This document summarizes the results of the first phase of a major
assessment project conducted by the Gulf Coast Regional Climate Change
Assessment Steering Committee, led by Southern University and A&M
College, and sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection
Agency. This project was conducted in collaboration with the United States
Global Change Research Program, the National Wetland Research Center, The
Science and Engineering Alliance, USDA Forest Service, Louisiana State
University, Tulane University and Florida State University. The findings
are the result of the Gulf Coast Regional Climate Change Workshop held
February 25-27, 1998, which was attended by more than 140 scientists,
policy makers, and industrial and non-industrial stakeholders. This
document provides an overview of the Gulf Coast regional assessment
including the following:
Identification of current stresses or issues concerning the region;
Examination of how greater climate variability and climate change
interact with the current stresses;
Discussion of the kinds of information needed to understand and
respond to these changes;
Finding coping mechanisms and strategies that will be most effective
in reducing vulnerability and/or enhancing capabilities to adapt to or
mitigate the consequences of those changes; and
Providing suggestions for national-scale research activities that
will contribute to regional information needs;
The climate change impact assessment was done on six sectors or issues
that are important to the region. These six sectors are:
Wetland, Wildlife Habitat, and Estuaries;
Farming and Forestry;
Commerce, Industry, and Energy;
Health, Water and Air Quality;
Fisheries and Aquaculture; and
Recreation, Tourism, and Coastal Community Life.
The results and recommendations for each of the sectors are presented
in six chapters.
Background on the Gulf Coast Region
The Gulf Coast Region of the United States includes five Gulf Coast
States (Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida) that abut the
Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf itself has a surface area of 630,000 square
miles, and a watershed area in the United States of 1.81 million square
miles. This region is one of the nation's largest ecological systems and
is closely linked to a significant portion of the nation's economy.
Energy, fisheries, agriculture and tourism rank among the most significant
sectors of the Gulf Coast region's economy. The Gulf has five of the
nation's top ten fishing ports. Gulf ports handle one half of the nation's
import-export tonnage and the Gulf produces 72% of the nation's offshore
petroleum production. The Gulf Coast Region relies on many natural
resources to fuel important sectors of its economy. Global changes can
have profound impacts on the economy and the quality of life for millions
of people living in the Gulf Coast region. This report reviews the nature
of global environmental change, and addresses the potential health and
environmental impacts that may occur in the Gulf Coast region of the
United States as consequences of various environmental alterations
resulting from global change.
Over the past decades, scientific research has greatly advanced the
knowledge and understanding of global environmental change. Research
supported by the U. S. Global Research Program (USGRP) and international
institutions such as the World Bank and the United Nations Environment
Program have demonstrated that human activities exert powerful influences
on environmental change on global, regional and local scales (Keeling et
al. 1996; Santer et al. 1996). Recent findings by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 1997) indicate that human activities are
increasing the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other
greenhouse gases (nitrous oxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, partially
halogenated fluorocarbons, and ozone) which alter radiative balances, and
tend to warm the surface of the atmosphere, and in some regions, of
aerosols that tend to cool the atmosphere. It is important to note that
aerosols do not remain in the atmosphere for long periods and global
emissions of their precursors are not projected to increase substantially
as compared to the effects of greenhouse gases that are long lived. These
changes in greenhouse gases and aerosols constitute key factors in the
global and regional changes in temperature, precipitation and other
climate variables, resulting in global changes in soil moisture, an
increase in global mean sea level, and prospects for more severe extreme
high temperature events, floods and droughts in some places. In the United
States and elsewhere in the industrialized world, energy use contributes
to global warming more than any other human activity. This because most of
our energy comes from carbon-based fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural
gas). Fossil fuels provide energy for a variety of purposes, including
transporting goods and people, manufacturing products, heating and cooling
buildings, lighting spaces, and cooking foods. Each year U.S. energy use
releases more than 5.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Present CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are 130% of
pre-industrial levels. The surface temperature this century is warmer than
any other century since at least 1400 A.D. The temperature has increased
by about 0.5 - 1.1ï¿½ F over the last century and is projected to rise
another 2 - 6.5ï¿½F by the year 2100. The last two decades have been the
warmest in this century. Sea level has risen about 4 to l0 inches and is
projected to rise another 6 - 38 inches by the year 2100. Mountain
glaciers have retreated worldwide this century.
As greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere, it is
expected that an increase in rainfall amount and a consequent increase in
river flooding will occur. Recent floods in the Gulf Coast areas (1993,
1997) are examples of such events, and indicate the high sensitivity of
flood occurrence to changing climate. Because of its unique location
adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Coast region of the United States
is particularly vulnerable to various environmental alterations resulting
from climate change.
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE
Remarks for the Gulf Coast Regional Climate Change Conference
Friday February 27th 1998
(Transcribed from the original video)
I want to welcome you to the Gulf Coast Regional Climate Change
Workshop. I am delighted to see that Southern University and A&M
College, one of our nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities,
is hosting this workshop. Climate change will have an impact on people all
over this country and all over the world regardless of our backgrounds. I
hope you will use this workshop to explore the way in which it affects the
Gulf Coast region. I welcome all of you to this important forum on climate
Just over a year ago, in a meeting with senior federal officials to
discuss government research into global warming and related issues, it
became clear that we really needed a much better understanding of the
regional effects of climate change, the way it affects our people in their
communities, and the way it affects our natural resources in different
parts of this country. That is the best way to devise solutions to meet
this challenge and to protect the lives and the livelihood of Americans
from coast to coast and from border to border.
I asked for a series of workshops that would bring together scientists,
natural resource managers, business people, and concerned members of the
general public, to discuss regional vulnerabilities to climate change and
provide regional input into future research plans. It is now just one year
later and we have already come a long way. We are midway through a series
of twenty successful workshops. This has become an important part of a
larger mission and that is the first national assessment of the
consequences of climate change for the entire United States of America.
Any objective discussions of climate change must take account of the
scientific findings in this area, and the science of climate change is
clear and compelling. We know that human activity has been increasing the
concentration of greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution. We know
that the climate has changed during the same period and that future change
is very likely. If we continue with business as usual, sometime in the
next century the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will be
over 700 parts per million. This is a level not seen on the planet Earth
for more than fifty million years. The bottom line is that our environment
We all have a stake in addressing how we can best cope with climate
change and its effects. This is one of the most important environmental
issues that we face as we enter the 21st century. I believe we can meet
this challenge in a way that also stimulates the economy and creates lots
of good new jobs, but we need improved understanding, better planning, and
new technology in order to do it. That is why we are continuing our strong
support for climate change research and focusing it more on regional
needs. We are also supporting significant increases in research,
development, and deployment of clean energy technologies and more than
three billion dollars in tax cuts to encourage new products and technology
that will help us clean up the environment and create jobs in the process.
I know that our nation will benefit greatly from your work and I cannot
wait to learn about your conclusions. We owe it to ourselves and to our
children to protect the atmosphere and slow down the changes that we are
presently imposing on the earth and on our children and grandchildren. A
new environmental awareness is beginning to emerge. I am convinced that
together we can seize that opportunity and build a cleaner and stronger
21st century for all of us.
Thank you for doing your part.
I am pleased to be here with you today. I want to thank Southern
University and A&M College, the program committee, and the U.S. Global
Change Research Program for all their hard work in organizing this event,
and to recognize EPA for their sponsorship. In particular, I want to
acknowledge Vice Chancellor Ford, and Professors Ning and Abdollahi for
their hard work in organizing this workshop.
Global climate change is perhaps the most pervasive and challenging
long-term environmental issue that we face as we enter the 21st century.
As we confront this threat to our entire planet's future, one of the
things we increasingly realize is that many of its most significant
consequences will be witnessed at regional and even local scales, and that
the effects of greatest concern will differ from place to place.
Yet, we know less about regional and local consequences for ecosystems
and human communities than we do about the workings of the global scale
physical climate system. These workshops, and the ongoing dialogue and
regional analysis we hope to stimulate, are critical to extend our
understanding and to bring knowledge to bear on the management and
adaptation strategies that will enable us to cope with a changing climate.
That is why I am very pleased that so many different stakeholders are
represented here - industry, scientists, environmental groups, and local,
regional and national policymakers. Together, we must understand the
ramifications of the potential climate disruption, and the options to
manage wisely in the face of sobering but uncertain threat.
You will notice I am using the term climate "disruption" as
opposed to "change," because I think it is more descriptive of
the reality we face. It is the term 2400 scientists used when they wrote
to the President about this issue, and it is the term that some of our
Nobel Laureates used when they met with the President and the Vice
President to discuss the vulnerability of US ecosystems and economic
sectors, much as we are gathered here to do over the next several days.
The "nature of nature" is that while physical laws do not
change, systems and conditions do.
What have we learned about climate?
If we look at the long-term geological record, we can see that
tremendous changes have occurred over long periods of time. The Earth has
seen very warm periods as well as ice ages over the last 500,000 years. We
have recognized big swings in global temperatures, sea level, flora and
fauna. Global average temperature swings have often been thought of as
slowly occurring phenomena, but there is evidence that significant climate
changes have occurred very rapidly in the past. A new ice core from
Greenland indicates that a major change in the circulation of North
Atlantic currents occurred in about a decade, with dramatic effects on the
climate of Western Europe. We simply cannot be comforted that our climate
system is buffered against rapid change.
