Climate Risk Information (New York City)

This 2009 report ("the CRI") by the New York City Panel on Climate Change is designed to help New York City decision-makers better understand climate science and the potential consequences for city infrastructure. Mayor Bloomberg convened leading climate change experts to advise the City's Adaptation Force.  This report is one of three reports produced for the Task Force.  This report provides climate change projections for the and vulnerabilities to critical infrastructure

The CRI contains information on key climate hazards for New York City and the surrounding region, likelihoods of the occurrence of the hazards, and a list of initial implications for the city’s critical infrastructure. This report offers observed climate change impacts and future projections regarding air temperature, sea-level rise, precipitation, extreme events, and coastal flood and storms, and ends with suggestions for monitoring and assessing these impacts.

The report summarizes key changes that can be expected in the New York City region based upon global climate models including:

  • warmer temperatures -- an increase of 1.5 to 3 degrees F by 2020s, 3 to 5 degrees by 2050, and 4 to 7.5 degrees by 2080
  • increased precipitation -- an increase of 0 to 5 percent by 2020s, 0 to 10 percent by 2050s, and 5 to 10 percent by 2080s.
  • rising sea levels - a 2 to 5 inch increase by 2020s, 7 to 12 inches by 2050s, and 12 to 23 inches by 2080s and 41 to 55 inches under a rapid ice-melt scenario.
  • more exteme events - more frequent heat waves that are more frequent, intense and longer in duration; more heavy downpour events, more storm-related coastal flooding, and more severe droughts.  

The report also summaries potential impacts to infrastructure, including:

  • heat-strain on materials
  • increased demand on electricity 
  • increased street, basement, and sewer flooding
  • reduction in water quality
  • inundation of low-lying areas and wetlands
  • increased structural damaged and impaired operations for flooding and sea-level rise. 

To monitor infrastructure impacts, the report recommendations consideration of:

  • combined-sewer overflow events
  • flooding and associated damages
  • climate-related power outages
  • indirect impacts, such as ecosystem changes.



Publication Date: February 17, 2009

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Radley Horton
  • Megan O'Grady

Related Organizations:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment

States Affected:


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