Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

New Data Reveals Sea Level Is Rising Fastest in Louisiana

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

The Conservationist
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

February 26, 2013

New Data Reveals Sea Level Is Rising Fastest in Louisiana

By Bob Marshall

The future of Gulf of Mexico fisheries got a grim forecast this week when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported the stunning finding that its latest data indicated southeast Louisiana would be inundated with more than four feet of sea level rise by the end of the century – the highest level “on the planet.” The average elevation of that landscape is about three feet.
 
That area encompasses the great estuary of the Mississippi River, which is responsible for much of the fisheries production in the Gulf. If its marshes are flooded, production will plummet. Of course, the threat to many cities is also dire.
 
The new revelations are not so much the result of upward forecasts of sea level rise contained in the draft of the new National Climate Assessment, which measures the rise of oceans based on thermal expansion and increased volume due to melting ice fields and glaciers. That trend was expected.
 
Instead, most of the dramatic increase -- more than a foot above the previous high-level predictions - for the Mississippi delta comes from more accurate measurements of its rate of subsidence.
 
NOAA researchers said Louisiana’s southeastern coast is sinking at the fastest rate of any other large coastal landscape in the world. One of the most significant, and startling, findings was that the subsidence rate inside the coastline was actually higher than that of the state’s barrier islands, long thought to have the world’s highest rate of relative sea level rise, which is calculated when subsidence is combined with sea level rise.
 
The new findings pose serious challenges to the state Master Plan for restoring its coast, a 40-year, $50 billion project which authorities said could actually have the state building more land than it was losing by 2050. However, that prediction was based on the previous rates of predicted relative sea level rise.

Comments (35)

Top Rated
All Comments
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Won't the newly flooded lands just transition into marshlands and replace the losses?

The rising sealevels are going to happen over the course of the next 90 years, Over a gradual change such as this I would think that the existing marsh plantlife and sea life will follow the new water line and colonize the newly flooded areas.

I think nature will take care of itself in this case, however it would be better if we de-channelized the river and allowed it to deposit sediments naturally.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

My GOD! Bob you can't seriously have posted such an assinine article as this without selling your soul to the Devil himself or Al Jezzera take your pick! Your telling us there is enough ice to raise the sea level 4'? I don't have the proof but impossible if anything the sea level would decrease due to displacement. Think full glass of water and adding ice cube or the opposite. The Antarctic is gaining ice scientifically proven. What was with the article posted here on F&S, Outdoor Life, and all over the internet about the Mississipi Delta washing away thanks to our own Army Corp of Engineers channelizing the whole thing causing erosion also not allowing the natural flooding which deposits rich fertile sediment which the coast of LA needs to grow and maintain itself? Back to the sea level rise your saying the coastal area of LA would be under 4' of water due to ice melt/Global Warming more than any other area in the world? Please explain the possibility of this happening. It sounds as if all the glaciers in the world were to melt all that water would find its way to LA?

The only "stunning finding", is that Field & Stream still have you on their payroll!

Everyone the sky is falling, but remember it starts at the ground!

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from redfishunter wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Elkslayer, your comment is correct. New areas should be turning into a marsh. The problem is, where that marsh is supposed to be, we built the City of New Orleans. And it's not going anywhere. So the marshes will not have anywhere to spread. And you are right about the channels. I think the Corps of Engineers is the main culprit for the destruction of the marshes. Also, people don't want to admit it, but our own boatwake is degrading them as well. The marshes are usually smooth as glass, even somewhat so in a storm. Add big center consoles putting out a three foot wake all the time and they begin to erode much more quickly.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjaminwc wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Maybe that's because lower Louisiana is at or below sea level.... Honestly. How Mother Nature, and Planet Earth survived before "Modern Man" and his studies came along is beyond me. I think we could have saved the dinosaurs if only we had been there to do an enviormental impact statement.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnsons1120 wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Dcast, what Bob is saying is that the land in Louisiana is sinking relative to current sea levels at an unusually high rate. When land sinks one foot relative to current elevation and sea levels rise one foot relative to current sea levels, that means that the ocean is two feet higher on the land in that specific location. Please read the last couple paragraphs of the post, that should clear things up for you a bit

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Dcast, are you naturally so stupid or do you have to work to maintain that level of ignorance? Here's the deal, cheescake: a whole lot of the world's ice is not floating on the ocean. I know you may not be up to speed on this, but Greenland has most of the ice north of the Arctic circle, and Greenland is... wait for it... an island. And since we're on the subject of land masses covered with ice, there's Antarctica. It's called a "continent" because much of Antarctica is also above sea level. It too is covered with ice.