An event of such magnitude has not occurred during the last 10,000
years. The climate has been relatively stable during the period that has
seen the development of modern civilization. People from 500 years ago, or
even 5000 years ago, would probably notice some differences, but they
would recognize today's climate. However, a series of changes has begun to
take place over the last century that now drive rates of climate change
not seen in thousands of years.
During the past century, the global mean surface temperature increased
by almost 1ï¿½ F. Sea-level has risen by 4 - 10 inches. Glaciers are
retreating worldwide. The surface temperature this century is as warm or
warmer than any century since at least 1400 AD. The last few decades have
been the warmest this century. The year 1997 was the warmest yet recorded,
and 9 of the last 11 years were among the warmest years this century. The
world is expected to continue to warm, on average, at rates faster than
any experienced during the last 10,000 years. So, the climate might not be
so recognizable 100 years from now. In fact, if we continue on a
"business-as-usual" path, by 2100, the concentrations of carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere will be 710 parts per million--levels not seen
on the planet for 50 million years. We will have caused this change in a
century-a geologic blink of an eye.
Science has done much to illuminate the cause of these changes. The
burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) for energy is the primary
source of CO2 emissions, accounting for about 85% of US annual
totals. Changing land-use patterns through agriculture and deforestation
also contribute a significant share. Since pre-industrial times, human
activities have added to the natural greenhouse effect by releasing
additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. For example:
- The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) has
increased by about 30%;
- Methane concentration has more than doubled; and
- Nitrous oxide concentration has risen by 15%.
Rising levels of greenhouse gases will lead to a variety of global,
regional and local effects. Global average temperature will rise with a
consequent rise in sea level, due primarily to the thermal expansion of
the oceans and the melting and retreating of glaciers.
The Earth's water cycle will intensify, with an overall increase in
evaporation so more water is available to fall as precipitation - both
rain and snow. Some areas will be threatened by increased flooding, while
others will suffer through an increased incidence of drought as
continental interiors become warm and dry.
Data taken over the last century show that global precipitation has
increased, and this trend also holds for the United States. In the May
1997 issue of Scientific American, Tom Karl reviewed the records of total
rainfall and extreme rainfall for the United States over the last century.
He reported that precipitation has increased by about 6 percent since the
beginning of the century, as has the frequency of heavy downpours. Since
the beginning of this century, intense precipitation events--where more
than 2 inches of rainfall occurs in one day-have increased by about 20%.
We can clearly see the influence of shorter scale climate variability
on the hydrological cycle when we look at the worldwide effects of the
periodic changes in Pacific Ocean temperatures and circulation known as
the El NiÃ±o.
The Gulf Coast region is among the most vulnerable regions in the U.S.
to extreme climate events. Over 3,000 square miles of Louisiana, already
threatened by subsidence, would be at risk from a 20 inch rise in sea
level, as would about 700 square miles of south and west Florida
(including a significant portion of the Everglades) and about 1,000 square
miles along the rest of the Gulf Coast. Twenty inches is well within the
predicted range of sea-level increase by 2100. We must also remember that
even if the climate is stabilized by that time, sea level will keep rising
for centuries because of the thermal inertia of the ocean.
Last week's tornadoes in central Florida had devastating impact. We
know, thanks to the work of Jim O'Brien and his colleagues, that El NiÃ±o
is associated with a greater incidence of tornadoes in the sea, but a
lesser number of hurricanes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration has noted that the exceptionally strong jet stream caused
by El NiÃ±o doubtless contributed to the disaster.
A number of other effects of El NiÃ±o have manifested themselves in
this region and around the country.
Right here in Louisiana it was the wettest January since records began,
and North Carolina had the second wettest year on record. In December,
January, and February, Tampa, Florida, received 29.95 inches of rain,
twice the previous record for these months, which was set in 1936-37. It
has been even worse in the West. San Francisco received the equivalent of
an entire year's rain in February alone.
Unfortunately, we do not yet fully understand the relationship of
climate change and El NiÃ±o, but we can say that El NiÃ±o events provide
compelling examples of the vulnerability of our society to climate
extremes. Furthermore, some scientists are beginning to argue that El
NiÃ±o events may become more frequent in a warmer world. This requires
further investigation, but it is interesting to note that the historical
cycle of El NiÃ±o events seems to have changed during the last several
decades, which is a period in which we have also observed significant
I want to be explicitly clear that we can not attribute any particular
weather or climate event to increases in greenhouse gases. We can say
however, that global warming increases the likelihood for climate and
weather extremes. Recent events all around our nation illustrate the type
of consequences that we can expect to experience in a warmer world. So, we
all have a stake in addressing climate change and its effects. This is one
of the most important environmental issues that faces our planet, our
nation, and our communities. There is increasing recognition of this fact.
Most importantly, we have the landmark statement in the Second
Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,
published in 1996: "The balance of evidence suggests a discernible
human influence on global climate." Furthermore, over the last year
we have seen the release of a number of statements about the risks from
- A group of over 2,500 scientists warned us that we are
"disrupting" the climate. They expressed their concern about
the impact of further accumulation of greenhouse gasses on future
global climate change and the consequent ecological, economic and
- A group of more than 2,400 economists, including six Nobel
Laureates, stressed the need for preventive action. They warn that
global climate disruption carries with it significant environmental,
economic, social and geopolitical risks, and emphasize that there are
many potential policies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions for which
the total benefits outweigh the total costs.
- It is not only the science community that is concerned. The Chief
Executive of British Petroleum publicly acknowledged the importance of
While I think that society is beginning to take the climate change
issue seriously, I know that the Administration takes it very seriously.
So do you. Many of the most significant environmental decisions are made
by state, county, and municipal governments, businesses, and individuals.
That is where we use energy. Energy drives climate change. Energy
efficiency can slow it. Thus, environmental quality depends on the actions
of all of us, especially the way we use energy.
The Clinton Administration believes there are a series of prudent
actions we must take:
- We need to deepen our scientific understanding of climate change and
its relationships to other stresses.
- An aggressive U.S. Global Change Research Program must continue
to refine our understanding of the physical climate system, and
add a new focus on the regional-scale ecological, social, and
economic impacts of climate change.
- As I mentioned earlier, the integrated examination of the
multiple stresses affecting regional ecosystems, the analysis of
the additional effects of climate change, and the identification
of adaptation and management options can inform our
- We must stay engaged in the international process of confronting
- The U.S. and 160 other nations reached a historic agreement in
Kyoto, but additional steps are necessary. We will be working
bilaterally and at the next meeting in Buenos Aires will refine
this agreement and define further steps.
- As we look beyond Kyoto, achieving greater participation of the
developing world has got to be our top priority. It is clear that
the industrialized world is responsible for most of the CO2
in the atmosphere today, but it is equally clear that most
emissions growth is occurring in the developing world. We must
find ways for the developing world to grow without unlimited
growth in emissions.
This brings me to the last element of our strategy.
- We have the opportunity to lead the world in developing and
deploying clean technologies for cost-effective reductions in
greenhouse gas emissions.
It is important to remember that even a business-as-usual emissions
trajectory requires ongoing increases in energy efficiency. Maintaining
innovation is not enough to confront the climate challenge; we need to
To meet this challenge, we are proposing significant increases in
research, development, and deployment of clean energy technologies. The
President's FY 1999 budget includes a $6.3 billion Climate Change
Technology Initiative over five years to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas
emissions: $3.6 billion in tax credits for energy-efficient purchases and
renewable energy, and $2.7 billion in new research and development
This initiative will help lower emissions, position the U.S. for future
economic benefits, and enhance our national security by reducing
dependence on foreign energy supplies.
We can develop the clean industries of the future at home or let others
reap the benefits. Let me give you a few examples:
- Although the fuel economy of cars has almost doubled in the last
twenty five years, we now travel more than twice as many miles as in
1970. Our Partnership for a New Generation Vehicle (PNGV) has some of
the brightest government engineers and scientists working with their
private-sector counterparts in the auto industry to develop
technologies that will triple the fuel efficiency of today's passenger
cars with no decrease in comfort or safety.
- Productivity improvements in the building industry are lagging far
behind all other industries and energy use in buildings accounts for
more than one-third of total U.S. emissions. We are pursuing a
Partnership for Advancing Technologies in Housing with industry that
will make homes cheaper, safer, more efficient, more durable, and more
environmentally friendly by developing and implementing new
technologies and practices.
All of you here today have stepped up to the challenge of laying the
framework for regional assessment of this issue. This is an important step
in enabling the Gulf Coast region to understand and cope with the
consequences of climate change. But you are also part of a larger process
of US National Assessment of the impacts of climate disruption and its
consequences. This is the tenth of a series of regional workshops being
held around the country. Another ten will take place before the end of the
All of these events feed into the National Assessment of Climate Change
Impacts which will be issued in 1999. I want to emphasize that I see this
assessment as the first in an ongoing series. Climate change is a
long-term problem that requires long-term solutions and ongoing assessment
is one of the tools that will help us track the effectiveness of our
responses. Just like the global challenge, understanding and addressing
the regional implications of change requires a sustained effort.
