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What are the facts about Sea Level Rise in NYC?
Fortunately for investors in FWPC, New York City enjoys unique geological and environmental conditions, enabling it to become the first global city equipped to cope with Sea Level Rise (SLR). The forecasted figures of SLR currently stand at over 40 inches in the New York Bay Area by the 2080 timeslice. This figure is likely to double during the 22nd century.

What data does FWPC rely on for its business model?
FWPC's business agenda relies on factual data defined by several scientific examinations and NYC's municipal authority plans. FWPC will lead top private sector climate change practitioners to identify opportunities and develop profitable strategies for the adaptation of infrastructures and residential areas to SLR in the greater New York City region's 2400 km of shoreline. [1]

In 2009 the Mayor of New York City announced the release of New York City-specific climate change projections developed by the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NNPC), comprising scientists and legal, insurance, and waterfront management experts. The panel responded to the changes that the evolving environment of New York City is subjected to by outlining the city's comprehensive sustainable plan (PlaNYC) and by forming the city's Climate Change Adaption Task Force on issues related to climate change impacts and adaptions. [2]

The NNPC projects that by the end of the century New York City's annual temperature is projected to increase by 4 to 7.5 degrees fahrenheit. Annual precipitation is also projected to increase by 5 to 10 percent, and sea levels to rise by 12 to 23 inches. Recent evidence, including accelerated ice melt in Greenland and Antarctica, guarantee that sea levels will rise at a faster rate than projected by the existing models – unavoidably between 41 and 55 inches by the end of the century.

Why is the New York City region prone to Sea Level Rise?
Future Water Proof Corp. has based its plans toward the successful implementation of SLR-related projects in New York City on the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC found four pivotal Sea Level Rise components [3] deemed possible in the future:

1) Local land subsidence
2) Local water surface elevation
3) Global thermal expansion
4) Meltwater from glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets

Each IPCC component in detail:

1) Local land subsidence in the New York City area is primarily the result of glacial isostatic collapse of the peripheral bulge, in response to the removal of the ice sheets in Canada (where the land has been and still is rising). The net effect of this process results in a lowering of the land surface in this region. [4]

2) Local water surface elevation is determined by local and regional ocean circulation, atmospheric pressure, and ocean density (mainly related to temperature, but with a salinity component). Among these local terms, ocean circulation has the largest impact on local sea level elevation at climate time scales. The IPCC (2007) reports that the near-coastal north west Atlantic is likely to experience local sea level rise if the Meridional Overturning Circulation and Gulf Stream weaken this century, as predicted by many GCMs. Inclusion of this term generally increases sea level rise projections for the New York City region. [5]

3) Thermal expansion is driven directly by rising global temperatures, as heat in the lower atmosphere is transferred to the oceans. This phenomenon is due to the the greenhouse gases associated with fossil-fuel combustion. Atmospheric concentrations of the major greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) are now more than one-third higher than in pre-industrial times. [6]

4) The meltwater from glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Higher temperatures directly cause loss of ice mass through surface melting. The factors for the acceleration of the ice melt are: basal melting of land based ice sheets, often associated with the formation of meltwater ponds (this water travels down moulins, i.e. crevasses at the surface extending to depth, and lubricates the base of the glacier, allowing it to slide toward lower elevations and the sea); weakening of coastal ice serving as a dam for land ice, due to thinning from below caused by a warming ocean; and increases in precipitation have the potential to offset surface melting. [7]

Click here to download the original document of the New York City Panel on Climate Change,
published on 17.Feb.2009

result in inundated areas (blue) in lower Manhattan

Map of lower Manhattan in the 2090.
[Click on the picture to enlarge the map.]

A sea-level rise of 50 inches would result in inundated areas (blue) in lower Manhattan in a statistically typical one-hundred year global warming event, based on present sea levels. Source: Rosenzweig and Solecki, 2001; data based on USGS, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Marquise McGraw, NASA GISS

[1] Future Water Proof Corp. guarantees the application of the guidelines of the The Adaptation Assessment Checklist (AAC) guides and The Climate Protection Levels (CPL) policies, rules and regulations which govern infrastructure to determine how they could be affected by climate change.

[2] The NPCC is chaired by Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University Earth Institute’s Center for Climate Systems Research, and Dr. William Solecki of CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities at Hunter College.

[3] An example of the application of the four-component method is described by the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group (2008), in which the four global and local components are discussed in detail. Other assessments and studies that have included the local/regional water elevation term are UKCIP (2002), and Walsh et al (1998). Previous use of similar methods for the New York City region includes the generation of scenarios for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP 2008; Rosenzweig et al., 2007). The method is currently in use in other projects including the New York State Sea Level Rise Task Force, and The Nature Conservancy sea level rise adaptation project for parts of Long Island.

[4] Local land subsidence (in the New York City region due chiefly to glacial isostatic adjustments) is derived from relevant studies (Peltier, 2001; Peltier’s ICE-5Gv1.2 ice model (2007) http://www.pol.ac.uk/psmsl/peltier/).

[5] Local water surface elevation terms are derived directly from the AR4 coupled Atmosphere-Ocean GCMs that have outputs enabling sea level rise to be projected.(see Lowe and Gregory, 2006 for more discussion of the relationship between the circulation and regional sea level rise; Gregory, 2001 provides discussion for additional regions).

[6] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was formed in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide objective and up-to-date information regarding the changing climate. In its 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), the IPCC stated that there is a greater than 90% chance that warming temperatures since 1750 are primarily due to human activities.

[7] The ‘rapid ice-melt’ scenario developed by the NPCC for the New York City region takes into account the potential for a substantial increase in the rate of melting based on recent observations of accelerated icemelt, new scientific understanding of icemelt dynamics, and paleoclimate studies. The projections suggest ~5-10 inches of sea level rise by the 2020s, ~19-29 inches by the 2050s, and ~41-55 inches by the 2080s. These estimates are comparable to other recent esitmates, including Pfeffer et al. (2008) and Grinsted et al. (2009).


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