The Impact of Climate Change on Brooklyn

636 words | 3 page(s)

Because I live in Brooklyn, New York, and I am surrounded by the ocean, I have many fears about global climate change since we have been significantly affected by the last few hurricanes that hit the New York City area. Global warming and rising sea levels are having a tremendous impact on Brooklyn already, and this was most evident following Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The threat concerns me because the shoreline that surrounds Brooklyn was substantially eroded after that storm, and it is clear that storms are getting more violent and intense so that I worry that there will be more and more damage to Brooklyn and other areas that are surrounded by water.

I think that we are particularly vulnerable to the threat of global warming because of our proximity to the ocean. The storms have gotten worse and more intense and frequent, so not only is this problem being remedied but it is getting worse because the weather is so frequently the major story here. Serious flooding occurs during significant storms, and I worry that New York as it currently exists will not be able to survive these serious climate changes. Even though there is a real question relating to whether or not Brooklyn will be able to survive, I’m not sure that there is evidence that there has been enough serious attention paid to this problem.

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A remedy to this problem would be to strengthen the coastlines, solidify the structure of the buildings including and especially housing, and make sure that the critical infrastructure is sound enough to withstand extreme weather conditions. Following some of the major storms, officials in Brooklyn stated that areas like the southern shore of Brooklyn were meant to have natural barrier islands in order to prevent such flooding from occurring. However, Brooklyn is not going to able to avoid being a coastal city because of the changes in climate that it been occurring for the last few decades. In the meantime, there have been some temporary precautions taken such as getting boilers out of the basements of public housing developments (Frishberg.) However, there are many more prevention methods that have been undertaken by the city of New York in order to avoid such catastrophes in the future. These include adding 950,000 trees and 6,000,000 ft.² of rooftop that is reflective as well as upgrading building codes to anticipate flooding, wind, and other extreme weather conditions.

There are several prevention measures that have been taken in order to avoid weather-related disasters. These include making billions more resilient in order to protect the population, especially vulnerable children, senior citizens, and people with respiratory issues. There also have been recommendations to evaluate the risks of flooding at various schools that are close to the shoreline. In addition, threat vulnerability was conducted in relation to certain populations with special needs, such as the elderly and children without stable home environments, i.e. a lack of caretakers to protect them from weather-related incidents by providing them with information about how to respond to natural disasters and making sure that families have contingency plans to address such emergencies.

At the local level, there are a range of strategies to avoid flooding and other weather-related problems caused by hurricanes and other extreme weather events. These include: conducting flood assessments at public housing and senior residences and facilities to decide when and whether evacuations are necessary (NRDC, 2014.) In addition, critical infrastructure such as water and waste treatment facilities, must be protected and reinforced as well is being made more resilient in the event of future weather-related disasters. At the federal level, FEMA has a significant role in the developing flood zones that are resilient to climate change, and to limit the worst effects of climate change, thereby reducing pollution has played such a substantial role in causing climate change.

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