New York City is Sinking

Air pollution risk in New York

New York: Safer indoors. Credit: Sean Pavone/

New research has found that the city of New York is sinking under the weight of all its buildings at around 1-2mm a year.

As the world’s glaciers melt away, seawater is expanding and this problem could put New York at risk of serious flooding.

Since 1950 the water surrounding New York has risen by 22 cm (9 inches) and this could mean that storms will cause more frequent flooding events by the end of the century.

New York, however, isn’t the only coastal city to face the problem of rising seas due to climate change as many coastal and seafront areas will be affected by the impact of hurricane intensity and rising seas.

The researchers say the sinking city is also due to the weight of the buildings upon it which they say weigh more than 140, million elephants and the weight is pushing downwards, and some buildings aren’t on solid bedrock but are on sand and clay

Tom Parson a geophysicist at the US Geological Survey says people have no need to panic, but the ongoing process of building on the island will eventually increase the risk of flooding.

Since 2012 New York has suffered floods and damage from both Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Ida. Mr Parson’s said New York will have to get planning for this because flooding damages property and kills people and that’s a concern.

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Written by

Julia Cameron

Julia is an ex-pat writer from Brighton living in a small village close to the Andalucian town of Priego de Cordoba. When she's not working she enjoys reading, tracing her ancestry and swimming. She especially loves the summer when she can get down to the coast and chill on the beach.