NYC Sinks to a New Level

New York City is sinking due to weight of its skyscrapers, new research finds | New York | The Guardian

New York City is sinking in part due to the extraordinary weight of its vertiginous buildings, worsening the flooding threat posed to the metropolis from the rising seas, new research has found.

The Big Apple may be the city that never sleeps but it is a city that certainly sinks, subsiding by approximately 1-2mm each year on average, with some areas of New York City plunging at double this rate, according to researchers.

This sinking is exacerbating the impact of sea level rise which is accelerating at around twice the global average as the world’s glaciers melt away and seawater expands due to global heating. The water that flanks New York City has risen by about 9in, or 22cm, since 1950 and major flooding events from storms could be up to four times more frequent than now by the end of the century due to the combination of sea level rise and hurricanes strengthened by climate change.

“A deeply concentrated population of 8.4 million people faces varying degrees of hazard from inundation in New York City,” researchers wrote in the new study, published in the Earth’s Future journal.

The authors added that the risks faced by New York City will be shared by many other coastal cities around the world as the climate crisis deepens. “The combination of tectonic and anthropogenic subsidence, sea level rise, and increasing hurricane intensity imply an accelerating problem along coastal and riverfront areas,” they wrote.

This trend is being magnified by the sheer bulk of New York City’s built infrastructure. The researchers calculated that the city’s structures, which include the famous Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, weigh a total of 1.68tn lbs, which is roughly equivalent to the weight of 140 million elephants.



37 thoughts on “NYC Sinks to a New Level”

  1. I wonder how many times 140 million elephants would go around the earth at the equator. 

  2. NYC is sinking under the weight of its buildings: geologists (

    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.

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



    new TV series: “Sin(king) in the City”

  3. maybe NYC bought some time on the big sink when the bigly orange blob left a few years ago. 

    remember when they celebrated the occasion?

    A good riddance New York tribute to donald trump moving to Florida.

  4. Sturg, 21.21212121…. I wonder if Oliver visited the Bronx Zoo before he wrote the article. I can’t recall seeing an elephant in Manhattan. 

    patd, I wonder if Milman would have given the equivalent weight of the city’s structures in tons of bullshit if he’d thought of Dumbass leaving town instead of visiting the zoo. Like the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop, the world may never know.

  5. Even at a penny an elephant, that’s a lot of money.

    I wonder how many elephants it would take to reach from Earth to the Sun.

  6. With Manhattan office vacancies at record-high double digits and Americans getting fatter, at least the skyscrapers won’t weigh as much, could slow down the sinking?

  7. down to Seven Horses now.  First Mission is scratched

    Preakness on Saturday

    Post position Horse Odds
    1 National Treasure 4-1
    2 Chase the Chaos 50-1
    3 Mage 8-5
    4 Coffeewithchris 20-1
    5 Red Route One 10-1
    6 Perform 15-1
    7 Blazing Sevens 6-1
  8. I’ll take Chase the Chaos because that’s pretty much what I do all day.
    One of these days I’ll catch it and then there’ll be hell to pay.
    Hell to pay, I tell you; hell to pay.


    This is a remarkable video….from the drummer (Hal Blaine, if I remember right), to the dancers behind the girls, to the song, to the audience, to the Ronnettes, to Ronny Spector….remarkable video.

  10. Yeah, all along 10th Avenue, down in Chelsea, someone spray painted in blue “SEA LEVEL 2050 BYE-BYE” at every intersection.   I don’t go to the East side, but there may be spray painted warnings near South Street Seaport, as well.

    The newest skyscrapers, those ugly finger buildings that ruin the skyline, should never have been built.  It sounds like at least some of them were not built well.  

    The homeless situation seems to be getting worse.   Elderly people wearing all of their clothes, carrying or pushing all of their belongings, with no place to sleep, with no place to just comfortably be.  

    But sure, throw money at rat eradication.  The newest idea is to have restaurants and bodegas put trash in sealed containers instead of bags…but everyone else, just keep using bags.

    The rents are too high, office buildings are empty; they could use empty office space for affordable housing or even shelters.

