Louisiana Coast Will Disappear, Study Says. The Only Question Is How Soon.

Sea-level rise has passed a tipping point in the Gulf of Mexico.

1 minute read

May 26, 2020, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina

NOAA Photo Library / Flickr

Mark Schleifstein shares news of a study published in Science Advances that makes a dire prediction for the Louisiana coast: "[T]he remaining 5,800 square miles of Louisiana's coastal wetlands in the Mississippi River delta will disappear." The only question is when.

According to the authors of the study, the wetlands that run along the coast of Louisiana have already reached a tipping point, as sea-level rise trends consistent around the world supplement the local conditions created by the Mississippi River meeting the Gulf of Mexico.

The study's lead author, Torbjörn Törnqvist, a Tulane University geology professor, is cited in the article predicting that the future shoreline "will parallel what's known as the Baton Rouge Fault, an east-west line where land heights today are at about 15 feet above sea level."

"For the New Orleans area, that would be along the North Shore, somewhere near Interstate 12," writes Schleifstein.

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