The upshot is that if you melt even 10% of that land-locked ice, you'll get alot more than 4' of sea level increase.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

FYI, in case you were actually interested in polar ice, if you melt the Greenland ice cap you get about 12 feet of global sea level rise. Melt the Antarctic ice cap and you get another 200 feet approx sea level rise. This does not trouble me in the abstract, because I live at an elevation of 2500 feet. No amount of melting ice will give me a Waterworld problem. But I'm going to want to build some kind of wall to keep all you GW denialists out.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Hey Sweetpea, I apparently was born this way, as for you?

You realize many places like in Greenland with the billions of tons of ice have forced the "island" under water effectively displacing water. I'm sorry I will be more specific the continent of Antartica falls also into this category.

Johnson, LA isn't sinking it is eroding away as I stated prior.

Benjaminwc, It is a crying shame we couldn't have prevent the last global warming fiasco now look at us.

One last thing Sweetpea. Who determined the optimal earth temprature? Could it be that the last ice age was the true problem and the earth is rebounding to optimal temprature?

-5 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

For the record I'm all for letting New Orleans get flooded out, heck, mother nature has done everything in its power to wipe it out for the last 300 yrs.

As for how much the sea level will rise due to melting ice it doesn't really matter. Archeology in the carribean has uncovered many sites and caves with human artifacts that are now 20 feet or more under water that used to be the coastline. Ocean levels have been rising for the last 10,000 years and nature keeps up with it. The problem that ocean levels pose is to man-made structures near the coast.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

temperature

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from timromano wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Thank you for sharing Bob. Sobering news indeed. It makes me very sad that this is one of the areas that will be hit the hardest. Can't say I'm surprised for some reason. You all can't catch a break...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from redfishunter wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Cheesecake? Sweet pea? Am I the only one who thinks its odd for us to start using pet names?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob81 wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

"Who determined the optimal earth temprature? Could it be that the last ice age was the true problem and the earth is rebounding to optimal temprature?"

It has been interesting to watch the global warming deniers switch thier argument from all out denial to arguing there is no optimal temperature. Progress, I guess?

My own understanding is that, no, there isn't necessarily an optimal temperature but the real danger is in rapid temperature change. In addition to species die-off, what happens
when formerly arable land can no longer produce due to desertification? What happens when water sources serving large population centers dry up? What happens when coastal cities flood due to sea level change?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

I'm not a global warming denier, but I do question whether or not humans have played a role in it. I am frustrated by the conflicting reports that we get out of "scientists", unfortunately they are either politically motivated themselves or their funding is politically motivated. Bottom line is there is not a single source for climate change that I feel is trustworthy.

As I already said, I think that nature will keep up with the change. That may mean die-offs, but critters have gone extinct before man became involved. I'm not saying that we shouldn't be concerned with those losses but what can we do to stop earths cycles. We can try to preserve what we have but if nothing ever changed we would still be hunting mammoths and sabre-tooth tigers and many other creatures here in north america.

Our human tendency is to think that things should always stay exactly as they are or have been in recent memory, but we forget that the earth hasn't always been how we know it. Earth has undergone many cooling and warming periods that have been more extreme than our current situation.

As far as what do we do to adapt to lost water sources for our population or lost coastal cities. I think we'll get a lot farther by planning for those changes than by trying to stop the world from spinning around.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from coachsjike wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

hey dcast,
forget the names cheesecake or sweetpea. how about the fact that you sound like a jackwagon! what is your problem? do you just sit around and read book upon book of uesless info and feel the need to bash people whenever you feel like it? do us all a favor and shut ur pie hole...jackwagon.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from redfishunter wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

I'm not a believer of global warming at all. But that has nothing to do with the disappearance of louisianas marshes. They have been disappearing and claiming new areas for thousands of years. The problem is, as stated before, they are still disappearing, and we have literally drawn a line as to where they can't go. The City of New Orleans should be a massive marsh, except the french quarter. Thats why they built there when they did. It didnt even flood during katrina. but now mankind has developed all around it, and built levees holding the marsh back. I personally think New Orleans is the armpit of america and should be turned to its natural state.

I also think shipping channels are the reason our barrier islands are disappearing. Specifically horne island. The gulf current naturally builds the islands on the west end, all of the barrier islands are slowly moving west. Except right off the west side of Horne it is dredged out to about sixty feet deep for shipping. Meaning the island has nowhere to go. But the east end is rapidly disappearing (and leaving awesome fishing grounds in the process). This is just one instance. The very first island I made a trip too at six years of age is now completely underwater. For the same reason. Still fishing awesome fishing grounds, but considering fifteen years ago you could camp out in a storm and not be flooded, we have a problem.

