A Shrinking Footprint: Geophysicist Klaus Jacob On Rising Sea Levels, Sustainability And Indian Point

This is part 2 of a 2 part interview. Read part 1 here.

In this post-Superstorm Sandy era, geophysicist Klaus Jacob is regarded by many as something of a seer.

But in his view, the public debate over climate change and what it means for the city has wrongly been focused on extreme weather, and not on the rise of sea levels that will reshape the footprint of the metropolis.

In the second part of Gotham Gazette’s sit-down interview with Jacob, the climate change expert speaks about the city’s energy policy, long-term planning for sustainability and why he thinks Indian Point nuclear power plant needs to be shut down.

Jacob was interviewed at at his office at the Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., in late December.

[Read more at Gotham Gazette]

Storm Surge: An Interview With Climate Change Expert Klaus Jacob On NYC’s Post-Sandy Future

This is part 1 of a 2 part interview. Read part 2 here.

Geophysicist Klaus Jacob has been warning about how vulnerable New York City is to violent weather for years and, more importantly in his view, how climate change and rising sea levels will transform the shape and character of the metropolis.

Weeks before Superstorm Sandy shocked the city and upended the public discussion about preparing for future extreme weather, The New York Times published an interview with Jacob in which he said that the storm surge from Hurricane Irene came only a foot from paralyzing transportation in and out of Manhattan.

“We’ve been extremely lucky,” Jacob told the Times. “I’m disappointed that the political process hasn’t recognized that we’re playing Russian roulette.”

Now, in a sit-down interview with the Gotham Gazette, Jacob describes his struggles to get Washington and Albany, as well as the city, to pay attention to the peril of rising sea levels; how some proposed solutions like flood gates would likely cause more trouble than they are worth; and how he thinks the city’s shrinking footprint will lead to more densely populated neighborhoods on higher ground and the loss of coastline.

[Read more at Gotham Gazette]