How Temperature has changed in NYC in the Past 20Years Outline

HowTemperature has changed in NYC in the Past 20Years


  1. Background

  1. Global warming today

  2. Projected future events

  1. Climatology annals

  2. Temperature in the recent past

  1. Methodology

  1. Calculating global average temperature

  2. Absent values

  1. Observations and Explanations

  1. Observed New York temperature

  2. Graphical Representations

  1. Projected future Implications

  1. Temperature as at year 2050

  2. Solutions

  1. Conclusion

HowTemperature Has Changed In NYC in the past 20Years


Generalincrease of temperatures of the earth’s surface, oceans andatmosphere is characterized by a process known as global warming.Today, researchers have overwhelmingly come to a conclusion that thisthreatening increase of temperatures is real and its majorcontributors are humans through their industrial activities thatinvolve fossil fuel combustion. This process releases greenhousegases into the atmosphere which results to increased temperaturesworldwide. Global warming effects cannot be in anyway attributed tothe future, their far-reaching, long-lasting and usually devastatingnatures are here with us (Archer, 2007). They include:-

  1. Reduction of ice cover at the earth’s poles which comprises ice sheets occupying the Greenland, arctic sea ice as well as the mountain glaciers.

  2. Rising sea levels which also have devastating effects on human activities along the coastal regions for example settlements and industrialization.

  3. Increase on the rates of precipitation. Snowfalls and rainfalls have increase across the globe.

  4. It has also contributed to the changing life patterns of some animals and plants. The number of spruce bark beetles has increased in Alaska. These insects have destructive effects on spruce tree. Alpine plants, butterflies, and foxes have migrated further to further cooler areas.

Someof the projected future effects of global warming may be present uswith already. They include stronger hurricanes and other relateddangerous storms, floods and drought will become more frequent andsevere, decreased fresh water bodies and, influx of diseases likemalaria since the breeding ground of its carriers shall have beenincreased (Lorditch &amp Simmon, 2010).

Theaforementioned consequences of global warming affect humanity in manyways. It is therefore imperative for humans to control theiractivities which are perceived to be increasing the temperaturesworldwide in order to mitigate these projected effects.

Inthe annals of climatology, 2014 was the regarded as the fieriest yearon the planet since the record-keeping started in the year 1880.During this year, a combined land and sea surface temperature was1.24 degrees Farheint above the twentieth century’s average. Thetwenty warmest years in the historical records have all occurred inthe past twenty years. Save for the year 1998, the ten warmest yearson record have occur since 2002. If this findings are anything to goby, then the results underscores the warnings about the risks ofexcessive release of greenhouse gases into the earth’s atmosphere.They also undermined the claims voiced by climate change contrariansthat suggested that global warming had stopped (Board of AtmosphericSciences and Climate, 2010).

Newrecords about these overcoming changes were set in most habitableparts of the continent. For instance, the western regions of Americaand Alaska were affected by extreme heats that recorded abnormallyhigher readings than usual. Additionally, the ocean surface was alsounusually warmer in most parts except the Antarctica regions.According to scientists, these high ocean temperatures significantlycontributed to the formation of high energy pacific storms thatbrought with the floods which resulted to a huge number ofcasualties.

Statistically,the warmest years have all occurred since 1998. Scientists argue thatthis is an indication of the relentless planetary warming that is aconsequent of human activities which poses unfathomable long-runeffects to both civilization and nature.

Inthe past few years, temperatures in the New York City have beenincreasing steadily. Insofar as this increasing temperature trends isattributable to the global warming effect, ‘heat island’ effecthas also partly contributed to the rise in temperatures. Currently,the urgency with which the city, through its officials, is rushing toput in place measures and necessary precautions is an evidence ofthis reality. Frantic efforts are being put at least to avert whathappened in 2012. During this year, NYC was hit by a record hurricanesandy storm that slammed against the city’s shore causing billionsof dollars in damages and resulting into the killing of about fortypeople.