P.S. - Bob, it's absolute bullsh*t what happened at the times picayune. You should be without a job. A writers and honest workers were laid off that have more talent than you could ever hope too. Except you've kissed just enough a$$ in your day you got to hang around, huh?

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from redfishunter wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

*a lot of writers...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from the Preacher wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

6 billion people walk into a bar...

Someone says, "its really hot in here, can we open a window"

Fox news says. its not hot, thats the natural temperature of this type of room, 6 billion people dont make a difference.

There are no conflicting reports by the scientific community, There is 98% of climate scientists saying one thing, and talking heads for denial news sources saying the opposite.

Get a generator and storm windows. ANd dont buy a house in Florida. HUmans will be the first animal to adjust to these changes. So far in my area there has been very little rain this winter, which is great for the particular steelhead river that I am focussing on. WACKY WEATHER. glad I dont have to shovel too much snow this year, but we will see what july brings. ha

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

So...what exactly do we do about sinking land, other than putting our houses on stilts?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjaminwc wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

The reasons there will never, I believe, solid data on global warming is that the Earth cannot be subjected to the scientific method, for the reason that there is only ONE earth. We don't have another earth to use as a control. This does not mean that I don't believe in a continually changing, dynamic climate around the earth, I do. What I don't believe is that man is causing the apocalyptic destruction of the environment. Fossil fuels and renewable resources should definitely be used wisely. New technologies should be encouraged that lesson our dependence on fossil fuels. We aren’t doing anything to save the earth; it’s about saving the human species. And really the earth doesn't care if we all drive hybrids, or burn all the fossil fuel. It’s been around for 6 billion years and will be around for another 6 billion. The real question is will humans be able to adapt fast enough to survive. Time to focus on our inner “Wil E. Coyote.”

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Todd Tanner wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

elkslayer - One quick suggestion. Forget about the fact that 96 - 98% of climate scientists are convinced that people are warming the planet and use your eyes. What do you see?

I can tell you what I see here in Montana. Our high temperatures are higher. Our low temperatures are higher. Our snows come later, and melt earlier. Our runoff is earlier. Our glaciers are melting, not growing. Our forests are dying. Our wildfires are bigger and more damaging. Our trout streams are running warmer. We’re getting slammed with serious droughts. And our scientists tell us that all these things are directly connected to a changing climate.

While we used to hit 30 or 40 below, we haven’t even broken zero at my house this winter, or last. People are playing golf in Montana in February. Kids were running around in shorts and playing soccer this past weekend. It’s crazy stuff.

So let’s circle back to those climate scientists. An overwhelming majority - in fact, it’s close to unanimous - tell us that we’re doing all this to ourselves. Doesn’t it make sense to consider the possibility that they may be right?

Here’s a great resource to learn more about climate change: ConservationHawks.org

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Benjamin, it's not about saving the earth. The idea is to slow down the acceleration, which scientists say is initiated by greenhouse gas emissions. Yeah, if there were no humans on earth, the planet would still be warming, but the question is whether our presence is putting the warming on overdrive. You have the right to voice your opinion, but the only opinions we should care about and trust are those of climate scientists. Shouldn't we take precaution just in case they're right? Even China has recently put in place new CO2 laws. I think if we take into account what could very well be at stake here, we should err on the side of caution. As humans, we're dependent on food and water. What good will a fossil fuel driven economy be if in a few decades, those very resources that we rely on become scarce? Even if reducing our emissions were to have no effect on slowing down the rate of warming, shouldn't we still plan accordingly? We need to adapt to a changing planet regardless. If there's one issue now aside from conservation that should be non-partisan, it's this one. It's very unfortunate that some poor judgement on behalf of a single scientist has resulted in toxic politicking over the issue as a whole. Anointing Al Gore as the unofficial spokesperson for the issue was another mistake given the political climate in this country. Now we have Heartland Institutes, fossil fuel backed propaganda campaigns and a whole lot of garbage and noise coming from both sides. Just look at the science and put everything else aside.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

As I recall, the Earth would be cooling right now absent human CO2 forcing. We should be heading (slowly, of course) into a Milankovic cycle cooling event. But we're not. The only reasonable "smoking gun" out there is CO2 forcing.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

"So...what exactly do we do about sinking land, other than putting our houses on stilts?"

That is the 24,000 question, at least for LA, so to speak. Indeed, what?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

@Bob81 -- if the Earth has an optimal temperature, it could probably defined as "the one at which wheat and barley grow best in temperate zones and at which rice grows best in the tropics." Anyhow, that's the temperature in which the underlying driver of modern human existence -- grain agriculture -- evolved and to which it has presently adapted.

