New York is sinking.

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A team comprised of members of the US Geological Survey and the University of Rhode Island found that one area in particular is sinking faster than sea levels are rising.

So just how bad is it?

I wouldn't start panicking and buying canoes.. New York City is sinking at a rate of 1  - 2 millimeters every year. Some parts of the city are sinking faster than that and are a concern to scientists.

So what's causing it?

Subsidence is to blame for this. Subsidence is the gradual settling of Earth's surface. So is that just how nature is? The ground is settling and moving and it's not a big deal.

If only it were so easy.

New York City Midtown West skyline from the Hudson River with the skyscrapers of the Hudson Yards (Manhattan)
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You see all those really cool big buildings? We all know bigger is better, right?

In this case, bigger is too much. The weight of these buildings is directly responsible for the accelerated sinking of the island. Climate change isn't helping as the sea level continues to rise. While we may not be seeing the city underwater any time soon, it does leave NYC susceptible to more flood waters in the event of a hurricane.

Tom Parsons, geologist and coauthor of the study had the following to say -

It can be exacerbated with storm-forcing. Obviously, we've had some events in New York City with hurricanes coming in. Not necessarily that the island will be completely submerged — at least not anytime soon.

'But when you have these extreme events, you can start seeing inundation.

Turns out bigger isn't always better.

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