Change in the South

Global warming brings shrinking land

1. Traditional land for tribal communities is shrinking

A total of 1,880 square miles of land has gone underwater in the 
last 80 years in Louisiana due to sea level
 rise, dredging of canals through marshes for
 oil and gas exploration and pipelines leading to 
erosion and intense saltwater intrusion of freshwater marshes. Much of this land has been inhabited by Four Native communities in Grand Bayou Village, Grand Cail-
lou/Dulac, Isle de Jean Charles, and Pointe-
au-Chien.

Shrinking lands for tribal communities
Aerial photos of Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana taken 25 years apart shows evidence of the effects of rising seas, sinking land, and human development.

2. 75 days of 95° F

Projected change in number of days of 95 degrees Fahrenheit

By 2050, most of Florida will have at least 75 days of weather that is 95 degrees or hotter, currently this happens about 15 days a year! Increased air conditioning use can lead to electricity blackouts and has even been cited to cause declining community cohesiveness, as heat requires more indoor time.

3. Fresh Water

wetlands that filter treated water that recharges groundwater and supplies surface reservoirs

An innovative series of constructed wetlands that filter treated water that recharges groundwater and supplies surface reservoirs.

In some areas, like Southern Florida sea level rise threatens to infiltrate fresh water aquifers. Further north in Georgia The Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin is already straining under competing water demands of a growing population and climate change, will cause more severe water supply shortages, and more frequent emptying of reservoirs. Luckily adaptation has already began in the state with a successful water recycling project in Clayton County, pictured above.

What is the National Climate Assessment?

The assessment, which has now been published in its third edition, focuses on our changing climate, highlighting current and future impacts of a warming world. This blog series will focus on topics that will most greatly affect the boating community and response strategies that can help diminish these trends and prepare for change. All graphs and images are from the National Climate Assessment website, unless otherwise noted. To read the full report visit: nca2014.globalchange.gov