So a quick adjustment to +6F is not fortcoming. After that, you have to ask yourself a couple of questions.

1. If world food destabilization are the likely result of CO2 forcing, what will be the immediate economic and food security effects on people in the most strongly, adversely affected areas?

2. How will those people react?

3. How will their governments react to their reaction?

4. How much blowback comes around to (pick your scale of interest) me/my family/my town/my state/the USA/the USA and people of whom we have favorable enough opinions that we might want to provide military or economic aid/everyone else.

TBH my interest stops more or less at the US national border. I'd prefer that the USA stop stabilizing and subsidizing the rest of the world.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjaminwc wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

RealGoodMan- I think we are arguing the same side of the discussion. I admit my last comment might not have been that clear. I think we burn fossil fuels at an alarming rate, and at the expense of convenience we ignore technology and sustainable living practices that really would help out civilized society. Take for instance hydrogen fuel cell. There is absolutely nothing in the media or on the horizon about fostering H-fuel cell vehicles or infrastructure. The raw material, Hydrogen is more abundant than anything else. The infrastructure would be about equal to the current fossil fuel infrastructure, and the only waste would be regular H2O. Take the chains of the free market and in 5-7 years most of our cars would be H-fuel cell powered, in 7-15 years most heavy equipment could be run the same way. Eventually the technology is there to run individual houses, businesses, anything electronic on H-fuel cell. That would completely reduce the need for a great many dams, etc. And I could go on. Now I think Big Oil does a lot to lobby for its own benefit. But who doesn’t in Washington? Having said that Big Oil only supplies a product that is in high demand…by us. Take a way demand, and the industry will adapt or disappear. We need to be more effective at the local and grass roots level and stop looking to Washington to save us. Once again it’s never been about saving the planet; it needs to be about preserving liberty and civilized society.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from the Preacher wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

I love it.... cheesecake!!!! I cant wait to use that one.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Todd Tanner

I definetly agree that the earth is getting warmer and that climate change is happening. The difference between us that nearly 100% of the studies you have read support man-made climate change while I have seen more of a near even split between studies for and against human caused climate change.

The earth has been getting warmer since the last ice age and if glaciers never melted then we couldn't inhabit north america or norther europe right now. As far as I know it wasn't man burning fossil fuels that ended the ice age. As far as data collected over the last 100 years of man using fossil fuels and the corresponding temperature increases, I belive there is a strong case for coincidence. That doesn't mean that I don't think we should be advancing technology towards decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels and other improvements. It just means that I'm not convinced that humans are causing an acceleration of the warming that the earth has been doing for the last 10,000 years.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris Dupre wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Dcast is correct in saying the levees and channeling of the Miss River is causing southeastern Louisiana from being replenished with silt from the river. That is how the delta (land) was formed to begin with before civilization stepped in. Southeastern Louisiana is the river delta and vice-versa.
What I hate about this article is the headline blaring "the sea is rising, the sea is rising!" when in fact the land is disappearing because it is 'sinking' or not being replenished. That fact is not found until the 4th paragraph.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hutter wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

It's going to rise, look at all the crude oil they added. A tub will only hold so much !

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clink83 wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

"Won't the newly flooded lands just transition into marshlands and replace the losses?

The rising sealevels are going to happen over the course of the next 90 years, Over a gradual change such as this I would think that the existing marsh plantlife and sea life will follow the new water line and colonize the newly flooded areas.
"
No. The problem in LA is that all the salt marshes are being eroded away as it. Thats why LA was hit so bad by all the hurricanes in the past few years.

Plus, the rising sea level will upset the salt balance in the estuaries, killing the vegetation that can't handle higher salt levels, increasing erosion.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clink83 wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

"I'm not a global warming denier, but I do question whether or not humans have played a role in it. I am frustrated by the conflicting reports that we get out of "scientists", unfortunately they are either politically motivated themselves or their funding is politically motivated. Bottom line is there is not a single source for climate change that I feel is trustworthy."
It's really simple. If you burn hundreds of thousands of tons of fossil fuels every year, you're converting inert carbon into CO2. You simply can't change matter from one form into another and not have it change the atmosphere.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FishFarmer wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Dcast, do you really need someone to tell you that islands are attached to the sea floor and are not just floating around in the ocean? Because of this they actually don't sink due to the weight of whatever is on them. Subsidence is a different issue relating to tectonic plates moving with some areas sinking and others rising depending on the interactions between plates where they meet.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 6 weeks ago

Well, you can feel less frustrated then, Clink81, because there are no conflicting reports coming from actual scientists. There is nearly universal agreement that CO2 forcing is causing global warming. The only people in denial of that are people who either don't know the data or don't know ths science.

