New York May Soon 'Be Under Water'

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By Silvana Peters | May 22, 2014 2:58 PM EST

Reuters
Statue of Liberty/Reuters

Scientists have warned about 30 national landmarks across the U.S. are vulnerable to the risks of climate change. In a report titled, "National Landmarks at Risk ," released by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), experts cited a growing concern that some of the nation's iconic sites are threatened by the effects of "human-induced" climate change."

The very real threats would include, but are not limited to, rising sea levels, increasingly frequent wildfires, heavy rains and flooding.

"From Ellis Island to the Everglades, Cape Canaveral to California's César Chávez National Monument, these sites symbolize values that unite all Americans - patriotism, freedom, democracy, and more - and together help weave the very fabric of our shared history," the report noted.

The report, although not a comprehensive analysis, also offered a selection of case studies that seek to illustrate the urgency of the situation, cultural values at risk and the varying degrees of impacts.

It is "a wake-up call" as the impacts of climate change continue. We must make hard choices now and take urgent steps to protect these sites and reduce the risks."

One of the sites highlighted was the famed landmark of the Statue of Liberty. According to the report, the Big Apple "has seen a foot of sea level rise over the last century," which has had a significant effect on the severity and extent of flooding. Citing the event was during Hurricane Sandy, "Floodwaters inundated 75 percent of Liberty Island and almost all of Ellis Island."

It further revealed the sea level has risen 12 inches (30 centimeters) around New York City over the past century. The National Landmarks at Risk' highlighted the urgency of acting on climate change with consequences already evident in various landmark sites.

Mitigation strategies were briefly listed like carbon emission reduction, allocation of resources and climate resilience to be elevated as national priority must be emphasized. The full report has been made available online, click here to view the document.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Statue of Liberty/Reuters
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