Did you know that some major cities on the East Coast are literally sinking. According to a Virginia Tech study, cities like New York and Washington DC are sinking. These places are sinking faster than the global sea level rise!
Cities such as New York City, Baltimore, and Virginia Beach and Norfolk are particularly hard hit by this problem.
This is causing the land near the ocean to sink, which is increasing the risk to important infrastructure like roads, railways, airports, and pipelines.
A research team from Virginia Tech and the U.S. Geological Survey used satellite data to measure the sinking of the land and created digital maps to show where important infrastructure is at risk.
They found that the land in a large area of the East Coast is sinking at least 2 millimeters per year, with several areas along the mid-Atlantic coast sinking more than 5 millimeters per year. This is more than the current global rate of sea level rise, which is 4 millimeters per year.
The problem is not just that the land is sinking. The problem is that the hotspots of sinking land intersect directly with population and infrastructure hubs. This sinking land can cause problems like building collapse, damage to roads, gas, and water lines, and increased flooding, especially when combined with sea level rise caused by climate change.
For example, significant areas of critical infrastructure in New York, including JFK and LaGuardia airports and its runways, along with the railway systems, are affected by the sinking at a rate exceeding 2 mm per year.
This sinking land problem affects more than 2 million people and 800,000 properties on the East Coast.
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