The substantive debate, among real scientists, is not whether or not humans are making the earth hotter by burning fossil fuels. That we are doing so is an established, proven fact. The only real debate is "how great will the changes be." There has been for years a strong empirically conservative faction coming down on the area of "+3 to +5 degrees F by 2100." But it's now starting to seem that the warming is exceeding the rates predicted by models; where "+10F by 2100" used to be viewed as the very unlikely extreme outlier, it's now viewed as an undesirable but very strongly possible outcome.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 6 weeks ago

My bad. I reread and understand you're quoting Elskslayer so my reply is redirected to him.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from the Preacher wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

6 billion people walk into a bar...

Someone says, "its really hot in here, can we open a window"

Fox news says. its not hot, thats the natural temperature of this type of room, 6 billion people dont make a difference.

There are no conflicting reports by the scientific community, There is 98% of climate scientists saying one thing, and talking heads for denial news sources saying the opposite.

Get a generator and storm windows. ANd dont buy a house in Florida. HUmans will be the first animal to adjust to these changes. So far in my area there has been very little rain this winter, which is great for the particular steelhead river that I am focussing on. WACKY WEATHER. glad I dont have to shovel too much snow this year, but we will see what july brings. ha

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjaminwc wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

The reasons there will never, I believe, solid data on global warming is that the Earth cannot be subjected to the scientific method, for the reason that there is only ONE earth. We don't have another earth to use as a control. This does not mean that I don't believe in a continually changing, dynamic climate around the earth, I do. What I don't believe is that man is causing the apocalyptic destruction of the environment. Fossil fuels and renewable resources should definitely be used wisely. New technologies should be encouraged that lesson our dependence on fossil fuels. We aren’t doing anything to save the earth; it’s about saving the human species. And really the earth doesn't care if we all drive hybrids, or burn all the fossil fuel. It’s been around for 6 billion years and will be around for another 6 billion. The real question is will humans be able to adapt fast enough to survive. Time to focus on our inner “Wil E. Coyote.”

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnsons1120 wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Dcast, what Bob is saying is that the land in Louisiana is sinking relative to current sea levels at an unusually high rate. When land sinks one foot relative to current elevation and sea levels rise one foot relative to current sea levels, that means that the ocean is two feet higher on the land in that specific location. Please read the last couple paragraphs of the post, that should clear things up for you a bit

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Dcast, are you naturally so stupid or do you have to work to maintain that level of ignorance? Here's the deal, cheescake: a whole lot of the world's ice is not floating on the ocean. I know you may not be up to speed on this, but Greenland has most of the ice north of the Arctic circle, and Greenland is... wait for it... an island. And since we're on the subject of land masses covered with ice, there's Antarctica. It's called a "continent" because much of Antarctica is also above sea level. It too is covered with ice.

The upshot is that if you melt even 10% of that land-locked ice, you'll get alot more than 4' of sea level increase.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

FYI, in case you were actually interested in polar ice, if you melt the Greenland ice cap you get about 12 feet of global sea level rise. Melt the Antarctic ice cap and you get another 200 feet approx sea level rise. This does not trouble me in the abstract, because I live at an elevation of 2500 feet. No amount of melting ice will give me a Waterworld problem. But I'm going to want to build some kind of wall to keep all you GW denialists out.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob81 wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

"Who determined the optimal earth temprature? Could it be that the last ice age was the true problem and the earth is rebounding to optimal temprature?"

It has been interesting to watch the global warming deniers switch thier argument from all out denial to arguing there is no optimal temperature. Progress, I guess?

My own understanding is that, no, there isn't necessarily an optimal temperature but the real danger is in rapid temperature change. In addition to species die-off, what happens
when formerly arable land can no longer produce due to desertification? What happens when water sources serving large population centers dry up? What happens when coastal cities flood due to sea level change?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from coachsjike wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