The first element is to identify the complete range of current
significant stresses on regional ecosystems, such as population growth,
pollution, unsustainable resource use, and existing climate variability.
We need to understand the combination of multiple stresses, each with
their own effects on the environment, and on each other, if we are to take
effective action to preserve and enhance environmental quality and make
the transition to sustainable development.
Then we need to look to the future. How are the regional stresses
evolving, and how does the addition, or overlay, of climate change on the
mixture of stresses affect regional ecosystem, social, and economic
sectors? These are complicated, fascinating, and pragmatic questions. How
might the Gulf Coast fishing industry, and efforts to preserve freshwater
and marine ecosystems, be affected by changes in the amount and pattern of
Finally, we need to examine the ways in which we currently cope with
such stresses, and to look ahead and identify approaches for coping with
predicted future environmental stresses, including climate change. How do
the adaptation options for the different sectors I just mentioned fit
together? Are they complementary, or are they at cross purposes?
To protect the integrity of our environment and to assure our future
national security, we need to make revolutionary--not
evolutionary--changes in our energy supply over the coming several
George Bernard Shaw said that "One mark of the educated person is
that he/she can be emotionally moved by statistics." Let me share a
few of these with you:
- The average US citizen accounts for five tons of emissions per year.
- The average citizen of a developing country accounts for 0.5 tons of
emissions per year.
- If the world's population doubles--a change we need to work to
prevent--then to keep atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases
less than twice pre-industrial levels, world citizens cannot emit more
than 0.5 tons per person by the end of the next century.
These are daunting challenges!
There is an old Chinese Proverb, "If we do not change direction,
we will end up where we are headed" And we are headed toward serious
global security, economic, and environmental problems. I believe that all
of you gathered here today can provide important input in helping us move
to address these problems.
Note: The text is based on the keynote presentation by Dr. John
Gibbons, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and
Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policies, at the
Gulf Coast Climate Change Workshop and Public Forum on February 26, 1998.
The text was provided by Susan Bassow, AAA Fellow at the White House
Office of Science and Technology Policies.
Gulf Coast Assessment Overview/Charge to the Workshop
Michael C. MacCracken,
National Assessment Coordination Office
U. S. Global Change Research Program
There are several reasons that the U. S. Global Change Research Program
(USGCRP) has initiated the U.S. National Assessment: The Potential
Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. The reasons all revolve
around answering questions posed in Washington by members of Congress on
behalf of their constituents--basically, the questions are:
"So what? So what if the global average temperature warms a
couple of degrees? What does that matter to citizens of my district? Of
my state? Even of the United States? There are suggestions that we need
to sharply reduce use of coal and oil and natural gas to protect the
climate--what does this really mean? So what if the climate changes?
Can't we just adapt to the changes? After all, people move all the time
to warmer climates? So what will climate change really mean to all of
These are really good questions--and they deserve understandable
answers. This workshop is part of the process for getting better answers
to these "So What" questions.
The Science of Climate Change
These "So What" questions, however, were not the first
questions that Congress asked. To understand how they got to these
questions, it is useful to review the history of our understanding of the
potential for climate change.
About 150 years ago, an English scientist started wondering what
happened to all of the carbon generated by burning the coal they were
using to drive the Industrial Revolution. Pretty clearly, it went up into
the air with the smoke. The smoke particles all came down, coating
everything with soot, but where did the rest of the carbon go? While
scientists knew at the time that plants could capture CO2,
using the carbon to build their structure and releasing oxygen, that meant
the carbon had to show up in trees--so the more they burned, the more
trees there would need to be. But everyone was cutting down trees to make
sailing ships and the charcoal was needed to make steel and sailing ships.
Carbon dioxide could also be taken up by the oceans, but simple
equilibrium chemistry indicated that all of the CO2 would not
get sucked up. After all, if that were the case, then why was there any CO2
in the atmosphere at all? There had to be some fractionation, with some of
the CO2 going into the oceans, and some remaining in the
atmosphere. As more and more coal was burned, the CO2
concentration in the air would clearly have to go up.
There were scattered measurements over the next century, with early
hints in the late 1930s that the atmospheric CO2 concentration
was indeed rising. Regular measurements of the concentration in really
clean air started in 1957 on a mountaintop in Hawaii. Since that time we
have also realized that the bubbles of air trapped in glacial ice can be
analyzed to provide a record of the CO2 concentration before
regular monitoring began. From these analyses, a record of the CO2
concentration has been constructed back now several hundred thousand years
By the end of the last century, it had also become clear that, like
water vapor, the carbon dioxide in the air was an absorber and re-emitter
of infrared radiation, creating a greenhouse effect that amplified the
warming influence of solar radiation. Much of the physics and
thermodynamics of the greenhouse effect can be verified in the laboratory,
from satellites, and from observations of other planets. There is no
question that the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere--water vapor, CO2,
CH4, etc.--are keeping the earth significantly warmer than it
would be in their absence. The real question is how much the climate will
change in response to changes in atmospheric composition.
Based on geological evidence, American scientist T. C. Chamberlain
suggested that climate changes in the past might have been caused, at
least in part, by variations in the CO2 concentration. Looking
at evidence of past climate changes and their causes has been a major
scientific activity ever since. There is now strong evidence this is the
case, as seen in the results from the Vostok ice core (Figure 2). Russian
scientists have extended the records back in time by using geological and
biological evidence to reconstruct the climate and the CO2
concentration for quite a number of past periods--from the time of the
dinosaurs to the present. For all periods, they have found a close
association. Quite clearly, nature views the relationship as quite
close--providing some lessons we must recognize about what might happen as
human activities change the CO2 concentration.
Just before Chamberlain's suggestion, Swedish scientist Svante
Arrhenius made the first estimate of how much the Earth would warm as a
result of human activities. He calculated that there would be a warming of
several degrees Celsius--roughly 4ï¿½ to 6ï¿½ C (about 7ï¿½ to 11ï¿½ F)--if
the CO2 concentration were doubled. At the time, Arrhenius
thought this would take a very long time to occur for he was simply not
able to envisage the rapid increase in emissions that would occur as a
result of the spread of the automobile, aircraft, electricity, industry,
Observations have generally borne out these predictions--with a few new
twists. As shown in Figure 3, the global temperature record from 1860 to
the present shows a warming of about 0.5ï¿½ C. This warming is occurring
quite rapidly in geological terms, and we are now at record warmth for
Adding CO2 to the atmosphere is not all that human
activities are doing to affect the earth system. Agriculture, industrial
activities, and other societal activities are also increasing the
concentrations of other greenhouse gases. Combustion of coal is leading to
the addition of sulfate aerosols to the atmosphere. These small particles
create the whitish haze covering and downwind of many industrial regions
and they reflect some solar radiation back to space, which tends to cool
the climate. Emissions of chlorofluorocarbons have also been contributing
to stratospheric ozone depletion. These are not all of the effects, but we
believe these are the largest effects at this time. At the same time,
nature has not been simply quiet--there have been subtle changes in solar
radiation, and there have been very large volcanic eruptions that
introduce volcanic aerosols into the stratosphere. These aerosols, like
sulfate aerosols, exert a cooling influence. While science has been able
to gain some understanding of these effects, there remain uncertainties
about precisely how much the changes will be, when they will occur, and
what the potential is for surprises.
Identifying the Human Influence on Climate
In that human activities have been changing atmospheric composition for
almost 200 years, we can consider the climate record in the context of how
human activities are affecting the climate. Model simulations at present
yield good agreement with observations if the mutual effects of the
increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols are considered
along with the natural influence of small changes in solar radiation.
Figure 4 shows the observed temperature record and a set of
model-simulated variations assuming different sensitivities of the climate
to a doubling of the CO2 concentration. The Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) considers the value of 2.5ï¿½ C (4.5ï¿½F) as
its best estimate, which is slightly higher than the value of Arrhenius.
However, uncertainties in understanding the climate have kept the IPCC
from narrowing the preferred range of 1.5ï¿½ to 4.5ï¿½ C (about 2.5ï¿½ to 8ï¿½
F) for a doubling of the CO2 concentration. While most models
tend to give results near the central value, it is interesting that most
of the evidence from studies of how past climates have varied give a
result a bit above the central value. While scientists have not been able
to narrow this range for nearly 20 years now, the evidence that the value
is within this range keeps mounting.
Examining these results, combining them with studies of the patterns of
temperature change, with evidence of rising soil and ocean temperatures,
and with evidence of melting glaciers and rising sea level, and rising
soil temperatures, the IPCC concluded in 1995 that "the balance of
evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on the
global climate." Some would say, given the amount of evidence, that
this is a very conservative conclusion. Others, citing a nearly 20-year
satellite record of lower atmosphere temperatures, which some argue shows
a slight cooling since 1979, suggest the IPCC conclusion was premature.
However, after accounting for volcanic and El NiÃ±o influences, the
scientists who have generated the satellite record see an underlying
warming trend. The longer balloon record of atmospheric temperatures to
which they calibrate also shows a warming trend. Because of these results,
and recognizing that the satellite record is less than 20 years long, the
IPCC authors concluded that the satellite record is not incompatible with
their conclusion that the human influence on climate is now becoming
larger than the natural variations society has become accustomed to over
the past several centuries.
