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Thousands of Miles of Mississippi Delta Lost to Sea Level Rise by 2100

By 2100, vast stretches of the Mississippi Delta will be lost to sea level rise, according to a recent study. More than 5,000 square miles could be lost, including much of New Orleans, researchers say.
July 6, 2009, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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Conducted by researchers at Louisiana State University, the study says that even with levee improvements and other geological engineering to the Mississippi River, there will not be enough silt delivered to the Gulf Coast region to counteract rising sea levels.

"The boundary conditions appear unforgiving. For instance, all that remains of New Orleans would probably be the French Quarter and the airport. Lake Pontchartrain would lie beneath a vast bay. Along its southernmost reaches, the Mississippi River would remain a river only by virtue of the levees raised to contain it.

The researchers acknowledge that the study is a first cut at putting numbers to the problem. Others are likely to devise more precise estimates. 'But even if we're off by 50 percent, it's still bad,' says Michael Blum, Dr. Roberts's colleague on the work."

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Published on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 in The Christian Science Monitor
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