New York is very similar to Venice. it sinks (2023)


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A scientist has found that the city is sinking between two and four millimeters a year under the weight of all its buildings.

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VonJames Barron

Good morning It's Tuesday. We hear from a scientist who found that New York City is sinking in part because all the buildings weigh 1.68 trillion pounds. We'll also look at why the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is proposing to raise the base fare to $2.90.


New York is very similar to Venice. it sinks (2)

Maybe you've had that sinking feeling lately. ONErecently published scientific workimplied that all of New York has done so and will continue to do so.

The newspaper states that New York is sinking between two and four millimeters a year under the weight of all buildings, "with some areas sinking much faster".

A few millimeters is so little that the finding almost sounds funny. Four millimeters is three twentieths of an inch. But noticing the city's slow and gradual decline shouldn't be fun. "And that's the point," said Tom Parsons, a geophysicist at the United States Geological Survey and lead author of the study.

There are concerns that the downward force on buildings combined with rising water levels due to global warming could make the city more vulnerable to natural disasters. These factors "suggest a growing problem along coastal and riparian areas," he wrote in the article published in the journalEarth's future. "The goal of the paper is to raise awareness that every additional high-rise building" along a river "may contribute to future flood risk."

What's happening in New York is "quite comparable to what's happening in Venice," he said in an interview. "They sink at the same rate." But in Venice, climate change is exceeding forecastsA $5.3 billion system of levees was designed to withstand.

And Indonesia isBuildings to build a new capital city from scratchbecause the current one, Jakarta, is going under. President Joko Widodo gave up trying to save Jakarta after building dikes and trying other measures. My colleague Hannah Beech called them "tape solutions" that could not get Jakarta out of the water's reach.

Parsons is not calling for a new New York on higher and drier ground. "It's not an emergency now," he said. "We wanted to provide this scientific knowledge to help us plan for the future. It's easy for scientists to show up when an emergency arises, but it makes more sense to speak up early enough so that something can be done to mitigate the emergency."

"That's the number one question I get: How can we mitigate this," he added. “The answer that many people don't want to hear is the greenhouse gas side. We can slow sea level rise if we collectively find a way to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It is of course not an easy task.”

He quoted oneAccording to forecasts from the UN, 70 percent of the world's population will live in cities by 2050. "If you build a city and it's full of people, you end up with subsidence," he said, saying New York City "is emblematic of a place that people migrate to and obviously has a high concentration of construction."

He and his co-authors have calculated that there are not quite 1.1 million buildings in the city – 1,084,954 to be exact. After estimating the number of floors on each floor and doing some computer modeling, he calculated their total weight to be 1.68 trillion pounds. He then considered gravity and other factors to determine how much the city would sink.

Parsons said some parts of the city are sinking faster than others. He mentioned areas along the East River in Queens and Brooklyn, as well as Coney Island, Jamaica Bay and the Rockaways. Most of Manhattan's skyscrapers are anchored in bedrock, which is "far less compressible" than soil.


Enjoy a sunny day with a high near 68 degrees and light winds. Expect mostly clear skies overnight with light winds and a low around 54°C.


Valid until Friday (Shavuot).

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M.T.A. suggests higher bus and metro fares


TheThe consumer price index for the New York area rose by 3.7 per centin the 12 months ending April 2023 – even more if you take food and energy out of the calculations. With this in mind, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is joining the parade and demanding more from their customers.

The agency wants to increase the base fare for a single subway, bus or paratransit ride by 5 percent from $2.75 to $2.90. It would be the first base rate increase since 2015. The agency also plans to charge a fee of $34 for a 7-day MetroCard, up from the current $33, and $132 for a 30-day MetroCard, a 4 percent increase from the current $127 . their first increases since 2019.

Fares for express buses, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad will also increase, as will tolls for the agency's bridges and tunnels.

"Compared to inflation, this is a reasonable increase"Neal Zuckerman, chairman of the agency's finance committee, said Monday after agency officials gave a presentation on the proposed rate increases.

The agency's board expects to hold public hearings on the proposal next month and vote on it in July.

Zuckerman bemærkede, at ryttertallet er faldet 30 procentpoint fra niveauet før pandemien. Som min kollega Ed Shanahan bemærker, selv med 70 procent, har metroen transporteret fire millioner passagerer på flere hverdage siden sidste måned.

According to the authority's proposal, each of these passengers, as well as each individual bus and S-Bahn customer, would have to pay a little more for each trip. But authorities tried to limit the pain for working people by raising prices for weekly and monthly MetroCards more modestly, officials said.


Delayed, running out


Dear Diary:

As I sat on the subway one Wednesday morning, my eyes wandered from the clock in the upper left corner of my phone's screen to the charging light on the right. I was going to be late for a meeting and my phone was at 1 percent.

I looked up to see how many stops I was from my Midtown destination and realized I had boarded the wrong train. I sighed and got off in the heart of Chinatown.

With my phone now idle, I took off my headphones and went to another station. As I walked, I listened to the bustle of a sidewalk fish market.

When I got on the next train, a young couple with a pram sat across from me. When I moved my gaze to the right, I saw an elderly woman sitting next to the couple, looking with the baby in the pram.

I smiled.

The young couple smiled at me, smiled at the woman, who smiled at the baby, who in turn smiled at the woman.

I got off at 42nd Street.

– Rebecca Chandler

Illustrated by Agnes Lee.Submit post hereAndMore information about the Metropolitan Diary can be found here.

Yesterday's New York Today headline misrepresented what happened to a baby whose mother smoked marijuana before birth. The baby was never placed in foster care, despite attempts by the city's youth agency to place him there. Instead, a judge sent the child home from the hospital.

Here is today'sMini crosswordAndSpelling contest.You can find all our puzzles here.

Melissa Guerrero, Emmett Lindner, Jeffrey Furticella, Rick Martinez and Olivia Parker contributed to New York Today. You can reach the team

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James Barron is a Metro reporter and columnist who writes the New York Today newsletter. In 2020 and 2021, he wrote the "Coronavirus Update" column, part of the coverage that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. He is the author of two books and editor of The New York Times Book of New York.


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