Bad News For The Gulf Coast

Most of my regular readers know that I live in “Hurricane Alley’ of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and every year I let my visitors know that if I am not posting it is because we were hit with a major storm and lost power and will return as soon as I can once power is restored.

Gustav and Hanna are both predicted to be 'big ones'

Every year we watch and ready ourselves for the coming tempest….always better safe than sorry.

The yearly predictions get worse and worse….and the latest UN report does us on the Gulf Coast no favors……

Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 50 inches of rain on parts of the Texas coast in 2017. Then in 2020, ferocious winds from Hurricane Laura destroyed homes across coastal Louisiana. Hurricane Ida hit in 2021, leaving the entire city of New Orleans without power for days. Such extreme weather is becoming more common, and that’s just one of the warnings for the Gulf of Mexico region in a United Nations report released this week, per the AP. The devastating effects of climate change in the region also include rising seas, collapsing fisheries, and toxic tides, even if humanity somehow manages to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial era.

“The hurricanes that we get, there’s a higher probability that they can bloom up into major hurricanes,” Louisiana’s state climatologist Barry Keim said, agreeing with the report’s details on more dangerous weather. The report details numerous ways in which climate change will affect the gulf. From Texas to Florida, which has the longest coastline of any state, the entire US Gulf coast is under serious threat from rising seas as the planet’s polar ice caps melt, the UN report says. In fact, people considering 30-year mortgages are already looking for homes and commercial buildings that pose lower flood risks.

One study cited by the UN says the trend is evident in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, where some buyers are shying away from waterfront homes. In Miami Beach, streets already flood on sunny days, and the report says the Tampa Bay area, surrounded by shallow seas, is considered one of the most vulnerable places in the nation for storm surges. Other parts of the Gulf face different problems, the report warns. Tourism and fishing industries depend on thriving habitats off the coasts of Florida and the Yucatan Peninsula, but coral reefs are bleaching due to “warming ocean waters interacting with non-climate stressors.” In Florida alone, the decline of the reefs could translate into $24 billion to $55 billion in economic losses by 2100, the report said.

All we can do is either run for high ground or prepare for the worse.  Me?  I prepare and buckle down.

Be well….Be safe….

“lego ergo scribo”

8 thoughts on “Bad News For The Gulf Coast

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