Something odd happens to the neighborhood around Marlins Park, Miami’s new $650 million baseball stadium, when you overlay 21st-century sea-level rise projections. It sinks below the waterline. It’s a shame. The park has a retractable, cloud-white roof to shield players and spectators from the summer sun. It recycles, sips energy and water, and is plugged into public transit. It has 27 flood gates, and was built one foot higher than floods are supposed to reach in once-in-500-year storms. The total, publicly financed package, with debt servicing, could cost Miami $2.4 billion by 2049. If the Atlantic inches in as projected, eventually it might not matter how many flood gates there are. Oceans are swelling as they absorb heat, and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica have been melting faster since the early 1990s. Sea-level rise estimates for later this century have been revised upward, to a global average of a foot and a half to three feet by 2100, without aggressive carbon-cutting, according to the Inter
Hurricane Irene bore down on the U.S. with Category 1-force winds of 90 miles (150 kilometers) an hour, threatening a storm surge as warnings were posted from North Carolina to southern New England, including New York City.
New York City’s Rockaway Peninsula is an 11-mile strip of beach, parks and homes in southern Queens that took Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge on the chin. Waves uprooted houses and a boardwalk, flooded neighborhoods and washed 1.5 million cubic yards of sand from beaches. That’s more than enough to fill the Empire State Building.
When Robert Freed walked into Pet Foods Plus, his flooded store on Midland Avenue in Staten Island, two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, he knew what he smelled immediately: the stench of rotten kibble and cat food, a few tons of it.