Too stupid for words.
When sea level rises, it rises everywhere by the same amount. (Experiment with this idea at home in the bath.) To the extent different coastal areas experience differences in “sea level rise,” the differences are not due to general sea level rise, but are due to local land changes (i.e., from like land use, subsidence or tectonics). So Louisiana wetlands may be sinking faster relative other locales in relation to whatever rise in sea-level may be occurring generally. But sea level is not rising faster along the Gulf coast.
Along these lines is a letter submitted to Tulane magazine by JunkScience.com friend Dr. Charles Battig:
Letter to the editor, Tulane Magazine
Attn: Ms. Mary Ann Travis
Professor Tornqvist sees costal salvation in atmospheric trace gasses. In 1897 the locals knew better.
“It is a fact well known to people living in the delta of the Mississippi that large tracks of land were long ago abandoned in consequence of overflow by gulf waters due to the sinking of the lands” National Geographic 1897 volume 8, #12, Corthell, (pg.353). Also, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (J. Boon 2010): “about 53% of the relative sea level rise measured at bay water level stations is…due to local subsidence,” and “… along the U.S. Atlantic coast, there is…no evidence of a statistically significant increase marking an acceleration in RSL rise…” Apparent coastal sea-level rise is secondary to local geological mechanics.
Climate research centers acknowledge 18 years of no change in atmospheric temperature, even as CO2 has increased 10 per cent. Average sea-level rise remains at 7-12 inches per hundred years, and may decrease if global temperatures decrease as some climatologists are predicting. CO2 storage projects have been failures in the U.S. and in Norway.
Charles G. Battig, M.S. ’57, M.D.’61
The media release is below.
Louisiana wetlands struggling with sea-level rise four times the global average
Without major efforts to rebuild Louisiana’s wetlands, particularly in the westernmost part of the state, there is little chance that the coast will be able to withstand the accelerating rate of sea-level rise, a new Tulane University study concludes.
The study by researchers in Tulane’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and published in the open-access journal Nature Communications shows that the rate of sea-level rise in the region over the past six to 10 years amounts to half an inch per year on average.
“In the Mississippi Delta, about 65 percent of study sites are probably still keeping pace, but in the westernmost part of coastal Louisiana, more than 60 percent of sites are on track to drown,” said Tulane geology professor Torbjörn E. Törnqvist, a co-author of the study.
Törnqvist conducted the research with lead author and PhD candidate Krista L. Jankowski and co-author Anjali M. Fernandes, a former postdoc in Törnqvist’s group who is now at the University of Connecticut.
The researchers used an unconventional method to measure sea-level change that integrated information from different data sources. They analyzed measurements of shallow subsidence rates at 274 sites across the coast and combined these with published GPS-measurements of deeper subsidence rates. Adding published satellite observations of the rise of the sea surface in the Gulf of Mexico, they were able to calculate how rapidly sea level is rising with respect to the coastal wetland surface.
“The bottom line is that in order to assess how dire the situation is in Louisiana, this new dataset is a huge step forward compared to anything we’ve done before,” Törnqvist said.
Justin Lawrence of the National Science Foundation, which provided funding for the study, agreed.
“These researchers have developed a new method of evaluating whether coastal marshes in Louisiana will be submerged by rising sea levels,” Lawrence said. “The findings suggest that a large portion of coastal marshes in Louisiana are vulnerable to present-day sea-level rise. This work may provide an early indication of what is to occur in coastal regions around the world later this century.”
The research was made possible through publicly available data collected under the auspices of Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the US Geological Survey.