Over a period of 80 years, 2,000 square miles of Louisiana coastal land has been covered by water, and scientists predict an increase in the rate of Louisiana land lost to the Gulf of Mexico in the future. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that by the year 2100, the Gulf of Mexico will rise 4.3 feet in an area with an average elevation of only three feet. If those predictions are accurate, the majority of southeast Louisiana would be submerged. Scientists estimate that certain areas of the Louisiana coast are disappearing at a rate of one football field with each passing hour.
If that isn't alarming enough, the land in question is essential to the current American way of life. Located on this landscape is one half of United States' oil refineries, which serve 90 percent of our offshore energy production and 30 percent of our total supply of oil and gas.
Read more about this critical situation, its causes and possible solutions in this Scientific American article.
Image Via: The Water Institute of the Gulf