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LSU professor discusses climate change, erosion

Last Modified: Friday, June 28, 2013 5:37 PM

By John Guidroz / American Press

The worldwide energy and climate trends could cause a rise in sea level and lead to major coastal erosion along the Mississippi River Delta,” a Louisiana State University ecology professor said Friday.

“If we don’t get on with restoring the coast, we’re going to lose this area,” said John Day Jr. with the LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences. “It’s frightening.”

Day spoke at McNeese State University about the potential challenges associated with the climate and energy trends during the 21st century. Within the next 100 years, he said the world could see diminished fossil fuels and higher temperatures, making it difficult to live in some places.

Day said the Mississippi River Delta’s ecosystem has an annual value ranging from $12 billion to $47 billion. But, he said, those values could be lost if the coast is not restored.

Sea level is rising an average of 3.5 millimeters per year and could rise up to 2 meters by the year 2100, Day said.

“Think of what that means for the Louisiana coast,” he said.

According to a 2009 study, natural gas, coal and oil make up 86 percent of the energy used worldwide. But, he said, “the big era of cheap fossil fuels is over.”

“We’re moving to the point where demand will outlast supply,” he said.

Because the temperature has increased over the years, the “black mangrove,” a tropical coastal plant, is covering large areas in coastal states, including Louisiana.

“There hasn’t been a freeze sufficient to kill black mangroves since 1989,” he said. “This is a local indication that the climate is warming.”

Day said the idea that shale gas production will produce natural gas for 100 years is not true.

“Most shales don’t have much gas in them at all, assuming all of them would be productive,” he said.

Day said shales that are productive — including the Haynesville Shale in northern Louisiana — “have incredible rates of decline.”

Day said more energy will be used because the population is increasing. He said there were 74 cities with more than 1 million people in 1950. In 2010, there were 442 cities with more than 1 million people.

The Gulf coast population was 11.7 million in 2000, Day said. It is projected to be 15.8 million in 2025.

Posted By: Bill Spoon On: 7/2/2013


This Day guy is an ecologist, not a geologist, so his statements on potential gas production hold as much weight on the subject as my 16 year old. The real experts, the guys with actually expertise in the area of natural gas exploration and production, esitmate the 100 year supply number as conservative.

Posted By: Michael Tritico On: 7/1/2013

Title: Stay ignorant and in denial if it makes you happy

Without even attending the forum, seeing the presentation, or hearing the speaker, commenter #1 is dead certain that a man was lying and has some kind of tax agenda. In my opinion that kind of brainwashed behavior is un-American and cowardly.

Posted By: john On: 6/30/2013

Title: big lie told gore number 2

this guy is all into the democrat party............statistics show 1930s was much colder than now......but that does not fit his al gore agenda to tax us for everything......and how does he know about how much shale oil there will be...............what a liar

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