On February 2, 2006, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) expressed the consensus of the scientific community that global warming is unequivocal and that its main driver is human activity. On April 7, 2007, the IPCC issued a second report detailing the likely consequences of climate change: widening droughts, more severe storm events, increased inland flooding, sea level rise, and consequent inundation of low lying lands. The Center for Climate Systems Research at Columbia University estimates that sea levels around New York City’s boroughs will increase by five inches by 2030, with some estimates predicting up to 12 inches more between 2030 and 2080. The biggest threat to the safety of millions of city dwellers and its trillions of dollars of real property is the prospect of increasingly vicious storms that may propel encroaching waters onto the shore and threaten the stability of vulnerable buildings.
John R. Nolon, Zoning, Transportation, and Climate Change, N.Y. Zoning L. & Prac. Rep., Sept./Oct. 2007, at 1, http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/457/.