Monday, October 30, 2006

Coney Island: Sunk by Thor Global Warming

It's bad enough that developer Thor Equities is shutting down rides and throwing people out long before it ever moves a shovel of dirt or has its Coney Island plan approved. But, imagine that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach when we tripped across the following headline Global Warming + Hurricane = Goodbye Coney Island. It comes from, which is Xinhua, the Chinese news agency, and we found it thanks to a blog called Weather News, which is produced by Elaine Meinel Supkis. Here's a taste of the Xinhua story:
A new computer model using data collected from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Hurricane Center reveals a substantial rise in sea levels during the next century caused by global warming, combined with a hurricane, and New Yorkers could kiss Coney Island goodbye.

Researchers also said the Rockaways, much of southern Brooklyn and Queens, portions of Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, lower Manhattan and eastern Staten Island, from Great Kills Harbor north to the Verrazano Bridge could be submerged.

Sea level around the city could climb 15 to 19 inches by 2050 and by more than three feet by 2080, according to the model. "With sea levels at these higher levels, flooding by major storms would inundate many low-lying neighborhoods and shut down the entire metropolitan transportation system with much greater frequency," said study team member Vivien Gornitz of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University in New York.
This is really an extension of a story we posted on Friday about hurricanes and rising sea levels--and, of course, the writer's in the People's Republic don't know that some people are already kissing Coney Island goodbye--but it's still interesting to note Thor's new luxury condo highrises could be in the water rather than waterfront at some point in the not unspeakably distant future. (Nature always gets the last laugh.)

The blog from which this all came goes on to describe in some detail the history of erosion in Coney and environs, including relating the story of the Brighton Beach Hotel, which was moved on rails away from the shoreline to prevent it from being swallowed up by the sea.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Whole Foods on the Gowanus thinks some kind of modern bulkhead is going to protectect them from sea level rise!

Or did they cut some kind of deal with mama nature too?

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeanne said...

Fascinating.... so that underwater Coney Island scene from the movie "AI: Artificial Intelligence" wasn't too far off the mark.

8:47 AM  

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