Future Climate Change
If the rise in CO2 concentration from 280 to about 370 ppmv
has caused a warming of about 0.5ï¿½ C (1ï¿½ F), what will happen in the
future? The IPCC has constructed a range of CO2 and greenhouse
gas emission scenarios for the next century--considering how population,
technology, and development will occur. Because it is so hard to predict,
they have chosen a very wide range of possibilities, and this is an
important cause of why estimates for the future are not, and cannot be,
Figure 5 shows the projections for the increase in the CO2
concentration and in temperature, using global climate models and various
emissions scenarios. The best estimate for the CO2
concentration is that it will rise to about 700 ppmv, a level far above
levels in recent history and not thought to have occurred on earth in the
last 40 to 50 million years. At that time, the earth was much warmer than
Not only will temperatures increase but, because this warming will
cause glaciers to melt and water to expand, sea level will rise. In
addition, hurricanes may intensify (a recent model result for Pacific
typhoons), storm tracks will change, rainfall and runoff patterns will
change, and more. While we currently experience a great deal of
variability from year-to-year--this El NiÃ±o year being a very good
example--what appears likely is that the range of variations will occur
around new average conditions--creating new extremes, both wet and dry.
National and International Perspectives on Global Change
The first Presidential report on the potential for climate change and
its consequences was issued in 1964. The nation had other things on its
mind, and the Northern Hemisphere was actually cooling slightly, so there
was not much political attention to the issue. During the late 1970s and
then throughout the 1980s, there were more and more reports from
scientific groups--both nationally from the National Academy of Sciences
and from international groups. Politicians were starting to pay attention,
and there were a number of hearings before Congress--especially in 1988
when there was a very severe drought in the central U.S. The questions
that were being asked almost all focused on whether the climate would
really change, whether the predictions could be believed, and how certain
was the science.
For most members of Congress and the Administration, the questions have
now changed, similarly for nations around the world. At the Rio summit on
the Environment in 1992, the nations of the world enacted the Framework
Convention on Climate Change. They committed themselves to a very
"Stabilization of the greenhouse gas concentrations in the
atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic
interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved
within a time-frame to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate
change, to ensure that food production is not threatened, and to enable
economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner."
With 160 nations now endorsing this goal, the nature of the discussion
has changed. For all of the nations, the potential for very significant
climate change during the next century has been demonstrated to a
sufficient level that policymakers must now seek to understand the risks
involved. Questions are now of two distinct types. Questions are about
what it would take to do something to prevent the climate from
changing--that is to mitigate climate change, and about what climate
change will mean if it does occur--that is how to adapt and cope with
The Potential for Mitigation of Climate Change
If CO2 was like any other pollutant, some sort of emissions
control program would seem to be the cure. However, because coal, oil, and
natural gas are mostly made up of carbon, instead of removing some trace
amount of pollution, control would require capturing virtually all of the
carbon--and that appears to be quite expensive. The only solution seems to
be to use less of the coal, oil, and natural gas that are adding CO2
to the atmosphere.
The IPCC report summarizes a number of calculations of how much fossil
fuel emissions must be cut to limit the continuing rise in CO2
concentrations in the atmosphere. As shown in Figure 6, the cutbacks
required are significant.
Last December the developed nations met in Kyoto, Japan and agreed,
subject to approval by their governments, that they would start the
process of controlling emissions, reducing their emissions of greenhouse
gases to several percentage points below their 1990 levels by about 2010.
Critics of the agreement abound. On one hand, this agreement will not come
close to meeting the stated goal of stopping the increase in
concentrations of greenhouse gases as called for in the Climate
Convention. On the other hand, critics of the agreement suggest that even
this modest reduction in current emissions could be quite expensive. A
third view is that technological improvements can make the cost of meeting
this agreement quite low--or even beneficial--and so the proposed federal
budget has new incentives for technology development.
Whatever view one takes, it is clear that over the coming decades,
stabilizing the CO2 concentration will require significantly
more cutbacks in emissions--both by developed and developing nations--than
were committed to in the Kyoto agreement. This does not mean that there is
no purpose in starting to introduce controls--only that present
agreements, hard as they may be to ratify and implement, are only a
beginning on the path to stopping climate change. Unless we want to leave
very different climate conditions for our grandchildren, emissions
cutbacks must start very soon to slow the growth in emissions and then cut
them back significantly.
The Need to Cope With Climate Change
If society cannot stop the build-up in greenhouse gases now, society
will not be able to stop climate change. Even if society were to cut back
global emissions significantly right now, the climate would still continue
to change for some decades as a result of past emissions--it takes time
for the climate to come to a new equilibrium. Even if emissions were to go
to zero so that there were no further changes in the atmospheric
concentrations of greenhouse gases, the warming over the next century
would be as much as it has been over the past century (albeit only about
20% of what is projected to occur). With emissions continuing, climate
change will increase. What is perhaps more worrisome is that sea level
rise is projected to continue for centuries as the oceans keep warming and
glaciers keep melting.
What is very clear is that we will experience climate change.
Recognizing this--and facing objections to cutting back emissions--those
in Congress are increasingly asking questions about what climate change
So what if climate changes? How will climate change affect us? How
will it affect the citizens in my district? How will it affect the
citizens of my state and region? How will climate change affect the
nation and the world? Are the effects of climate change really going to
be important given all the other changes that are occurring?
At the global and national levels, some studies of the potential
consequences of climate change have given indications of the types of
changes that could occur. In that fossil fuels provide tremendous benefit
to society, the global focus has been on major categories of changes to
aspects of the environment that provide important services to humans.
Thus, the types of impacts of most concern focus on potential consequences
to human health, food production, water resources, communities in coastal
regions, and the many and diverse aspects of potential impacts to forests,
wetlands, grasslands, and many other types of ecosystems that provide both
products and services to society.
The US National Assessment
Information on the general types of impacts is interesting, but it is
not really very helpful in understanding how climate change will affect
each one of us or in understanding how we will need to adjust and try to
cope with the changes. It is providing more specific answers that is the
challenge of our national assessment.
The nation is so complex that no small group--whether of scientists or
those in Washington--can just go off and write a simple explanation. Not
only would such a select and distant group likely not address the
questions that really matter, but no one would believe what was written.
The only way to get a good understanding of the climate and the human and
societal dimensions of the problem is to initiate an extended dialog on
the issues with those who will really feel the changes. These regional
workshops are to be the beginning of this dialogue. The US
Global Change Research Program is sponsoring a number of regional
workshops around the country where the dialogue is getting started.
We have learned several things from the nine workshops that have been
held so far. First, we have learned that it helps to identify the key
sectors in a region to provide a focus to the thinking about potentially
large impacts. Second, it helps to start the discussion around four basic
- What environmental stresses are now affecting the critical sectors
in the region and how might these stresses play out in the future?
- How might climate amplify or moderate these stresses--or introduce
- What further information is needed to more fully answer questions
about climate impacts on these and other sectors?
- What coping actions might help to alleviate the identified stresses,
hopefully in a win-win way, so as to avoid the adverse impacts of
A story from the first workshop in the Central Great Plains might help
to clarify how the process has worked at other workshops. Quite a number
of ranchers came to that workshop--they were a bit reluctant to do so, in
that they are often portrayed as part of the environmental problem. The
cattle produce waste that pollutes river waters and methane that exerts a
strong warming influence on the climate; their plowing of the soils causes
carbon in the soils to oxidize and become CO2 that also induces
warming; and their animal and fertilizer wastes come down the Mississippi
and may be causing the lifeless hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. How
much worse can things get? Well, climate change is predicted to make it
hotter in the summer, reducing soil moisture, and therefore reducing their
crop yields. Furthermore, cutting back fossil fuel emissions would lead to
higher fuel prices. It all sounded pretty hopeless.
However, by the end of the workshop, things had turned around. Fossil
fuel cutbacks will likely make a market for biomass fuels--so the animal
waste becomes a resource that would earn the ranchers money instead of
costing them money. Similarly, the methane gas emissions can be a fuel
resource. Shifting to no-till agriculture would require less fossil fuel
while also helping to enhance carbon build-up in the soils. Not only might
this earn ranchers payments for sequestering carbon, but increasing the
amount of carbon in the soil helps to increase moisture-holding capacity,
making ranchers more resilient not only to climate change, but to the
natural variations that bring wet and dry years to the Plains. The
ranchers started to see themselves as part of the solution--if they were
prepared with the right information.
What happens in the Central Great Plains will affect conditions here on
the Gulf Coast. What they do and what the climate does will affect river
flow in the Mississippi, and will likely affect erosion rates and silt
transport. Maybe the changing rainfall and runoff patterns and their
timing will affect the hypoxic zone, or the supply of silt to barrier
islands, or nutrients that affect marine life and coastal estuaries.
It is such questions and issues that need to be explored at this
workshop. The workshop is being organized as part of the government's
research program. We are not into regulations, but are into exploring
connections and couplings--helping to provide the information needed to
avoid decisions that might lead to adverse impacts from global change. Our
assessment is starting with a regional focus--issues relating to where
people live. It is also looking at some key sectors on a national level
and will be working to try to provide a picture of what the nation's
sensitivities and vulnerabilities are to climate change. Our hope is that
with information and the involvement of people, organizations, and
governments, everyone will be better able to cope with the changes that
are coming, and will be able to identify actions that can aid in
adaptation to the changes that will be occurring.
