Rising Sea Greater Danger to Louisiana than Sinking Land

November 27, 2006

Rising sea levels, fueled by melting polar ice caps, may well pose a greater threat to Louisiana than the sinking of its land, a new Tulane University study says.

The study appeared in last week’s issue of Eos. Published by the American Geophysical Union, “Eos” is the world’s most widely read geoscience periodical.

In the article Torbjörn Törnqvist, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at Tulane, shows that the rate at which parts of the Mississippi Delta are sinking is at least ten times less than has been recently claimed.

The biggest danger for coastal Louisiana is rising sea level which, according to Törnqvist, has been as much as four times more rapid over the past century than during the previous thousand years. The rate of sea-level rise is expected to at least double in the next century. Higher sea level increases the impact of storm surge and the vulnerability of hurricane-prone areas.

Protecting Louisiana from storms in the future must involve reducing global warming, the main cause of rising sea levels, restoring the loss of wetlands and barrier islands and building better levees, Törnqvist says.

Source: Tulane University

Explore further: Scientists find slow subsidence of Earth's crust beneath the Mississippi delta

Related Stories

Recommended for you

How the Elwha dam removals changed the river's mouth

January 19, 2018

For decades, resource managers agreed that removing the two dams on the Elwha River would be a big win for the watershed as a whole and, in particular, for its anadromous trout and salmon. The dams sat on the river for more ...

Glacial moulin formation triggered by rapid lake drainage

January 18, 2018

Scientists are uncovering the mystery of how, where and when important glacial features called moulins form on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Moulins, vertical conduits that penetrate through the half-mile-deep ice, efficiently ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.