On Providing the Climate Risk Information that supported New York City's Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Thursday, 6 February 2014: 11:15 AM
Georgia Ballroom 2 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Daniel Bader, Columbia University, New York, NY; and C. Rosenzweig, R. M. Horton, V. Gornitz, and W. Solecki

Hurricane Sandy caused devastating impacts to the built and natural environment in New York City Metropolitan Region. Despite being forecast well in advance and with many preparations taken in ahead of landfall, damages from the storm in New York City alone are estimated at $19 billion, and 43 New Yorkers lost their lives. As severe as Sandy was, the the storm could have been much worse, had the City not had a long history of recognizing climate risks, with many impacts being identified many years in advance.

In the wake of this transformative storm, the rebuilding process in New York is being informed by the potential for a changing climate. The $20 billion Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR) Plan for New York is grounded upon climate risk information provided by the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC). This expert panel, tasked with advising on the City on climate-related issues, completed a 'rapid response' climate assessment with updated climate projections and coastal flood maps.

The revised climate projections and maps, developed using Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase (CMIP5) climate model data and a revised, cutting edge sea level rise methodology (that incorporates global and regional components based on a blend of models, observations, and expert judgment), continue to illustrate the City's vulnerability to warming temperatures and rising sea levels. Heat waves, heavy downpours, and coastal flooding are all very likely to increase in frequency in the future.

As New York City continues to plan for a changing environment, Hurricane Sandy reinforces the need to incorporate climate risks. Post-Sandy, the meteorological community has an opportunity to providing a wealth of additional scientific data that can be utilized by city decision-makers.