Thus, this workshop is really your workshop. We at the federal level
are here to be resource people, to ask questions, and to report on lessons
from other regions and studies. It is up to you to decide where the
discussions go, what issues we explore. To advance the National Assessment
process, we are asking that the workshop report on its discussions, and,
over the next year, we are asking that the network that emerges from this
workshop prepare a summary report for yourselves and for the nation that
will at least start to answer the "So What" question that
members of Congress are asking and that will tell the rest of the nation
why what is happening in your region is important to the rest of the
Let me close with a brief story. Last summer, we asked Virginia Burkett
to speak at a monthly seminar the USGCRP sponsored on Capitol Hill. The
topic was coastal wetlands, mainly along the Gulf of Mexico. Virginia gave
a wonderful talk, describing how this and that barrier island was
disappearing or changing. It was fascinating--but it was not quite
connecting to the mostly inside-the-Beltway audience. During the question
and answer period, I tried asking a question to help make this connection.
I asked: "Well, it is all very interesting that barrier islands are
disappearing along the Gulf Coast, but I live in Maryland and why should I
care?" There was a very brief pause before there was quite an
eruption: "Where do you think your shrimp come from?"
"Where do you think the Gulf fish come from?" "These
islands help defuse hurricane winds--damage will be much greater without
them, and your taxes pay for FEMA reimbursements." "Do you know
how many people vacation there?" "The Mississippi is a major
shipping channel that supports the nation's economy." And on and
on--I just sat quietly taking notes--hearing just what I had hoped would
be said. This region matters to the rest of the country, and the world,
and impacts here will affect us all.
Since I have become involved with the Steering Committee for this
workshop, other issues have started emerging: What will be the
distributional effects of these consequences across different income
groups--across rural and urban dwellers, and so on? What unique issues
arise because New Orleans is below sea level, etc., etc., etc.?
Climate change will be important not only for you, but also for the
country, and we want the discussions that begin here to seek to understand
what these changes will be, how important they will be, and to start to
explore how to plan for the future in ways that will accommodate climate
Figure 1: The atmospheric CO2 concentration has risen
from about 275 ppmv prior to the Industrial Revolution to a level of about
370 ppmv today. This increase has occurred as a result of emissions from
fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, and carbon release from soils
caused by agriculture.
Figure 2: Record of CO2 concentration and temperature
from the Vostok ice core in Antarctica and extended to the present. There
is a close association between the CO2 and temperature changes,
with the variations in CO2 apparently amplifying temperature
changes initiated by cyclic changes in the Earth's orbit around the Sun.
Figure 3: Global temperature record from 1860 to the present,
showing a warming of about 0.5ï¿½ C (1ï¿½ F) over the last century.
Figure 4: The observed temperature record and climate model
simulations incorporating observed and reconstructed changes in greenhouse
gases, aerosols, and solar radiation (from Wigley).
Figure 5: IPCC projections out to the year 2100 of the increase in
concentration of CO2 and the consequent increase in global
average temperature for various emission scenarios and climate
Figure 6: Stabilizing the concentration of CO2 in the
atmosphere will require significant cutbacks in emissions from projections
of the emissions rate assuming Business-as-Usual.
On assignment from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with
support from the US Department of Energy.
Chapter 1: Wetlands, Wildlife Habitat and Estuaries
The following six major categories of stresses were identified.
- Sea-level rise and coastal subsidence
The Gulf Coast is a region prone to rapid subsidence of an order of
magnitude greater than the Atlantic and Pacific coastal zones. The
Governor of Louisiana's representative at the workshop referred to
this region as the "Poster Child of Vulnerability".
Accelerated sea-level rise of any predicted rate, high or low, will
only exacerbate the impacts of the existing rate of sea-level rise on
this highly vulnerable coastal region.
- Altered freshwater and sediment flux
Gulf Coast ecosystems continue to be impacted by stresses of
altered watershed dynamics and flood control measures. Changing
climate conditions which impact flow regimes in other regions (such as
the Upper Mississippi River watershed) are also felt along the Gulf
coast. Gulf coast states have experienced an increase in total annual
rainfall during this century. This increase is associated with more
intense rainfall events, which alter both the timing and delivery of
freshwater to coastal wetlands and estuaries. The State Climatologist
for Louisiana stated that intense spring rainfall events have doubled
in frequency since 1971, while the number of summer events during that
period were half as frequent. In addition to these climatic changes,
flood control measures and impoundments alter surface water flows and
impede the sediment flux that is necessary to sustain the development
of river deltas. The extraction of freshwater for municipal purposes,
irrigation, and landscape fragmentation in the coastal zone have
altered the balance of freshwater and tidal flows. Several Gulf Coast
estuaries and wetlands are slated for engineered restoration (e.g.
fresh water diversions along the lower Mississippi River and the
Everglade's surface water restoration).
- Saltwater intrusion, agricultural, industrial, and urban runoff
Rising sea-level and deteriorating landforms allow saltwater to
intrude further inland and to mix with surface and groundwater
supplies. Changing the salinity patterns of Gulf Coast wetlands
threatens stability of freshwater ecosystems and survival of two
important shellfish resources - oysters and shrimp. Fertilizers,
herbicides, and pesticides applied on agricultural crops in watersheds
that feed coastal marshes and estuaries also pose a real concern. The
cumulative impact of water removal and replacement, whether for
municipal or industrial purposes, involves a reduction in water
quality and perhaps pollution to downstream wetlands. Urban flood
waters that are pumped across levees also introduce significant
contaminants of unknown fate into adjoining wetlands.
- Resource extraction
Man's activities associated with natural resource utilization and
extraction often present a stress on wetlands, wildlife, and
estuaries. The following list of renewable and non-renewable natural
resources that are important in the Gulf Coast region suggests the
multitude of combined stresses that exist. These are not necessarily
listed in order of their importance:
- Storms associated with frontal passages and tropical lows
Frontal passages and hurricanes account for most of the acute
effects that lead to coastal changes of barrier islands and wetlands.
Even relatively mild winter storms create fetch dynamics in coastal
bays and estuaries that can cause significant impacts.
- Exotic Species
The invasion of non-indigenous species of flora and fauna alter the
structure and balance of coastal systems to the exclusion, in some
cases, of native species. The loss of habitat for resident wildlife is
also of concern. The Gulf Coast spans the transition zone between
temperate and sub-tropical climates and species distribution which
adds to its biological diversity as a region. The rate of spread of
exotic species may be fostered by climate changes and conditions. Some
notable exotic species include Melaleuca, Salvinia, water hyacinth,
Eurasian millfoil, Brazilian pepper, Chinese tallow tree, gecko, and
Many other stressors may be important, but they are not necessarily
unique to the Gulf Coast region or apart from the general categories
outlined above. Examples include: ultraviolet radiation effects on
corals and amphibians, brown and red tide episodes, hypoxia, wetland
loss and fragmentation, eutrophication, municipal wastewater disposal,
bulkheads, jetties, and riprap structures, levees and impoundments,
solid waste storage and contamination, non-point source pollution,
recreational activities, atmospheric deposition, brine disposal, and
Multiple stressors are an issue in the Gulf Coast region, the
importance of which may differ somewhat between watersheds and
estuaries and with the time of year or episode. The cumulative impacts
of all stressors and the realization that interactions between these
stressors may also be important.
Critical Information Needs
Critical information needs are associated with an effective assessment
of the consequences of climate change and variability for the Gulf Coast
- Information on meteorological changes
- More information describing past changes, variability and trends
in climate is needed. This includes improved geographic resolution
using both direct and inferred data such as pollen in sediments
and tree-ring analysis.
- The monitoring network of hydrologic and climatic stations in
the coastal zone should be enlarged.
- Detailed regional and subregional climate models for the Gulf
Coast with finer time scales are needed. These models should give
us a better understanding of direction and magnitude of climatic
variation and intra- and inter-annual extremes, and a better
understanding of seasonal shifts, cold front passages, tropical
storms, and tidal variation.
- Information on environmental changes
First, we need a better understanding of what we have (i.e. the
baseline). Second, we need to understand what the Gulf region stands
to gain and lose given the predicted change scenarios. This
- Documentation and integration of existing data for assessment
and monitoring of:
- Baseline information on species distributions, life history,
trends in abundance and distribution, land use, landscape
patterns and alterations, natural processes governing
wetlands, fluvial systems and geomorphology;
- Archival preservation of natural history museum collections
historic photos and maps;
- Precise elevation surveys tied to existing benchmarks for
the entire Gulf Coast with improved accuracy, to produce
contours within centimeters, possibly using remote sensing.
Re-benchmarking may be required in those areas where
subsidence has occurred;
- Regional water quality monitoring and reporting;
- Examination of changes in sediment budgets; and
- GIS support to integrate information for resource managers.
- Development of climate change scenarios for wetlands, wildlife,
and estuaries including:
- Models of plant and animal community response to estimate or
- Change scenarios for 50 and 100 year time scales for the
- Impacts on productivity;
- How will climate change magnify (or moderate) existing
- The occurrence and effects of catastrophic events;
- Changes in the hydrologic characteristics (saline/fresh
water interface) and sediment budgets; and
- Wetlands, estuaries, and/or barrier islands may be
created or lost.
