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Friday, May 3, 2013

New Atlantis? Climate Disruption and New Orleans

On April 18th Tulane Green Club teamed up with the Sierra Club to host a night of informative talks and discussions about the fate of New Orleans as a result of sea level rise. NOLA specifically has a grave future in store. Not only is global sea level rise increasing at an alarming rate, but Louisiana has well-documented high rates of land subsidence which is soil compacting and sinking. 

Over 120 people attended!

The high rates of subsidence we're seeing is a result of our management of the Mississippi River. It used to flood its banks and deposit sediment all over the delta, adding land to the area. Now with the levees we've built to protect people from flooding, the delta is starved of that sediment so the subsidence that has always occurred now outpaces the rate of sediment deposition. 

We invited in Tim Osborn, pictured above and below, to speak about the rates of local sea level rise. Tim is a scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Louisiana is projected to see between 4.3 - 8 ft of local sea level rise, the worst projections in the entire world.  This is a result global sea level rise being exacerbated by local land subsidence. 

We also invited in ecologist Bruce Fleury, one of Tulane's most beloved professors, who a little more broadly about climate change in general. 

 Dr. Fleury and outgoing Green Club president Nick Stracco

Lastly Sierra Club organizers Jordan Macha and Devin Martin closed out the evening talking about what we can do as citizens to protect New Orleans from becoming the New Atlantis. We passed out paper to hand-write letters to Obama. We will be sending the President 87 letters from this night asking him to take measures to curb climate change. 

Thank you to everyone who attended! 

Get a bike!
-Nick Stracco, Outgoing Green Club President

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