Research shows that the weight of buildings is sinking in NY

Research shows that the weight of buildings is sinking in NY

Researchers at the University of Rhode Island found that the city is sinking about 2 millimeters a year

Published 05/26/2023

New York

Photo: Thomas Habr | unsplash

Researchers at the University of Rhode Island School of Oceanography released a reading where they claim that the city of New York is sinking under the weight of its many and large buildings. Large buildings in the Big Apple, as the city is known, increase the risk of flooding there.

In addition to flooding and sea level rise caused by climate change, the risk to New Yorkers is increasing because the city is sinking between 1 and 2 millimeters per year on average, with some areas reaching twice that amount. .

Image: Earth’s Future

In the study, scientists calculated the size of the city’s structures, which include the famous Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, for example, and discovered that they weigh 762 billion kilograms, the weight of about 140 million elephants.

According to the report Guardian, most of the large buildings in the city are built on shale and other types of solid rock, which reduces the chance of sinking. But many other buildings are built with a soft mixture of clay and sand, which helps the soil to loosen.

Photo: Andre Benz | unsplash

Sea level rise has been measured in New York since 1950, and since then the water around the city has risen by about 23 centimeters, according to Unfortunately, with global warming and melting ice, this number tends to grow faster and faster, if nothing is done.

“It’s not something to fear right away, but there is this ongoing process that increases the risk of flooding,” said Tom Parsons, a geophysicist at the US Geological Survey and lead author of the study, as reported by The Guardian.

“Smoother land , the greater the structural compression. It was not a mistake to build such big buildings in New York, but we have to remember that every time you build something there, you press the earth a little more”, adds Parsons.

Image: Earth’s Future

The problem of the world

Researchers warn: New York is not the only city that will face increasing risks, like cities the beach from all over the world are already facing hurricanes more extreme, the decrease and rise of the sea level, the result of human activities that caused the climate crisis.

Metropolitan cities around the world are expected to grow disproportionately compared to rural areas, with an estimated 70 percent of the world’s population living in cities by 2050. Increased urbanization may exacerbate groundwater depletion and/or congestion. of construction, which together with increasing speed. rising sea levels mean increased risk of flooding in coastal cities.

Photo: Colton Duke | unsplash

In New York, for example, NOAA Climate Program Office major flooding events projects to occur three to four times more between 2054 and 2079. According to scientists at the University of Rhode Island, the level of flood risk increases further with population density, since the city “has a large population .” a collection of 8.4 million people”.

“As these trends continue, it will be important to consider flood mitigation strategies in growing coastal cities”wrote the study authors “The weight of New York City: potential contributions to subsidence from anthropogenic sources”, published in the magazine The future of the world.