UN Report Paints Dire Picture of the Gulf of Mexico’s Future
By Rebecca Santana and Curt Anderson.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — 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. 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, an “atlas of human suffering,” 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 U.S. Gulf coast is under serious threat from rising seas as the planet’s polar ice caps melt, the U.N. report says.
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