NYC officials raising alarm over climate change

New York City is baking in yet another heat wave, with 90-degree days expected to hang around through the weekend. 

This week, we also saw flooding bring the city's infrastructure to a standstill, from flooding on the roads turning roadways into oceans and turning subway stations into waterfalls, but also, a huge sinkhole in the Bronx swallowing up an entire van.

RELATED: NYC weather: Severe storms trigger flooding

While President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced modest new steps to combat climate change and promised more robust action to come, saying, "This is an emergency and I will look at it that way," local leaders are raising the alarm over severe weather events.

Ydanis Rodriguez, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation is calling on all New Yorkers to come together and realize that the more we depend on cars, the further we sink into the climate crisis hole.

"We have 1.8 million New Yorkers with vehicles in the city," Rodriguez said. "We want to create the best conditions by expanding micromobility, bike lanes, investing in bus lanes, making subways after, so they can say we have access to mass transportation."

Climate scientists agree, saying cars and personal vehicles are the leading way carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere and that we need to get people on mass transit and bicycles wherever possible. 

"So if we can improve public transportation in New York City, we can both fight climate change and improve the quality of life for many people in the city," Jase Bernhardt, a professor at Hofstra University said. 

A recent MTA audit by its Inspector General says considerable work still needs to be done to protect the subways from future storm flooding damage, including heavy marine doors and flex gates to keep water out of the system. 

President Biden stopped short of declaring a formal climate emergency on Wednesday which Democrats and environmental groups have been seeking after an influential Democratic senator quashed hopes for sweeping legislation to address global warming. Biden hinted such a step could be coming.