NYC Is Sinking Under The Weight Of Its Buildings, Geologists Warn

According to lead researcher and geologist Tom Parsons of the United States Geological Survey, NYC is sinking under the weight of its buildings.

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The city that never sinks?

New geological research warns that the weight of New York City’s skyscrapers is actually causing the Big Apple — whose more than 1 million buildings weigh nearly 1.7 trillion pounds — to sink lower into its surrounding bodies of water.

The city is plopping closer to the water at a rate of 1 to 2 millimeters a year, “with some areas subsiding much faster.”

While that may not seem significant to untrained eyes, the gradual descent makes NYC extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, according to lead researcher and geologist Tom Parsons of the United States Geological Survey.

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Lower Manhattan is particularly at risk, and there is concern for both Brooklyn and Queens as well, according to the study.

Lower Manhattan is at unique risk of flooding due to NYC sinking.
Lower Manhattan is at unique risk of flooding due to NYC sinking.

“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,” he and his team wrote in the new report.

The city has already seen these harsh effects starting more than a decade ago.

“Two recent hurricanes caused casualties and heavy damage in New York City,” he wrote.

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