Mississippi River
Delta Region
Global Warming
City History


Global Warming: Effect on Coastal Regions
Written by YeSeul Kim, Erika Granger, Katie Puckett, Cankutan Hasar,
and Leif Francel

Effect on Coastal Regions

People Moved Inland or Away from Coastal Areas

After Hurricane Katrina, August 2005, people had no chance but evacuate the City of New Orleans and Louisiana to many different states of United States, mainly inlands such as Texas, Arkansas. The immediate effect of Katrina on New Orleans was the big difference occurred in population. According to Claritas, Inc., a demographic-data analyzing company, released that the population dropped from 463,000 to 93,000 after Hurricane Katrina and there are around 214,000 people living in the city by July 2006, which is still the half of the original population.

January 05

October 05

January 06

July 06









Figure 1

According to the chart, there seem to be lots of people coming back to New Orleans, but there is no significant expected increase in population since it has been reported that 250,000 of New Orleans settled in a different city that they will not return, according to Lester R. Brown of the Earth Policy Institute (2006).

Increase in Ocean Temperature in Golf Coast:

Due to Global Warming, it has been detected that the temperature of the water in Gulf Coast is increasing. Additionally, this change in temperature affects the direction of water currents in Atlantic Ocean. Current flow of water in Atlantic is published at NOAA website as the picture below (2005). (Please see Picture 1.)

Zhu H. Ning, and Kamron Abdollahi mentioned in the article Gulf Coast Regional Climate the biggest warming in United States occurred in Gulf Coast region so that in the graphs below, Gulf Coast area has the most grey color in Figure 2 and it is predicted to be the place the temperature will increase significantly that it reflects by the color red and orange (2006).


20th Century temperature trend.  From NAST, 2002.


Two predicted future of Gulf Coast in 21st century. From NAST 2002.

    According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), hurricanes need warm water to get as strong and severe as Hurricane Katrina was on the Gulf Coast in August 2005. (2005).

Another point to mention is the fact that hurricanes get weaker when they reach lands and lose their connection with warm water, according to NOAA (2005). Since coastal regions are the ones first meet with the hurricanes, they face the worst and harshest part of the conditions of damages made by hurricanes.

In short, Global warming is the reason for temperature increase in Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Coast, which strengthens the hurricanes and results in great damage in coastal regions.

NOAA (2005) URL: http://www.magazine.noaa.gov/stories/mag184.htm