Home Daily Blitz Louisiana’s Coastline Is Sinking Faster Than We Thought

Louisiana’s Coastline Is Sinking Faster Than We Thought

SAINT BERNARD PARISH, LA - AUGUST 25: Coastal waters flow through deteriorating wetlands on August 25, 2015 in Saint Bernard Parish, Louisiana. Louisiana is currently losing its wetlands at a rate of one football field per hour. Wetlands act as a storm buffer and their diminished size was a major contributing factor to the force with which Hurricane Katrina's storm surge hit New Orleans. The city is implementing efforts to restore some of the wetlands. The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is August 29. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The following is an excerpt from Emily Weyrauch | June 15, 2017 | Time.com |

Scientists already knew the Louisiana coastline was sinking into the Gulf of Mexico, and fast. But not this fast.

Louisiana is sinking into the sea — a geological process called ”subsiding” — at a rate of nine millimeters (just over a third of an inch) per year, according to a new report and map published by Geological Society of America. Earlier studies had called a subsiding of 8-10 millimeters per year a "worst case scenario."

The researchers combined data records from 274 sites across the Louisiana coastline. The average rate is much higher than previous estimates, and it still doesn't include sea level rise due to climate change, which is up to an additional three millimeters per year and accelerating, according to Jaap Nienhuis, a fellow at Tulane University and the lead author of the report.

Wetlands serve as crucial protection against hurricanes, in addition to their value to the ecology and fisheries of Louisiana, Nienhuis said.

For more visit: Time.com