Scientists are saying that one of the greatest environmental and economic disasters in the history of the United States, the rapid loss of land that is occurring in the southeast portion of Louisiana, is on the fast track towards a catastrophic conclusion over the next few decades.
The Louisiana coastline has been shrinking over the last few decades, and the rate at which it gets swallowed into the Gulf of Mexico is increasing every year. It has been estimated that the state loses a chunk of land equal in size to a football field every hour or so.
According to ProPublica: “In 50 years, most of southeastern Louisiana not protected by levees will be part of the Gulf of Mexico. The state is losing a football field of land every 48 minutes, 16 square miles a year, due to climate change, drilling and dredging for oil and gas, and levees on the Mississippi River.”
“This land being swallowed by the Gulf is home to half of the country’s oil refineries, a matrix of pipelines that serve 90 percent of the nation’s offshore energy production and 30 percent of its total oil and gas supply, a port vital to 31 states, and 2 million people who would need to find other places to live,” according to ProPublica.
Read more about the story at Popular Science.