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Numerous Airports Around the Globe Could Be Underwater by 2100

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An analysis released Wednesday by the Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI) says that dozens of airports around the world—including all three of New York City-area airports—could be underwater by the year 2100.

Researchers say if global warming continues to force a rise in sea levels at its current pace, an estimated 80 airports could be affected.

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That includes John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and Newark-Liberty International in the NYC metropolitan area; Yancheng Nanyang International Airport in China’s Jiangsu Province; and Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.

“If you step outside and throw a dart blindfolded, almost anything will be impacted by climate change, including airports,” said Noah Maghsadi, one of the authors of the study.

Some airports have already adopted some of the countermeasures discussed in the study, including higher runways, sea walls and better drainage systems. For example, Singapore’s Changi Airport, annually considered one of the top five airports in the world, has already resurfaced its runways to improve drainage and is building a new higher terminal at 18 feet above sea level to keep it safe from rising seas.

Boston Logan Airport and San Francisco International Airport in the United States have also made significant changes.

“Based on this analysis, even if we do curtail climate change, adaptation still needs to happen,” said Maghsadi.

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