New York could sink under the weight of skyscrapers

New York ‘will sink if more skyscrapers are built’

David Millward

New York could sink under the weight of skyscrapers / Photo credit:

New York might be iconic for its skyscrapers – but the city should stop building them if it wants to avoid sinking, a new study has warned.

Experts have previously warned that rising ocean levels and climate change pose a threat to the city of 8.4 million people.

But the latest study by a team headed by Tom Parsons of the United States Geological Survey suggested that development is exacerbating the dangers faced by a city where the sea level is predicted to rise by 1.5m by the end of the century.

The authors wrote: “The point of the paper is to raise awareness that every additional high-rise building constructed at coastal, river, or lakefront settings could contribute to future flood risk, and that mitigation strategies may need to be included.”

There are said to be one million buildings in New York City, weighing an estimated 771 million tonnes.

According to the latest study, the city is already sinking by 1-2mm a year.

The greatest threat is faced by Lower Manhattan and parts of the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.

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