How consequential is 0.009 millimeters per year?
In the Rolling Stone blog post “Why Budget Cuts and Global Warming Don’t Mix,” Jared Bernstein writes:
… According to the Associated Press, “Louisiana has lost about 2,100 square miles of coast and loses about 25 square miles a year. Experts warn that much of south Louisiana and Mississippi are at risk of being lost for good.” Additionally, “32 scientists – including many working on the state’s coastal restoration efforts – told Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal that there’s a direct link between the rising sea levels eroding the state’s coastline and greenhouse gases produced by the state’s industries”…
Assuming for the sake of argument that there is a link between manmade greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and the much-dreaded global warming, Louisiana industry emitted about 131 million tons of GHGs in 2010, according to the EPA. This amounts to about 0.44% of global manmade greenhouse gas emissions.
Florida State’s Joseph Donoghue reported earlier this year in the journal Climatic Change that:
… The [northern Gulf of Mexico] tide gauge record reveals that sea level has been rising at about 2 mm/year for the past century, while the average rate of rise since the [last glacial maximum] has been 6 mm/year, with some periods of abrupt rise exceeding 40 mm/year…
So overlooking the portion of sea-level rise that’s due to sinking land, about 0.009mm/yr (2mm/yr x 0.0044) of Louisiana’s sea level rise could be attributed to the state’s industrial emissions.