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Warming Report Warns of Increased Flooding

July 11, 2007
The New York Times

One-hundred-year floods could come as often as once every 10 years by the end of this century, Long Island lobsters could disappear and New York apples could be just a memory if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report on the impact of global warming by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The report, which covers New York, New Jersey along with the entire Northeast, was released at a news conference at the New York Botanical Garden this morning, in the wake of an intense heat wave of the kind that scientists warned could come far more frequently if business continues as usual.

Speaking at the news conference, James McCarthy, professor of biological oceanography at Harvard University and president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, predicted that New York City might have to swelter through a full month with temperatures over 100 degrees. The prolonged heat could dry up the Catskill Mountain waters that supply the city, and air quality could decline, worsening conditions for people with asthma and allergies.

Some changes, like earlier springs, longer summers and less snowy winters are already being seen are the result of heat trapping gasses released over the last century. But scientists said things would become far worse, and much more costly, unless steps are taken now to limit the impact.

Without reductions in emissions, sea levels could rise, inundating coastal areas on southern Long Island and pushing water over parts of lower Manhattan, flooding the financial district and pouring water into the subways, making them inoperable.

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