affected by subsidence rates exceeding two millimeters per year. This can lead to disruptions in transportation and increased flood risks.

The podcast also mentions the challenges and costs associated with addressing this issue. Upgrading and relocating infrastructure can be difficult and expensive, especially in larger cities. The authors of the study mentioned in the podcast emphasize the need for this information and highlight the value of the Virginia Tech team's work in providing accurate data on subsidence rates.

Overall, the sinking of the land along the US East Coast, when combined with sea level rise, poses significant risks to critical infrastructure and increases the potential for flooding. This issue requires attention and consideration from cities and governments to mitigate the impacts and protect coastal communities.

The study discussed in the episode emphasizes the importance of cities prioritizing the updating and maintenance of infrastructure based on areas of sinking land. The sinking of land along the US East Coast poses a significant risk to critical infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports, and levees. The sinking land intersects directly with population and infrastructure hubs, making it crucial for cities to address this issue to prevent potential damage and increased flood risks.

The episode mentions that the sinking land can lead to billions, if not trillions, of dollars in damages over the years. Upgrading and moving infrastructure in response to sinking land can be a costly and complex process. The episode highlights the difficulties and expenses associated with making changes to infrastructure, as mentioned by Dr. Andrew Thaler, who has experience in climate change committees.

The authors of the study argue that the sinking of land is not an intangible threat and that it affects millions of people and hundreds of thousands of properties along the East Coast. They stress the need for cities to take this issue seriously and consider the potential impacts on infrastructure and the increased flood risks.

The episode suggests that cities should use the study's findings to prioritize infrastructure updates and maintenance based on areas of sinking land. By identifying the areas that are sinking at a higher rate, cities can allocate resources and investments to mitigate the risks and protect critical infrastructure. This approach would involve considering the sinking land in combination with sea level rise and increased storm surges caused by climate change.

Overall, the episode highlights the need for cities to be proactive in addressing the sinking land issue and investing in infrastructure updates and maintenance. By doing so, cities can minimize potential damages and ensure the resilience of their infrastructure in the face of rising sea levels and increased storm intensity.

Direct download: HTPTO_E1552_USCitiesOnEastCoastSinking.mp3
Category:Coastal Resilient -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

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