- Models of species response to changes in physical processes
- Native specie's response to climatic shifts and extreme
- Interactions of stresses, such as exotics, on indigenous
species with climatic shifts and changes in perturbation
- Information on socioeconomic and human dimensions changes including
an understanding of how climate change and variability are likely to
affect human quality of life. Then we need to know how sociological
forces will impact wetlands, wildlife and estuaries, with and without
changes in climate. These will be based on the following:
- Changes affecting the landscape's capacity to support human
- Loss of wetland functions such as water quality, storm
buffering capacity, sediment and flood water restoration;
- Availability and acquisition of potable water as wetlands
and other barriers to saltwater intrusion are lost;
- Risk assessments relative to coastal hazards; and
- Waste disposal implications.
- Understanding the sociological driving functions:
- Demographic projections for the coastal zone;
- Improved models of how people interact with landscape and
- Research is needed to obtain information describing public
- Evaluations and information regarding future jobs for people
who are dependent upon coastal resources (non-renewable,
renewable, and non-consumptive).
Potential Coping Strategies
Coping strategies should be associated with supporting human well-being
in the region and should be associated with the preservation or
maintenance of our natural heritage. The strategies include:
- Human dimensions needs:
- Innovation and change in public mindset, mainly through
- Incentives to participate in programs that will help coastal
residents cope with change will involve:
- Innovative use of programs such as FEMA buyouts, fishermen's
disaster relief, and insurance;
- Job training programs with an emphasis on jobs that are
sustainable within the landscape; and
- A "GI Bill" for civilian education so individuals
can better adapt to changes.
- Removal of institutional impediments to dealing with change,
with emphasis placed on gradual nature of change, rather than
radical departure from the traditional basis for coastal living.
- Natural heritage needs:
- Increased funding allocations for wetland preservation and
A strategy for identifying new public land acquisitions to
replace reduced and degraded public lands along the coast
Chapter 2: Forestry and Farming
The Gulf Coast Region and the Southeastern U.S. are perhaps the most
productive agricultural and forest related areas in the nation. However,
current stresses on agriculture and forestry in the Gulf Coast Region are
- Climate variability is already a prime stress and is related to the
many summer storms of both sub-tropical and convection driven origin.
- Forestry and farming are affected by numerous thunderstorms of
high intensity as well as tropical storms and the associated high
- The high rainfall during short periods associated with these
storms leads to flooding and waterlogged soils. Plant growth and
animal care are impacted. Reduced root growth and increased
incidence of windthrow or crop lodging are not uncommon problems.
- Along the coast and for some distance inland, sea-level rise is a
major problem in states like Louisiana.
- Natural sea-level rise is a product of warming temperatures and
- Apparent sea-level rise is aggravated by subsidence caused from
the organic soils and the losses of sediment influx as drainage
patterns have been altered for human use in coastal areas.
Sea-level rise exacerbates drainage of rivers and streams
resulting in flooding and saltwater intrusion that severely alter
the coastal ecosystems.
- Freshwater swamps are being killed by saltwater intrusion and
bottomland hardwoods are being killed by alteration of flood
timing and duration.
- Farmland use in the coastal areas is also altered by these
- Changes in species composition, changes in wetland boundaries, and
complete loss of terrestrial ecosystems to open water areas have
occurred. Such changes have also been associated with increased
numbers of pests and success of new pests in the region.
- Although high rainfall is common, the Gulf Coast Region also
experiences its share of droughts. Droughts in recent years have
caused much damage and loss of productivity.
- Plants growing in waterlogged soils have restricted root systems
and once the soils begin to dry out, plants are unable to extract
sufficient water from the soil.
- Wildland ecosystems under water stress often lead to insect and
disease infestations, with a concomitant increase in the frequency
and severity of wildfires. The release of sequestered carbon
through uncontrolled wildfire can lead to major air pollution and
to the buildup of radiatively important gases and particles in the
- The extreme variability in rainfall duration, intensity and
location can lead to flooding and waterlogged soils in one area
and drought conditions short distances away.
- In the summer, high temperatures provide additional stress
through increased plant respiration, reduced photosynthesis, and
- In the winter, temperature fluctuation and the sudden onset of
freezing temperatures result in biological miscues and loss of
productivity. The negative impacts on flower and fruit production
are most noticeable.
- Ozone and other air pollutants are a problem in many areas of
the Gulf Coast Region. Foliar damage, reductions in
photosynthesis, and associated reductions in growth have been
shown to occur. This problem is becoming more serious in the Gulf
- Increased temperature could cause increases in release of
precursors to ozone (e.g., phenolics and terpene reactive
- Increases in CO2 could lead to reduced stomatal
conductance and lessen the effects of ozone.
- Perhaps the most anticipated beneficial effect of climate change on
farming and forestry is the increased CO2 levels.
- The initial impacts of carbon dioxide increases will be enhanced
crop and forest productivity. More efficient production on
nitrogen limited soils may be an added benefit;
- Much of the anticipated beneficial effect may be offset by other
factors related to climate change. Several unknown and unstudied
effects of climate change may alter our perception of the benefits
and losses as a result of climate change in the Gulf Coast Region;
- Normally seen as a positive effect on photosynthesis and plant
biomass, the increasing carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere
may alter carbon allocation patterns;
- Shifts in allocation from stemwood to branches or root systems
may alter the way a tree handles sudden changes in the environment
and could lead to a severe blow to the timber industry; and
- Carbon allocation related to fruit and grain production versus
vegetative and root growth may appear positive until sudden onset
of drought conditions finds the crops with inadequate root
We do not know the relative biological costs of these changes given the
projected increased variability in climate. Higher C:N ratios in litter
may reduce decay and nutrient turnover rates offsetting the increased
temperature effects. Shortages of some nutrients are likely to be
increased if more rapid growth results from increasing CO2
levels. Carbon and nutrients could also be sequestered at different rates
in woody plant biomass. Crop residues may breakdown more quickly affecting
succession and again altering nutrient cycling. These changes may be
prominent because of the timing of nutrient turnover. Effects on flowering
and fruiting could result from changes in the way nutrients are mobilized
both in the plant and in the soil. Again, the potential effects are
largely unknown, especially for natural forest ecosystems.
Differential effects for C4 versus C3 plants will
exist. In farming this may change the relative productivity and economic
situation for crop plant selection. In the natural environment relative
productivity differences could affect competition and succession. There is
some evidence to suggest that species diversity may be reduced in some
areas. Long periods of hot weather, day and night, at times may lead to
increases in evapotranspiration. Without increases in precipitation,
drought effects could reduce plant growth. Higher respiration rates
resulting from even higher temperatures could reduce net photosynthesis
during the summers. Short winters with highly variable winter temperatures
could lead to physiological miscues. Frost damage could occur in some
areas and poor pollination and fruiting may result. If miscues are not
severe, warmer winter temperatures can mean extended growing seasons and
more carbon sequestration. However, changes in wood quality in trees seem
probable since season timing differs. The importance of dormant season
length in perennials is relatively unknown. Higher rainfall in the Gulf
Coast Region will aggravate the high soil water conditions already
prevalent. Reduced root growth or increased incidence of root pathogens
will subject far greater numbers of plants to increased windthrow and
death. Reduced overall growth and increased susceptibility to disease will
likely follow on newly affected areas.
Additional interacting factors include:
- The impact of stress on micro-organisms from an ecological point of
- Continued expansion of the urban environments causing the demise of
- Encroachment of urbanization on watersheds and coastal water
- Expansion of agricultural lands in new areas due to changes in
- Erosion and decreased water quality from increased pollution
including fertilizers and herbicides;
- Increased demands for agricultural and forest products;
- Increased pressure on recreational lands; and
- Homes are long-term sequestration sites for carbon (increase with
population) but may replace forested sites.
Critical Information Needs
- Information needs about meteorological changes
We need to:
- Understand the potential arctic outbreak frequency (extremes are
of critical importance) e.g., ice storms;
- Know the how potential productivity of soils will change with
- Understand how the magnitude of change in weather is important
in determining effects on agricultural plants and animals;
- Predict the magnitude of extremes in weather and climate
- Provide tools for evaluating the probability of drought
occurrence and the duration of droughts in local areas and improve
the accuracy of the predictions, especially during the growing
- Develop improved methods for predicting when the minimum
conditions for planting will occur (last date of frost, etc.) and
the length of growing season;
- Assess the likelihood of climatic conditions requiring planting
of alternative crops;
- Improve projections of fire severity based on long-range
- Know how far in advance we will have to react to climate change
in order to avert catastrophic die-offs or significant losses; and
- Know whether we are prepared to mitigate the effects of
disastrous meteorological events.
- Information needs concerning environmental change
Many environmental factors associated with climate will also
change. We need to understand:
- Which cultural practices will ameliorate the effect of
environmental factors on seed production and agricultural and
forest production in general;
- The environmental impacts on insect and other pathogens;
- Biotic factors above and below ground (insects, disease, micro-
and macro-organisms) and how they will be affected by changes in
climate associated environmental factors such as soil moisture,
shorter periods of frozen soils, degree of cloudiness, and flood
- The effects of altered hydroperiods and/or drought periods on
agricultural and forestlands with different local site conditions;
- The effects of climate change on migration patterns and general
wildlife habitat use;
- How environmental factors affect soil conservation efforts and
water quality considerations;
- The potential impacts of environmental factors on production of
ozone and other pollutants;
- How key changes in environmental factors interact with genetic
- What how know about changes in the environment that will help to
develop new pesticides; and
- Effects of environment on rates of maturation and metabolism
which in turn would affect productivity.