    The city was beautiful this week. The parks are green. There was a faint smell of some late-flowering trees. I only went to midtown twice, and spent most of the week in Chelsea, which feels like home.
    It’s still the greatest city in the world, but it has some of the most short-sighted ways of doing and not doing things…and the worst mayor.  What a marooon.

    “This was a parking lot, now there are mountains and rivers.”

  11. jamie, requisite in KY today to go with Mage. triple crown fantasy you know. so that’s my pick without looking the rest of the line over is the red head even though he’s not had enough time to recover and unlikely to win.

    interesting Sports Illust. article yesterday After the Derby Drama, It’s Time to Rethink the Triple Crown Calendar (

    The Kentucky Derby after-party has been reduced to a table (or stable) for one. The Preakness, the second leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, will be contested Saturday with just a single horse moving on to Baltimore from Louisville: Derby winner Mage.
    That’s it, that’s the list. The shortest list since before the Korean War.
    It’s the first time in 75 years that only one Derby starter has entered the Preakness. In 1948, Citation won the Triple Crown in part by scaring off almost all the competition before it even began. He faced just five other horses in the first leg, three others in the second leg and seven in the Belmont.
    Today, the lack of carryover from Derby to Preakness says as much about the anachronistic Triple Crown schedule as it does anything else. Modern thoroughbreds don’t race every two weeks, which is the requirement here if horses want to run in both. If Mage’s connections didn’t have an active Triple Crown bid, they probably wouldn’t be in Baltimore, either. (And even that wasn’t enough to get 2022 fluke Derby winner Rich Strike to enter the Preakness.)
    The spacing between Mage’s four career races prior to this one: four weeks, four weeks and five weeks. Of the eight Preakness entrants, none has ever raced on fewer than three weeks’ rest. Other than Mage, the average time elapsed for the other seven Preakness horses since their last race will be 34 days on Saturday.

  12. Also, for Roald Dahl fans, they are making a movie from the book titled Twits.  This is one of the songs. 

  13. Going home today.  The Carole King musical… Beautiful… was… well.. beautiful!

  14. I’m riding with Craig… I’ll take Blazing Sevens.  For the same reason.

  15. excerpts from ms petri’s Opinion | Retire to the U.S. Senate! A place where seniors are cherished! – The Washington Post

    Here at the Senate, there’s no shame in being senior! Indeed, our senior members are the most important. We make a point of it: We have a minimum age but no maximum. Our members’ average age is 64.3 — more than 25 years older than the U.S. median age!
    Worried that you will slow things down or that your absence could grind things to a halt? Don’t be. Go as fast or as slow as you’d like — the Senate will be there, waiting. That is how the system is designed.
    There’s so much to do here for members of all ages! We have a gym, a library and groups called committees for members who share a common interest — Appropriations, Budget, Judiciary, Foreign Relations and more. We also have a floor for votes! You can pass real, binding legislation! Laws that people have to live by — even decades into the future!
    Want to learn more about technology? Hold a hearing! Worried you don’t understand the latest technology? Simply ban it!
    Here, activities include running (only every six years), voting, fundraising (this can be as onerous as you make it), making phone calls and dodging (reporter questions, calls to resign).
    And in the Senate, there is no such thing as too old! Strom Thurmond stayed nearly until he died, at age 100. You, too, can stay that long — or even longer.
    No worries, either, about overstaying your welcome. Jane Mayer of the New Yorker wrote that, “Strom Thurmond, of South Carolina, and Robert Byrd, of West Virginia, were widely known by the end of their careers to be non-compos mentis.” Your constituents might mind, but the Senate will gladly accommodate you.
    Some fine print: Yes, you are technically representing a state full of people and making policy decisions for the country as a whole. The ramifications of these policy decisions will last for years, maybe generations. If you enter with strong principles and a clear sense of mission, it is still possible that simply by remaining in the Senate you can jeopardize everything you’ve worked so hard to build.
    But don’t let these details stand in the way of a wonderful Senate retirement. Be like Strom Thurmond! That’s a sentence everybody loves to hear.
    And, if the Senate’s not for you, consider … retiring to the White House!