hey dcast,
forget the names cheesecake or sweetpea. how about the fact that you sound like a jackwagon! what is your problem? do you just sit around and read book upon book of uesless info and feel the need to bash people whenever you feel like it? do us all a favor and shut ur pie hole...jackwagon.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Benjamin, it's not about saving the earth. The idea is to slow down the acceleration, which scientists say is initiated by greenhouse gas emissions. Yeah, if there were no humans on earth, the planet would still be warming, but the question is whether our presence is putting the warming on overdrive. You have the right to voice your opinion, but the only opinions we should care about and trust are those of climate scientists. Shouldn't we take precaution just in case they're right? Even China has recently put in place new CO2 laws. I think if we take into account what could very well be at stake here, we should err on the side of caution. As humans, we're dependent on food and water. What good will a fossil fuel driven economy be if in a few decades, those very resources that we rely on become scarce? Even if reducing our emissions were to have no effect on slowing down the rate of warming, shouldn't we still plan accordingly? We need to adapt to a changing planet regardless. If there's one issue now aside from conservation that should be non-partisan, it's this one. It's very unfortunate that some poor judgement on behalf of a single scientist has resulted in toxic politicking over the issue as a whole. Anointing Al Gore as the unofficial spokesperson for the issue was another mistake given the political climate in this country. Now we have Heartland Institutes, fossil fuel backed propaganda campaigns and a whole lot of garbage and noise coming from both sides. Just look at the science and put everything else aside.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

As I recall, the Earth would be cooling right now absent human CO2 forcing. We should be heading (slowly, of course) into a Milankovic cycle cooling event. But we're not. The only reasonable "smoking gun" out there is CO2 forcing.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

@Bob81 -- if the Earth has an optimal temperature, it could probably defined as "the one at which wheat and barley grow best in temperate zones and at which rice grows best in the tropics." Anyhow, that's the temperature in which the underlying driver of modern human existence -- grain agriculture -- evolved and to which it has presently adapted.

So a quick adjustment to +6F is not fortcoming. After that, you have to ask yourself a couple of questions.

1. If world food destabilization are the likely result of CO2 forcing, what will be the immediate economic and food security effects on people in the most strongly, adversely affected areas?

2. How will those people react?

3. How will their governments react to their reaction?

4. How much blowback comes around to (pick your scale of interest) me/my family/my town/my state/the USA/the USA and people of whom we have favorable enough opinions that we might want to provide military or economic aid/everyone else.

TBH my interest stops more or less at the US national border. I'd prefer that the USA stop stabilizing and subsidizing the rest of the world.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjaminwc wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

RealGoodMan- I think we are arguing the same side of the discussion. I admit my last comment might not have been that clear. I think we burn fossil fuels at an alarming rate, and at the expense of convenience we ignore technology and sustainable living practices that really would help out civilized society. Take for instance hydrogen fuel cell. There is absolutely nothing in the media or on the horizon about fostering H-fuel cell vehicles or infrastructure. The raw material, Hydrogen is more abundant than anything else. The infrastructure would be about equal to the current fossil fuel infrastructure, and the only waste would be regular H2O. Take the chains of the free market and in 5-7 years most of our cars would be H-fuel cell powered, in 7-15 years most heavy equipment could be run the same way. Eventually the technology is there to run individual houses, businesses, anything electronic on H-fuel cell. That would completely reduce the need for a great many dams, etc. And I could go on. Now I think Big Oil does a lot to lobby for its own benefit. But who doesn’t in Washington? Having said that Big Oil only supplies a product that is in high demand…by us. Take a way demand, and the industry will adapt or disappear. We need to be more effective at the local and grass roots level and stop looking to Washington to save us. Once again it’s never been about saving the planet; it needs to be about preserving liberty and civilized society.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FishFarmer wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Dcast, do you really need someone to tell you that islands are attached to the sea floor and are not just floating around in the ocean? Because of this they actually don't sink due to the weight of whatever is on them. Subsidence is a different issue relating to tectonic plates moving with some areas sinking and others rising depending on the interactions between plates where they meet.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from redfishunter wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Elkslayer, your comment is correct. New areas should be turning into a marsh. The problem is, where that marsh is supposed to be, we built the City of New Orleans. And it's not going anywhere. So the marshes will not have anywhere to spread. And you are right about the channels. I think the Corps of Engineers is the main culprit for the destruction of the marshes. Also, people don't want to admit it, but our own boatwake is degrading them as well. The marshes are usually smooth as glass, even somewhat so in a storm. Add big center consoles putting out a three foot wake all the time and they begin to erode much more quickly.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

For the record I'm all for letting New Orleans get flooded out, heck, mother nature has done everything in its power to wipe it out for the last 300 yrs.

