Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2016


John Van Buren

Second Advisor

Rosemary Wakeman


I address the effects of climate change on New York City, and what can be done to minimize these effects. I explain the causes and impacts of sea level rise on New York City, specifically referencing New York City policies and programs that can help mitigate these impacts. I use data from New York City government, the New York City Panel on Climate Change, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to collect information about greenhouse gas emissions, and describe how this leads to sea level rise. Then, I use environmental socio-economics, urban planning, and environmental politics in New York City as my social science disciplines. The quantitative climate change data and the three social science disciplines are integrated to help offer solutions for sea level rise. The data explores why greenhouse gas, especially carbon emissions, cause climate change and increasing global temperatures. I incorporate the environmental history of Hurricane Sandy and the topography of New York City to explain why lower class New Yorkers are more vulnerable to damages from sea level rise. I use aspects of urban planning to offer ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote energy efficiency in buildings. I use environmental politics to explain what New York City has planned regarding urban resiliency to better prepare for future severe storms and flooding. I conclude with policy recommendations including both mitigation and adaptation strategies for New York City, emphasizing that greenhouse gas mitigation is the most necessary to combat climate change.