YORK - June 29 - A report released today by the Environmental Defense
Fund (EDF) details the potential impacts of uncontrolled global warming on the
New York metropolitan region. The report, Hot
Nights in the City: Global Warming, Sea-Level Rise and the New York Metropolitan
Region, projects a major increase in 90 degree-plus days in the summer
that can lead to an increase in heat-related mortalities among the region's most
vulnerable populations. In addition, uncontrolled warming can result in significant
sea-level rise, which can cause repeated flooding of New York's roads, subways
and airports. Ironically, hotter summers also increase the risk of drought, which
means it may become necessary to draw upon the Hudson River for drinking water
"The New York region of
the future could be flooded with problems if the US doesn't take action to cut
greenhouse gas emissions now," said Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, EDF chief scientist.
"Our children and grandchildren could be faced with 90 degree-plus days nearly
all summer long. Heat waves of such persistence and intensity would pose a grave
health threat for the very young, the elderly and the impoverished." In 1995 there
were 500 weather-related deaths during a Chicago area heat-wave.
"The New York of tomorrow
must be protected by prudent action today. The US Senate should begin to take
action addressing this problem, which will impact on New Yorkers and all Americans,"
said Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY).
"Coastal areas, including
my home on Long Island, already suffer from frequent coastal storm damage, and
this report suggests that sea-level rise associated with climate change could
only make this problem worse. A number of companies are interested in taking voluntary
action to address this issue. We need to encourage those companies and clear out
any impediments to their moving forward," said Congressman Rick Lazio (R-NY).
"The infrastructure that
keeps the New York region going, Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Airports, the train,
subway and automobile tunnels are all at serious flood risk in a greenhouse future,"
said Dr. Janine Bloomfield, an EDF scientist and principal author of the study.
"Weather related shut-downs of these facilities could become the rule, rather
than the exception, if global warming is not controlled."
The report is available
free at www.edf.org/hotny and was prepared
by EDF based on scientific contributions from Columbia University scientists and
The Environmental Defense
Fund, a leading national, NY-based nonprofit organization, represents 300,000
members. EDF links science, economics, and law to create innovative, equitable,
and economically viable solutions to today's environmental problems.