- Information Needs About Socioeconomic and Human Dimensions
Changes in population size, demographics, and human life styles
will all interact with and influence the effects of climate change.
Information needs related to these factors include determination of:
- Effects of land-use changes on environmental factors at various
scales from the local to the global scale;
- How shifts in population and demographics will be related to
climate change (e.g., South to North movement);
- How alternative life styles as a result of climate change are
likely to affect the demands on forest and agricultural resources;
- The costs associated with the use of alternative energy sources;
- How petroleum cost increases will affect the agriculture and
- How incentives would change the rate of carbon fuel use;
- Types of education needed to influence the consumption of
petroleum and improve efficiency of agricultural and forestry
- How climate change might cause geographical shifts of
agricultural or forestry operations;
- Willingness of people to relocate based on changes in climate
and production trends in agriculture and forestry;
- The effects of climate and economic factors on stability in
- How climate change will affect public health and safety;
- Effects of tighter controls on industrial emissions production
and improved transportation systems ; and
- The implications for agro-forestry
Potential Coping Strategies
Many coping strategies are available to modify the effects of climate
change and to alter the degree of climate change based on today's
knowledge of these relationships. Potential coping strategies for forestry
and farming include:
- Afforestation and urban planting to increase carbon sequestration;
- Use of specific cultural practices;
- Proper species selection;
- Use of Best Management Practices for sustainability and
- Reducing erosion;
- Maintaining water quality;
- Promoting efficient urban forestry;
- Correct placement of urban trees for energy conservation and low
- Sustainability of forestry and agricultural vegetative cover for
carbon sequestration and energy conservation;
- Appropriate and energy efficient recycling;
- Education and technology transfer;
- Encourage energy efficient practices;
- Use of no till/minimum till agriculture;
- Targeted application of chemicals and pesticides;
- Diversification of crops;
- Development of decision making tools to aid in choosing the correct
cultural practices and energy efficient methods for implementation;
- Development of risk assessment tools to predict the impact of global
change on ecosystems;
- Research on taxonomy and systematics should be stressed to add to
the data base for biological species; and
- Development of Geographic Information System databases to provide
key climatic information relative to farming and forestry practices.
The answers and even some of the questions related to the effects of
global climate change on the Gulf Coast Region will require research in
many areas. In farming and forestry, important research questions include:
- How does carbon sequestration vary for different species
- What are the genetic effects and how much adaptation will be
required of specific species under different climate change scenarios?
- What are the relative competitive advantages of various species
under different climate adaptation scenarios?
- What are the direct and indirect impacts of environmental factors
(e.g., drought, flooding, nutrient deficiency, etc.) on above and
below ground plant eco-physiological responses and how do cultural
practices affect these relationships?
- What are the important linkages between cultural practices, climate
variation, and the water cycle at different scales of measurement (
tree and stand water flux; water budgets)?
- How can we achieve the appropriate balance between natural
regeneration/artificial regeneration and silvicultural practices to
efficiently use fossil fuels?
- What are the potential impacts of fire, insects and disease on
long-term carbon sequestration?
- How are insects and disease organisms and their hosts altered by
climatic change? What are the potential ramifications of these changes
on the forest and agricultural productivity and on the health of
natural forest ecosystems (including forest biodiversity)?
- How will fire, weather, and the resulting fires impact ecosystem
health and succession?
- Can we develop alternative energy sources and more efficient ways of
using energy for farming and forestry operations?
- What improvements in modeling methods can be made for connecting
agricultural and forestry practices to changing climatic conditions?
- What new technologies can be developed to preserve soil quality and
sustain agricultural productivity?
Chapter 3: Commerce, Industry and Energy
Industries of the region can be divided into two broad categories:
primary industries and support industries. Primary industries with the
most impact on the economies of the Gulf Coast region (in no particular
order) are oil and gas, agriculture and forestry, tourism and
entertainment, fisheries and aquaculture, chemical, manufacturing, port
transfer and shipping. A number of support industries with important roles
in the region (in no particular order) are insurance, finance, real
estate, construction, medical and health, public sectors, military,
government, and retail.
Current climatic and non-climatic stresses can be related to the
relevant industries. Some of these influences originate within the region,
while others have global dynamics. Some general "stresses" are
coastal land loss, saltwater intrusion, population growth, and
education/training of the general population and available workforce.
Specific effects on the primary industries include the following:
- Oil and gas:
Clearly, global energy markets, international emissions agreements,
and national policy are major forces in shaping the demand for oil and
gas products, and the ultimate mix of fuels used to meet the nation's
energy needs. Also, the current age and inefficiency of capital
equipment is one important stress in this industry as well as in the
chemical and manufacturing industries. Weather plays a substantial
role in determining demand for, hence the price of, various fuels.
Another major stress on the oil and gas industries is the frequency
and magnitude of major storms. In such cases, drilling activities in
the Gulf are curtailed. While this stress is currently thought to play
only a minor role, future increases in storm intensity and frequency
associated with climatic change could be important.
- Agriculture and forestry:
Agriculture is particularly sensitive to climate variability and
extremes. The dates of the first and last frosts dictate planting and
harvesting schedules. Shifts in the length of growing season can
benefit or harm agriculture. Some crops will likely benefit from the
enhanced CO2 and increased air temperatures. There may even
be opportunities for double cropping (i.e., two growing seasons each
year). The expected drying of the soil and increased magnitude of
heavy precipitation events, on the other hand, may be damaging to the
- Tourism and entertainment:
Weather in the gulf coast region has an important influence on
tourism. For instance, it is generally known that the month of August
can be quite hot and humid, discouraging tourism and encouraging
residents to travel out of the region. The role of weather in tourism,
however, is a two-way street. Many of the tourists visiting the region
in winter months are from the northeast. If winters in the northeast
are less severe, there will be less incentive for these individuals to
flee to the south. Another important influence on tourism is the
perception of health threats. One example is the recent outbreak of
encephalitis in central Florida, that resulted in the evening closings
of the Disneyworld parks. Even very small outbreaks of infectious
disease can have major impacts on tourism.
- Fisheries and aquaculture:
Wetland loss is a current issue of great importance to the
fisheries and aquaculture industries. If natural subsidence is
enhanced by sea-level rise, these industries may be severely impacted.
There are also salinity issues associated with the interface between
the coastal salt water and the brackish and fresh water marshes.
While the chemical industry is generally not significantly impacted
by climate, it relies on the oil and gas industries for much of its
raw materials, and is also subject to the policy actions of local
governments which often act to limit emissions. Environmental activism
is also playing a more pronounced role, as the activist groups grow
and become more vocal about their environmental concerns. Vocal public
opposition to the proposed Shintech PVC plastics plant in Louisiana
was cited as one example.
- Port transfer and shipping:
This industry depends upon port access which in some cases may be
affected by river flow rates, sedimentation, and the need for
dredging. Ship traffic can also be significantly impacted by severe
Critical Information Needs
- Information needs about meteorological changes
We need information on relevant climate variables as well as
several secondary variables derived from the primary climate
variables. These include statistics on temperature, precipitation,
wind, humidity, sea level, cloud cover, atmospheric turbidity, and
river flow. An additional parameter of importance is the frequency and
magnitude of extreme events such as severe storms, hurricanes, and
droughts. The need for information on these parameters was derived
directly from the earlier discussion of current climatic stresses on
the Gulf Coast industries.
- Information needs about environmental changes
Important environmental changes which may be related to and
impacted by climate change include the ongoing subsidence in coastal
Louisiana, penetration of high salinity water to inland marshes and
estuaries, and changes in coastal habitats. The flow rates of major
rivers (such as the Mississippi) and the pollutant levels in these
rivers are also an important input into the economies of the Gulf
Coast region. We need to know how large scale changes in these
environmental variables might affect the local industries directly and
indirectly through impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity.
- Information needs about the socioeconomic and human dimension
Aside from environmental and climate changes, there are likely to
be many changes in the social, economic, and political parameters that
may be just as significant to these industries. Certainly, projections
of population demographics for the region will be important. The
relative wealth, age, skill, social, and political views of the
population will also be important. How will government react? Will it
act to protect coastal areas? Will it restrict new development, or the
rebuilding process after a major hurricane? Of equal importance is the
question of how people will react. How receptive will the public be to
information about likely future climate and/or environmental change?
This question may be partially addressed by cultural theory which
seeks to divide the population into distinct groupings with somewhat
predictable behavior. One approach is to use a carefully crafted
questionnaire and interview process to partition people into one of
four categories: egalitarian, individualist, hierarch, and fatalist.
When a particular region is faced with a new issue, understanding the
cultural group populations in that region may aid in assessing how the
population will respond to the various options.
Potential Coping Strategies
Education and communication are perhaps the greatest barriers to coping
with climate change. Without education at all levels, there will not be
sufficient support in the near future for changes in the status quo that
may help the Gulf Coast prepare for and cope with climate change.