  16. Since you have to be five years older to be a Senator than to be a US Representative, the age gap is not surprising.   I have no problem with older folks serving, but to keep things less grafty, term limits should be a thing. 

  17. craig, bet a certain baby blimp man-child is about to throw a temper tantrum about that.

    here’s an excerpt from 2021time story on his fascination/obsession with being on the cover 

    Donald Trump TIME Covers: Stories Behind Each One | Time

    TIME has a long history of featuring presidents on the cover and Trump, whose presidency defied precedents and fractured norms, has been no exception. Eight of the top 10 people to appear most often on TIME’s cover are U.S. presidents. Trump finishes his term with 35 TIME covers, the fourth most of any president behind Richard Nixon’s 55 covers, Ronald Reagan with 46 and Bill Clinton with 40. Rounding out the top 10 are Barack Obama with 31, George W. Bush (30), Jimmy Carter (27), Jesus (22), and Hillary Clinton and George H.W. Bush tied at 21.

  18. I’m sort of stuck for the Preakness since my son’s name is Chris, so it’s the long shot for me.

    Chase the chaos – Sturgeone

    Perform – Pogo

    Mage – Patd / Ivy

    Blazing Sevens – Craig / Renee

    Coffee With Chris – Jamie

  19. The Senate is fine with the two Senators per state even though some of them represent way too few constituents, but the House is way out of line for the number of people represented.  The size should probably be increased to at least a thousand voting critters.  Even then it is nowhere near the responsiveness to the actual population.  


  20. I’m sort of stuck for the Preakness since my son’s name is Chris, so it’s the long shot for me.

    Chase the chaos – Sturgeone

    Perform – Pogo

    Mage – Patd / Ivy

    Blazing Sevens – Craig / Renee / BB

    Coffee With Chris – Jamie

  21. RonDuh ripping the peel off of an orange. Ha! It’s B&W, so it makes the orange less noticeable. However, it also points out that he’s running as a Republican which is the party of white supremacist asshats.


    “As reported by Rolling Stone and others, this news comes on the back of recent proposals by conservative-dominated state legislatures to overturn no-fault divorce in Texas, Nebraska and Louisiana.”

    “Panic over the “rising” divorce rate – real or imagined – has long been an unjust scapegoat for societal decay.”

    “But worst of all to those concerned over the integrity of the family unit was the sheer fact that the majority of divorce seekers and petitioners were women. And this is a fact that rings true from the early days of the 1800s to modern day.”

    “Women of the 19th century had limited rights, so divorce was one avenue they could assert their independence. Women of the 21st century are currently living through direct, concerted attacks to their rights including reproductive choice. This renewed assault on divorce shows how quickly purported concerns about marriage can become a proxy for a conservative agenda that wants to reinforce women’s subordination to men.”

    “Unlike anything else in the 19th century, divorce allowed women to disrupt their otherwise secondary status in society. And it is precisely this discomfort over women’s autonomy that continues to fuel conservative outrage over the matter. In present day, divorce can be a remedy to anyone. But it’s because of its potential to benefit women that it arouses controversy.”

    “While, for example, the Nebraska GOP’s current platform opposes any measure that would “intrude unnecessarily on the rights of the family” or “contribute to the dissolution of the family,” 19th-century pro-divorce reformists and actors countered these sorts of arguments in a way that demonstrated the dangers for women forced to stay in unhappy, potentially abusive unions.”

    “As history reveals, divorce evolved over the 20th century into the no-fault system we have now. However, this current iteration of the divorce-driven moral panic over families is all too familiar and reflects a distinctly anti-woman, anti-choice agenda of its detractors.”

  23. Something to think about, the organizations which to do disaster relief have a lot of volunteers.  Many are women, many are LGBTQ, a few are the “T” in LGBTQ. Most disaster response shelters are in public buildings, like the ones that mini-sfb has dictated you use the one that corresponds to the birth certificate.  Some of these organizations have clout, enough that they can create a zone which is not totally under state or federal control. But, what if a dictator-wannabe sends in the storm troopers?

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