As for how much the sea level will rise due to melting ice it doesn't really matter. Archeology in the carribean has uncovered many sites and caves with human artifacts that are now 20 feet or more under water that used to be the coastline. Ocean levels have been rising for the last 10,000 years and nature keeps up with it. The problem that ocean levels pose is to man-made structures near the coast.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from timromano wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Thank you for sharing Bob. Sobering news indeed. It makes me very sad that this is one of the areas that will be hit the hardest. Can't say I'm surprised for some reason. You all can't catch a break...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

I'm not a global warming denier, but I do question whether or not humans have played a role in it. I am frustrated by the conflicting reports that we get out of "scientists", unfortunately they are either politically motivated themselves or their funding is politically motivated. Bottom line is there is not a single source for climate change that I feel is trustworthy.

As I already said, I think that nature will keep up with the change. That may mean die-offs, but critters have gone extinct before man became involved. I'm not saying that we shouldn't be concerned with those losses but what can we do to stop earths cycles. We can try to preserve what we have but if nothing ever changed we would still be hunting mammoths and sabre-tooth tigers and many other creatures here in north america.

Our human tendency is to think that things should always stay exactly as they are or have been in recent memory, but we forget that the earth hasn't always been how we know it. Earth has undergone many cooling and warming periods that have been more extreme than our current situation.

As far as what do we do to adapt to lost water sources for our population or lost coastal cities. I think we'll get a lot farther by planning for those changes than by trying to stop the world from spinning around.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

So...what exactly do we do about sinking land, other than putting our houses on stilts?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Todd Tanner

I definetly agree that the earth is getting warmer and that climate change is happening. The difference between us that nearly 100% of the studies you have read support man-made climate change while I have seen more of a near even split between studies for and against human caused climate change.

The earth has been getting warmer since the last ice age and if glaciers never melted then we couldn't inhabit north america or norther europe right now. As far as I know it wasn't man burning fossil fuels that ended the ice age. As far as data collected over the last 100 years of man using fossil fuels and the corresponding temperature increases, I belive there is a strong case for coincidence. That doesn't mean that I don't think we should be advancing technology towards decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels and other improvements. It just means that I'm not convinced that humans are causing an acceleration of the warming that the earth has been doing for the last 10,000 years.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clink83 wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

"I'm not a global warming denier, but I do question whether or not humans have played a role in it. I am frustrated by the conflicting reports that we get out of "scientists", unfortunately they are either politically motivated themselves or their funding is politically motivated. Bottom line is there is not a single source for climate change that I feel is trustworthy."
It's really simple. If you burn hundreds of thousands of tons of fossil fuels every year, you're converting inert carbon into CO2. You simply can't change matter from one form into another and not have it change the atmosphere.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Won't the newly flooded lands just transition into marshlands and replace the losses?

The rising sealevels are going to happen over the course of the next 90 years, Over a gradual change such as this I would think that the existing marsh plantlife and sea life will follow the new water line and colonize the newly flooded areas.

I think nature will take care of itself in this case, however it would be better if we de-channelized the river and allowed it to deposit sediments naturally.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjaminwc wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Maybe that's because lower Louisiana is at or below sea level.... Honestly. How Mother Nature, and Planet Earth survived before "Modern Man" and his studies came along is beyond me. I think we could have saved the dinosaurs if only we had been there to do an enviormental impact statement.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

temperature

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from redfishunter wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Cheesecake? Sweet pea? Am I the only one who thinks its odd for us to start using pet names?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from redfishunter wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

*a lot of writers...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Todd Tanner wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

elkslayer - One quick suggestion. Forget about the fact that 96 - 98% of climate scientists are convinced that people are warming the planet and use your eyes. What do you see?

I can tell you what I see here in Montana. Our high temperatures are higher. Our low temperatures are higher. Our snows come later, and melt earlier. Our runoff is earlier. Our glaciers are melting, not growing. Our forests are dying. Our wildfires are bigger and more damaging. Our trout streams are running warmer. We’re getting slammed with serious droughts. And our scientists tell us that all these things are directly connected to a changing climate.

While we used to hit 30 or 40 below, we haven’t even broken zero at my house this winter, or last. People are playing golf in Montana in February. Kids were running around in shorts and playing soccer this past weekend. It’s crazy stuff.

So let’s circle back to those climate scientists. An overwhelming majority - in fact, it’s close to unanimous - tell us that we’re doing all this to ourselves. Doesn’t it make sense to consider the possibility that they may be right?

Here’s a great resource to learn more about climate change: ConservationHawks.org

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

"So...what exactly do we do about sinking land, other than putting our houses on stilts?"

