Policy & Planning

Since we last covered the California drought, conditions in the state have stayed, well, dry—very dry. Statewide, total precipitation is about equal to or below the lowest three-year period since 1895.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

  • At the edge of southern Louisiana sits Port Fourchon—the hub through which 20 percent of our nation’s oil and gas supplies are distributed to the rest of the country. The only road leading to and from this major port is the Louisana-1 Highway. A drive down the LA-1 through a vulnerable but vibrant coastal landscape shows what is at stake if ‘America’s longest main street’ fails to stay above water.

  • David Miller of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development was one of the engineers given the task of determining how high to raise several miles of the Louisiana-1, or LA-1, highway. Climate data were essential for making sure that the roadway would last 75-100 years into the future.

  • The mayor of the last inhabited barrier island in the Gulf describes how Grand Isle's dunes are Louisiana’s first line of defense against surging storms.

  • Henri Boulet of the LA-1 Coalition and Tim Osborn of NOAA’s Office of Coastal Survey explain how engineers use climate data to plan for sea level rise and to keep the oil industry in business in Port Fourchon.

  • Port Fourchon services 90 percent of all deepwater activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Port Director Chett Chiasson tours the harbor while discussing climate adaptation and resilience.

  • Abundant shrimp, crabs, oysters, and access to the Gulf of Mexico make Fourchon Parish an attractive place to live and work. Windell Curole talks about his responsibilities for maintaining the levees that protect the parish from storm surge and rising seas.

     

  • Josh Kent of Louisiana State University gives a simple explanation of how sea level rise from climate change and sinking of the land both contribute to coastal changes.

  • On this tour of the remains of Leeville, Louisiana, long-time resident Windell Curole explains how storms and rising sea level have forced people to retreat inland several times in the last century.

  • Randy Osborne of LSU and NOAA's Tim Osborn explain how global positioning system (GPS) satellites measure subsidence and sea level rise.

  • We can’t immediately link Hurricane Sandy itself to climate change, says climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig, but the flooding damage we can. Partly due to global warming, sea level has climbed about a foot in the NYC area over the past century, giving storm surges a “step up” along the coast.