Beijing, Venice, and Mexico City have something in common—they're all sinking.
A new study led by Beijing-based researchers used radar to survey land elevation and found that the Chinese capital has sunk an alarming 14 inches in the last decade. Some districts are sinking by as much as four inches (11 centimeters) per year, CNN reported.
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While the Forbidden City, the CCTV tower, and the bird’s nest like Beijing National Stadium aren’t at risk of disappearing into a sinkhole anytime soon (smog would take them out of the picture first), the sinking could affect buildings and public works projects. The city is most nervous about the impact on the rail network, which transports millions of the city’s workers each day. “We are currently carrying out a detailed analysis of the impacts of subsidence on critical infrastructure (e.g. high-speed railways) in the Beijing plain,” the study’s authors wrote in an email to The Guardian. “Hopefully a paper summarizing our findings will come out later this year.”