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Author Topic: Saving Louisiana Coastline Focused on the Lower Mississippi River Delta  (Read 8262 times)

AbruptSLR

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Currently Louisiana's coastal areas are losing an average of about 55 sq miles a year of coastal area, and the Lower Mississippi River Delta has the highest relative sea level rise rates in the USA (due to high local rates of subsidence).

If anyone has any new ideas, or research papers, on how to help save Louisiana's delta/coastal areas from disappearing beneath the waves, I would like to hear them.

Best,
Abrupt SLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Buddy

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I don't want to sound so pessimistic......BUT.....if we can't even "level off" CO2......isn't the Louisiana coast TOAST?

If CO2 levels are at 450 in another 20 years........what realistic hope does Louisiana (or parts of Miami for that matter) have?

Increases in future sea level rise are already "baked in".............

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JimD

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ASLR

Even if we didn't have AGW to deal with the coast of Louisiana would be toast.

We 'manage' the entire drainage of the Mississippi to control flooding and provide irrigation water.  If the river does not flood every year like it is supposed to then the delta slowly disappears.  We are certainly not going to stop what we are doing to the rivers.

Maybe Derrick Jensen or his followers will blow a few of the dams for us.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

AbruptSLR

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All,

Please note that people around the world are continuing to build on coastlines with high risks of inundation in the near future due to combined heightened storm surge and RSLR, including not only in the Lower Mississippi River Delta, but also in places like: New York, New Jersey, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Miami, etc.  Is our base plan only to facilitate their emergency evacuation with each new inundation event?

I don't think that the people of Holland are going to give-up their nation to the sea so easily, and I doubt that the people of Louisiana are going to just walk away from their homes without a fight.

I guess that we will all have a better idea in a few decades what happens to these hundreds of millions of people, around the world,  who will be living in harms way when the slow motion tsunami of RSLR knocks on their doors, with increasingly elevated storm surge events.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

sidd

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Hallegate (2013)  DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1979
 is a good paper, especially Supplementary 4, which informs me that 842,000 people live under one meter in New Orleans, and one million under two. A great number of cities are listed.

sidd

AbruptSLR

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sidd,

Thanks for the helpful reference.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

OldLeatherneck

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ASLR,

Last year, after making a trip across the extreme southern portions of Louisiana.  I posted my observations relative to rising sea levels, AGW/CC and the eventual economic and societal impact upon almost every area of southern Louisiana, south of I-10.  It's not just the Mississippi Delta, it's also going to impact SE Texas from Port Arthur to Houston.

I posted this in Consequences, "Global Impact (Economic & Societal" ,
Post 51: titled "A Journey Through "Cajun Country""

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,30.50.html
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AbruptSLR

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OldLeatherneck,

I found your account of your trip through Cajun Country, to be both very genuine and helpful.

I had previously forgot about the effects of ocean acidification on the Louisiana marine life, and I had not previously thought through the full impact on the Cajuns of the Peak Oil (or equivalent) on their economics and life-style.

Thank you for the link,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

OldLeatherneck

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OldLeatherneck,

I found your account of your trip through Cajun Country, to be both very genuine and helpful.

I had previously forgot about the effects of ocean acidification on the Louisiana marine life, and I had not previously thought through the full impact on the Cajuns of the Peak Oil (or equivalent) on their economics and life-style.

Thank you for the link,
ASLR

ASLR,

Thanks for your thoughtful and candid response.

When you candidly admitted that you had forgotten about, or previously not thought about several of the impacts of AGW/CC on the Louisiana coastline, it made me appreciate how little we understand about the true impacts on any individual region of the world.  Unless someone has lived in or traveled extensively in an area, they can not grasp what the total impact of rising sea levels or AGW/CC in general will have on any vulnerable locale.

When thinking only of SLR, one can get a sense of the impact for a given seaport or coastline by looking at a topographical map.  However, without an understanding of the regional culture, economy, infrastructure and governmental structure one can not fully appreciate the true impact.

Some coastal locations will just need to be abandoned or relocated while others can be provided some level of protection.

Coastal Louisiana is an example of a large swath of land will have to eventually be abandoned due to rising sea levels.  Since that region is heavily dependent on the oil/gas industry, not many people would be willing to give up their current way of life and only source on income just to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels in an attempt to reduce CO2 emissions.






"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

AbruptSLR

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OldLeatherneck,

I fully agree that unless one understands the regional culture, economy, infrastructure and governmental structure one can not fully appreciate the true local impacts; however, as Louisiana is at the leading edge of the SLR issue (due to many factors including subsidence, erosion, hurricanes, low land elevations, etc.) hopeful the rest of the world will learn some lessons from Louisiana so that they will be more prepared to deal with the challenges when their turn comes, as sea level continues to rise in the future.

Best,
ASLE
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

OldLeatherneck

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Re: Saving Louisiana Coastline Focused on the Lower Mississippi River Delta
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 08:00:04 PM »
OldLeatherneck,

I fully agree that unless one understands the regional culture, economy, infrastructure and governmental structure one can not fully appreciate the true local impacts; however, as Louisiana is at the leading edge of the SLR issue (due to many factors including subsidence, erosion, hurricanes, low land elevations, etc.) hopeful the rest of the world will learn some lessons from Louisiana so that they will be more prepared to deal with the challenges when their turn comes, as sea level continues to rise in the future.

Best,
ASLE

ASLR,

Unfortunately, Bangladesh may not have time to learn any lessons from what is learned in Louisiiana!!
"Share Your Knowledge.  It's a Way to Achieve Immortality."  ......the Dalai Lama

AbruptSLR

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Re: Saving Louisiana Coastline Focused on the Lower Mississippi River Delta
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2014, 12:46:15 AM »
OldLeatherneck,

You make a good point, also not only were the river deltas in Bangladesh and Louisiana formed during the past 10,000 years (during the Holocene); but most of the river deltas of the world were formed all at the same elevation as sea level has be relatively constant for at least 8,000 years.  We will see whether we learn fast enough to deal with all of these river delta areas (Yellow River, Nile River, Danube River etc), nearly simultaneously.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

wili

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Re: Saving Louisiana Coastline Focused on the Lower Mississippi River Delta
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2014, 02:29:21 AM »
The province of Jiangsu (just north of Shanghai) is almost entirely made up of silt from China's two great rivers: The Yantze and the Yellow (the latter now flows to the north, but through history it often shifted south through this province). Only two or three meters of sea level rise will turn most of the province (as well as most of Shanghai) into sea or salt marsh. Well over a hundred million people live in the province and the city.

Shanghai, whose name means 'on the sea' will become Shiahai "under the sea."
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

JackTaylor

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Re: Saving Louisiana Coastline Focused on the Lower Mississippi River Delta
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2014, 05:02:23 PM »
Shanghai, whose name means 'on the sea' will become Shiahai "under the sea."
wili,
Your comment reminds me of news almost two weeks ago, 
Shanghai "Salt Tide" - their longest ever.
http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-02/24/content_17300378.htm


AbruptSLR

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Re: Saving Louisiana Coastline Focused on the Lower Mississippi River Delta
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2014, 07:37:08 PM »
JackTaylor,

Thanks for the link to the article on tidally-induced saltwater contamination of Shanghai drinking water.  It reminds me that most people do not understand that SLR does not only increase flood risks, but the saltwater penetrates the groundwater along the coastline (particularly in deltas, but also in other coastal areas), where it can attack not only groundwater water wells, but also all of the buried utilities (corrosion) and basements.

Furthermore, SLR can increase the distance of upstream travel of saltwater water lenses (often tidally or storm surge driven) up the bed of rivers, and as most large coastal cities (London, New York, Miami, Tokyo etc) get some of their water supply from adjoining river; such saltwater lenses can impact water sources beyond groundwater supplies.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

JackTaylor

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Re: Saving Louisiana Coastline Focused on the Lower Mississippi River Delta
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2014, 11:05:10 PM »
ASLR,

More on "salty" with a GOOGLE of:
georgia aquifer saltwater intrusion

same thing for
floridan aquifer saltwater intrusion

we may be moving people off the coasts faster than some want.

FRESH WATER !

AbruptSLR

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Re: Saving Louisiana Coastline Focused on the Lower Mississippi River Delta
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2014, 12:13:10 AM »
JackTaylor,

I think that the bill for SLR consequences will come due much earlier than may people are expecting.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Tom_Mazanec

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