That is the 24,000 question, at least for LA, so to speak. Indeed, what?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from the Preacher wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

I love it.... cheesecake!!!! I cant wait to use that one.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris Dupre wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Dcast is correct in saying the levees and channeling of the Miss River is causing southeastern Louisiana from being replenished with silt from the river. That is how the delta (land) was formed to begin with before civilization stepped in. Southeastern Louisiana is the river delta and vice-versa.
What I hate about this article is the headline blaring "the sea is rising, the sea is rising!" when in fact the land is disappearing because it is 'sinking' or not being replenished. That fact is not found until the 4th paragraph.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hutter wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

It's going to rise, look at all the crude oil they added. A tub will only hold so much !

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clink83 wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

"Won't the newly flooded lands just transition into marshlands and replace the losses?

The rising sealevels are going to happen over the course of the next 90 years, Over a gradual change such as this I would think that the existing marsh plantlife and sea life will follow the new water line and colonize the newly flooded areas.
"
No. The problem in LA is that all the salt marshes are being eroded away as it. Thats why LA was hit so bad by all the hurricanes in the past few years.

Plus, the rising sea level will upset the salt balance in the estuaries, killing the vegetation that can't handle higher salt levels, increasing erosion.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 6 weeks ago

Well, you can feel less frustrated then, Clink81, because there are no conflicting reports coming from actual scientists. There is nearly universal agreement that CO2 forcing is causing global warming. The only people in denial of that are people who either don't know the data or don't know ths science.

The substantive debate, among real scientists, is not whether or not humans are making the earth hotter by burning fossil fuels. That we are doing so is an established, proven fact. The only real debate is "how great will the changes be." There has been for years a strong empirically conservative faction coming down on the area of "+3 to +5 degrees F by 2100." But it's now starting to seem that the warming is exceeding the rates predicted by models; where "+10F by 2100" used to be viewed as the very unlikely extreme outlier, it's now viewed as an undesirable but very strongly possible outcome.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 6 weeks ago

My bad. I reread and understand you're quoting Elskslayer so my reply is redirected to him.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from redfishunter wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

I'm not a believer of global warming at all. But that has nothing to do with the disappearance of louisianas marshes. They have been disappearing and claiming new areas for thousands of years. The problem is, as stated before, they are still disappearing, and we have literally drawn a line as to where they can't go. The City of New Orleans should be a massive marsh, except the french quarter. Thats why they built there when they did. It didnt even flood during katrina. but now mankind has developed all around it, and built levees holding the marsh back. I personally think New Orleans is the armpit of america and should be turned to its natural state.

I also think shipping channels are the reason our barrier islands are disappearing. Specifically horne island. The gulf current naturally builds the islands on the west end, all of the barrier islands are slowly moving west. Except right off the west side of Horne it is dredged out to about sixty feet deep for shipping. Meaning the island has nowhere to go. But the east end is rapidly disappearing (and leaving awesome fishing grounds in the process). This is just one instance. The very first island I made a trip too at six years of age is now completely underwater. For the same reason. Still fishing awesome fishing grounds, but considering fifteen years ago you could camp out in a storm and not be flooded, we have a problem.

P.S. - Bob, it's absolute bullsh*t what happened at the times picayune. You should be without a job. A writers and honest workers were laid off that have more talent than you could ever hope too. Except you've kissed just enough a$$ in your day you got to hang around, huh?

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

My GOD! Bob you can't seriously have posted such an assinine article as this without selling your soul to the Devil himself or Al Jezzera take your pick! Your telling us there is enough ice to raise the sea level 4'? I don't have the proof but impossible if anything the sea level would decrease due to displacement. Think full glass of water and adding ice cube or the opposite. The Antarctic is gaining ice scientifically proven. What was with the article posted here on F&S, Outdoor Life, and all over the internet about the Mississipi Delta washing away thanks to our own Army Corp of Engineers channelizing the whole thing causing erosion also not allowing the natural flooding which deposits rich fertile sediment which the coast of LA needs to grow and maintain itself? Back to the sea level rise your saying the coastal area of LA would be under 4' of water due to ice melt/Global Warming more than any other area in the world? Please explain the possibility of this happening. It sounds as if all the glaciers in the world were to melt all that water would find its way to LA?

The only "stunning finding", is that Field & Stream still have you on their payroll!

Everyone the sky is falling, but remember it starts at the ground!

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Hey Sweetpea, I apparently was born this way, as for you?

You realize many places like in Greenland with the billions of tons of ice have forced the "island" under water effectively displacing water. I'm sorry I will be more specific the continent of Antartica falls also into this category.

Johnson, LA isn't sinking it is eroding away as I stated prior.

Benjaminwc, It is a crying shame we couldn't have prevent the last global warming fiasco now look at us.

One last thing Sweetpea. Who determined the optimal earth temprature? Could it be that the last ice age was the true problem and the earth is rebounding to optimal temprature?

-5 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment