New York City is sinking due to pressure from its skyscrapers, says new research

ByAdarsh Kumar Gupta
May 19, 2023 12:12 AM IST

The study reports that the situation is alarming as it makes the city vulnerable to natural disasters.

New York is well-known as the city of skyscrapers. But one of its biggest USP might turn into a bane and the reason for its doom. As per a research cited by the New York Post, the sky high buildings which number more than 1 million and weigh nearly 1.7 trillion pounds, are causing the city to sink.

New York City(Getty Images)
New York City(Getty Images)

As per the research published in scientific journal Earth’s Future, experts calculated the pressure New York's buildings exert on the mixture of clay, sand, and slit on which the city sits. Their research suggests that New York is sinking at a rate of one to two millimeters per year on average. Areas like Lower Manhattan are sinking at a faster rate.

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The study reports that the situation is alarming as it makes the city vulnerable to natural disasters.

“New York faces significant challenges from flood hazard; the threat of sea level rise is 3 to 4 times higher than the global average along the Atlantic coast of North America … A deeply concentrated population of 8.4 million people faces varying degrees of hazard from inundation in New York City,” the report reads.

“Repeated exposure of building foundations to salt water can corrode reinforcing steel and chemically weaken concrete, causing structural weakening,” the research paper states.

The research paper points towards the grave risks from coastal flooding and Hurricanes like Sandy and links to it the sinking phenomenon.

“New York City is ranked third in the world in terms of future exposed assets to coastal flooding,” the paper reads, and “90% of the 67,400 structures in the expanded post–Hurricane Sandy flood risk areas have not been built to floodplain standards.”

Notably, in 2012, Hurricane Sandy resulted in the intrusion of seawater into the urban environment. In 2021, Hurricane Ida raised loopholes in the city's drainage infrastructure.

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