New York should begin preparing for scorching summers, frigid winters and severe flooding according to a 600-page report called ClimAID, which is the result of a three-year study conducted by scientists from Columbia University, Cornell University and City University of New York.
The risks associated with sea level rise and coastal flooding are among the greatest climate-related challenges faced by New York State, affecting public health and ecosystem as well as critical infrastructure across many sectors including water, energy transportation, and telecommunication, the report says in its conclusion. Heat waves and heavy downpours will also affect many people and sectors.
Aside from the heat waves, heavy downpours, coastal flooding and summer droughts that the study predicts, it also tries to forecast how changes in the climate will affect environments around New York. The team of scientists also advises policymakers on how to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The scientists explain several possible outcomes of urban development actions: For example, increased use of air conditioning is an adaptation to reduce heat-related illness and death in the health sector as well as to reduce heat stress on livestock in the agriculture sector, says the study. However, such a strategy would increase peak summer energy use, increasing demands on both energy and water resources. If increased tree planting is used to reduce urban heat, it will be important to plant low-pollen tree species because allergenic pollen is on the rise I in warmer, higher-CO2 world.
The example shows just how tangled urban policy and climage change mitigation can be. By trying to resolve one problem, it's easy to start another. According to the New York Times, the study's authors have said the report is the most detailed study that examines the effects of climate change.