Incalculating the global average temperature, the scientists first tookmeasurements at different locations all over the globe. Their aim wasto track changes in earth temperatures. The measurements were thenconverted from the direct temperature readings to the anomaliesvalues. The results indicated the variance between the witnessedtemperature as well as the long-term temperatures for each date inevery location. As expected, challenges were majorly encountered inareas which are inaccessible where only a few measurements weretaken.

Tocounter this, scientists took measurements of the surrounding areasand other information to fill in the absent values. Each value wasthen used to gauge the average global temperature changes. However,it is crucial to not that warming has not been uniform across theglobe but the upward trends of global average temperatures indicatethat most areas are warmer. From 1976 to present, every year hasregistered an average global temperature warmer than the long-termaverage throughout the whole of this entire period. Through thisperiod, the temperatures have warmed at an average of 0.5 degreeCelsius per decade over the land surface and 0.11 degrees Celsiusover the sea (Dow &amp Downing, 2006).

Observationsand Explanations

Forclose to about a century, New York City has experienced raisingtemperatures. As noted out earlier, theses increasing temperatureshas been partly caused by a phenomenon known as the urbanheat Island.This is a heat effect that occurs as a result of heat retention bythe asphate and concrete present in most buildings causing the citiesto be warmer than the surrounding areas. NYC has about 500 miles ofshoreline. This shoreline has always been at risk of costalinundation. Over the last several years, the sea level in NYC hasrisen by between 9 and 15 inches.

Asaverage temperatures are increasing, the strengths of storms, heat,summer droughts and unhealthy hair days are also on the rise. Thesechanges have brought with them the following threats which could gethaywire if the situation is not controlled early enough.

  1. Extreme heat-Which have become more intense with prolonged durations and heat waves

  2. Flooding-Devastating floods results from heavy rains

  3. Extreme weather-Extreme weather patterns akin to the record breaking one witnessed in 2011 are becoming frequent and stronger

  4. Infectious diseases like the West Nile virus, Dengue fever and Lyme diseases most of which are as a result of polluted air and water are becoming rampant

  5. Air pollution-This has led to an increase in smog, pollens and smokes in the city

Additionally,the sea level of the city has already registered a whooping rise ofat least a foot over the last century, a rate which is comparable tonone anywhere in the world. On the other hand, the temperatures havealso gone up by about 3.4 degrees Celsius.

Therise in sea levels in NYC is likely due to both glacial retreat andwarming trend during the last century. As sea level continues torise, there is an increasing threat of more damaging storm surges. Ifthe scientist projections are to be considered, there could be anincrease in such surges in both frequencies and effects by the year2020.

Ateam comprising of the US army corps of Engineers, the hydrologistand oceanographers usually conducts annual assessments of beacherosion rates as a result of the rise in sea level. These rates areexpected to increase drastically in the region by the 2020’s. Theirannual estimates are crucial in formulating effective protectionstrategies by the hydrologists. The latter also argue that risingsea-levels will raise the salt level which could cause unwelcomeramifications to wildlife and some well-balanced water systems(Flannery, n.d.).

Byanalyzing the aerial photography and satellite images, researcherscan draw how New York wetlands have evolved over the past twentyyears. This information is used by scientists to forecast whetherwetlands areas will grow or shrink due to the climate changes. Italso helps local governments’ planners in developing policies toprotect the NY wetlands.

GraphicalTemperature Trends

Belowis a graphical representation of NYC average temperature range

Graphicalrepresentation of climate change in NYC since 1979

Annualtemperature range in the wider USA

Projectedfuture Implications

Itis believed that by 2050’s, the temperatures are expected toincrease by about 4.1 which could jump to 5.1 by 2080’s.Temperatures could be 8.8 degrees hotter than the average 54 degreesby the same year while rainfall could increase by about 13percent. Asa consequent, the sea levels could rise by over two feet whichimplies that areas which are prone to high tides in NYC like Queenswould experience daily flooding.

Astudy by the New Yolk City panel on climate change predicted that bythe mid-century, the city could get 5 to 7 heat waves annuallycompared to the current two. It further indicates that the number ofdays over 90 degrees could double. The mercury is expected to hit the100thmark between three to five days a year. Currently, such levels areattained less than once every year (Kolbert, 2006).


Throughthese changes that have been brought by climate change, the city ofNew York has developed an approach to help mitigate, prevent and in abroader term, plan for the effects of climate change. The city has anapproach to increase pliability of its communities, the naturalsystems as well as infrastructure to the climate risks. Majorly, theofficials are working to cut down the city’s greenhouse emissionsand to shield its neighborhoods from the extreme weather that couldbe unstoppable (Pittock, 2009). The followings are some of the plansthat have been developed to help in the mitigation process:-

  1. $335 million has been set aside for food protection system for the lower East side

  2. Buildings’ roof tops are coated with reflective paints that could absorb a lesser amount of heat. This is a program that targets to transform one million surface area square feet per year.

  3. $100 million worth of shoreline upgrade plan in Coney islands

  1. Reinforced levees in the Staten Islands’ midland beach as well as the east shore in addition dunes in Queens

  1. About 4.15 million cubic yards of sand has been added to the city beaches to protect it against the water surges

Clearly,the response does not simply focus on minimizing the hurricanedamages. The wider issue that makes hurricanes increasinglydestructive is the sea level rise, which is caused by the planetaryclimate change and the plan seeks to address the issues that arefueling bad climate changes.


Overthe last few years, it has been noted that the temperatures aregetting warmer all over the world. These warmer temperatures areresulting to high rates of precipitations which are leading to theretreating glaciers inter alia. The temperatures taken on land inaddition to sea for over a century shows that the Earth’s averagesurface century is facing a long-term warming drift. Consequently,the effects of these developments are more severe in areas that arecloser to shorelines like New York City. The floods and storms aregetting deeper, greater as well as increasingly damaging owing to therising sea levels. In the previous century, the sea level rose at aminimum of eight inches and the rate have been on the increase since1990’s (Earth`s Temperature Tracker, n.d).

Inplaces like NYC, stretches of concrete boardwalks have been builtabove the floodplain as part of the resiliency which is done to holdback the storm outpouring. This is a piece of $20 billion blueprintsubsequent from partnership with the state, the federal governmentsas well as climate change scientist.

Nonetheless,climate change is a global problem whose implications are bothdevastating and severe to humanity, just as they are far reaching. Itis therefore crucial for the proposed measures to curb this menace beobserved and implemented with urgency and uniformity that it deservesall over the world. New York is an important city not only in the USbut in the world and its problems could easily be inducted throughoutthe world. Climate change is perhaps a major challenge in ourgeneration.


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Boardof Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. (2010). Advancing the science ofclimate change America`s climate choices. Washington, D.C.: NationalAcademies Press.

Dow,K., &amp Downing, T. (2006).The atlas of climate change: Mapping the world`s greatest challenge.Berkeley: University of California Press.

Flannery,T. (n.d.). Atmosphereof hope: Searching for solutions to the climate crisis.U.S.A: AtlanticMonthly Press.

Knauer,K. (2007). Globalwarming.New York, N.Y: Time Books.

Kolbert,E. (2006). Fieldnotes from a catastrophe: Man, nature, and climate change.New York: Bloomsbury Pub.

Lorditch,E., &amp Simmon, R. (2010). Adaptingto climate change: Feature articles.Retrieved from

Pittock,A. (2009). Climate change the science, impacts and solutions (2nded.). Collingwood, VIC, Australia: CSIRO Pub.

Earth`sTemperature Tracker. (n.d). Earth is coling…No its warming.Retrieved from