One key issue is that future residential, industrial, and
infrastructure development should be limited in regions which are most
subject to being inundated as the sea level rises. We should also work to
make the region less dependent upon industries which are highly sensitive
to climatic change.
There are many existing technologies that can help the gulf coast
region become more energy efficient. Louisiana and Texas are among the
most energy intensive states in the country due to their large industrial
base. There are significant subsidies in Louisiana for industrial energy
use. That infrastructure is out of date and inefficient. By reducing
energy subsidies it is believed that these industries could be encouraged
to modernize their technologies, resulting in much more energy efficient
and less environmentally disruptive processes.
Chapter 4: Health, Water and Air Quality
The Gulf Coast shares a number of stresses that are currently creating
problems for coastal areas around the country due to a high rate of
population influx and development. Many of the health stresses in the
region relate to contamination of the marine environment as a result of
development, agriculture (nitrogen flow), and industrial pollution, such
as benzene and other organic chemicals from oil refining. This is of
particular concern because the Gulf Coast has the highest concentration of
petrochemical companies in the nation. The addition of nitrogen to aquatic
and coastal waters can encourage the growth of harmful algae, while
various forms of pollutants can intrude into the water supply or can
impact on local air quality.
- Human health
Table 1 shows some of the current diseases of concern in this
region. This table illustrates how vector-borne diseases (carried by a
host animal or insect) are linked to ecological conditions as well as
socio-economic issues. Although not listed on this chart, there has
also been an upsurge in tuberculosis in the Gulf Coast region, a
disease transmitted person-to-person.
Table 1. Diseases of concern in the Gulf Coast region.
- Can come from imported food.
- Cholera is also endemic to the Mississippi Delta. It may be
difficult to detect in water, as it appears to have a viable,
but non-culturable form found in association with plankton. The
U.S. is not very susceptible to having cholera become endemic;
however, it is often under-diagnosed in the U.S.
|Equine encephelitides (EEE)
- A vector-borne disease (carried by mosquitoes) which kills
horses and can affect humans.
- Always 11 1/2 months of exposure to mosquitoes in the Gulf
Coast. Everyone needs to get their horses vaccinated for EEE.
Mosquitoes need a cool place with water in the shade to breed.
They may move away from wetlands and into urban areas and
landfills as wetlands are destroyed. In Baton Rouge, there are
wetlands within the urban area which are protected from the
spraying of pesticides to kill mosquitoes. Increased rain and
cloudiness could enhance mosquito populations.
- This disease is carried by rodents and a form of the
- There were five cases in Texas; two of the five cases were
- Flooding can increase rodent populations by providing boosts
in their food and driving them from their burrows.
- Armadillos burrow in grave yards to eat corpses. In this
manner, they become carriers of leprosy. They are most affected
in wet weather and may potentially pass the disease to humans.
- This rodent-borne bacterial disease occurs throughout the
- The disease causes abortions in horses.
- It is not being well diagnosed in humans. If diagnosed, it is
treatable with antibiotics. If it is not diagnosed, it can be
- There is a link between the hantavirus and El NiÃ±o phenomena;
with droughts interrupted by heavy rains
- The outbreak is linked to the explosion of the deer mouse
population which is linked to food supply; more food for rodents
can make conditions favorable for an explosion in the
- A drought preceding the population explosion may kill the
predators of the deer mice; thus, with less predators and more
food, the population increases.
- The hantavirus may become more common with an increase in the
- In 1995, there was a large outbreak of dengue fever in Mexico
along the Rio Grande River. There were 4,000 cases on the
Mexican side and seven cases on the U.S. side. There is more
risk of the hemorrhagic form of dengue with time even without
climate change due to the introduction of new dengue virus
strains. The death rate from dengue hemorrhagic fever is 5-15%.
Dengue fever is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
||Zoonoses are diseases which involve non-human vertebrates as
vectors and/or reservoirs, and can be transmitted to people. Many
emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are zoonoses.|
- Yellow fever is under control in the Gulf Coast region.
However, the Aedes aegypti, the mosquito which carries
yellow fever is returning to more parts of the U.S. Nigeria had
a large outbreak of urban yellow fever. Could this happen in the
U.S.? Will climate change affect the spread of dengue fever,
yellow fever, and other diseases? Aedes aegypti may
continue to move northward, as killing frosts do not limit its
range. Warmer winters may permit the mosquitoes to live through
In addition, there were a number of disease events in Florida in 1997
which affected both humans and plants. These included St. Louis
encephalitis around Orlando and three crop pests: the Mediterranean
fruit fly in Dade county, citrus canker, and tomato leaf virus carried
- Water quality
Diversion of water to serve the growth of the human population in
large cities is a potential threat to the availability of clean water
in the Gulf Coast region. The large population growth in Atlanta is
currently threatening Gulf Coast water quality. Similarly, population
growth and the diversion of water is also threatening the water
quality of the Rio Grande River. To assess this problem, it is
important to monitor key water systems and to determine the purpose
for which water is being used.
Pollutants in water is a major problem in the region. The highest
concentration of petrochemical companies in the nation is in the Gulf
Coast. With the potential for a rise in sea level, health is
threatened by the petro-chemical plants which are located along
waterways. In addition to the chemicals released by the petrochemical
companies, the Mississippi River carries the chemical pollutants of
the central U.S. to the Gulf Coast region. Extraction, refining, and
transport of oil and petro-chemicals all carry risks for the health of
humans, wildlife and ecosystems. Extreme rains and flooding can
enhance run-off of nutrients, pollutants and micro-organics. Heavy
rains and high nutrient levels can increase algal blooms and add to
the "hypoxic zone" in the Gulf of Mexico, currently the size
of New Jersey.
Salinity of water is a major problem in the Gulf Coast region
because it contributes to the loss of oysters. Oysters have a positive
effect on water quality by filtering water and removing pollutants.
Salinity also increases the difficulty of the water treatment process.
Salinity may make the treatment of water more costly and add to the
problems of communities which face water treatment problems.
E. coli in water is a sign of human and animal pollution, and it is
often linked to poor municipal processing of sewage. This can be
exacerbated by a poor tax base. That often determines how well the
water is treated.
Pond aquaculture is a potential danger to human health because the
water used in aquaculture goes directly back into the U.S. water
system. There is no ingress or egress in these ponds. Many antibiotics
maybe put into the pond and bacteria which are resistant to different
antibiotics can multiply. These resistant bacteria are then often
released into the environment. It is important to keep the pond water
away from estuaries so that new diseases, bacteria, or other health
risks for animals and humans are not released into the environment. In
addition, shrimp and fish in such confined ponds often become
susceptible to disease. As a result, such systems may not be
sustainable over long periods of time.
- Air quality
The growth of major cities and the effects of this growth on air
quality is a major health concern in the Gulf Coast region. Large
cities such as Houston, Atlanta, and New Orleans have major problems
with air pollution, particularly tropospheric ozone (O3).
Pollution stagnation, such as occurred in Baton Rouge in 1990 and
1995, is dangerous and may be exacerbated by increased temperatures.
Poor air quality contributes to health problems such as heat shock,
asthma, respiratory disease, and allergies.
When air quality is bad, people often stay inside houses. The air
quality there is usually worse than outside. In addition, when
temperatures increase, more people use air conditioners, adding to the
Possible Consequences of Climate Variability and Change
- Human health
- There are potential positive and negative effects on health
which could result from climate change (Tables 2 and 3). One
example of a positive effect is that higher temperatures may cause
some parasites to decrease (e.g., Schistosoma). Each issue
in health must be considered on a case-by-case basis. Health
issues must then be considered using a cascade approach which
focuses on the compound effects on health of many different
- Climate change through warming may intensify the cascade effect
by disruption of species-developed synchronies that underlie
natural biological controls of pests and pathogens.
Table 2. Climate Variables Affecting Disease Patterns.
- Temperature increases cause microbial organisms to increase,
within their viable range.
|Extreme Weather Events
- Increase in incidence of severe tropical storms could leave
conditions in which diseases thrive, by increasing breeding
sites and driving rodents from their burrows.
- Climate models indicate that storm intensities could increase.
- Fungal growth may increase with higher temperatures and
greater humidity. If climate change produces very wet period
followed by very dry periods, then this can increase the
distribution of fungal spores.
- Changing wind patterns could cause movement of insects (e.g.,
herbivores) to different parts of world.
Table 3. Climate Sensitivity of Various Human Diseases (+
indicates increased risk to human health; - indicates decreased risk
to human health).
|Risks to Human Health
||Sea Level Rise
||Extreme Weather Events|
|Meningitis (drought related)
|Vector Borne Diseases:|
|* Aedes aegypti
|* Agric. Pests
- Water supply and quality
- Sea level rise could affect sewage treatment plants and further
pollute water as well as spreading diseases.
- With increased run-off, more chemicals enter the water supply
and stimulate algal growth. Chemical reactions could occur and
affect the quality of water supplies. More chemicals in the water
would compound risks to human health.
- Climate change may intensify demands on clean water supplies by
shifting the patterns of precipitation and evapotranspiration.
- Air quality
- Visibility may decrease with the combined effects of climate
change and more air pollution. Increase in tropospheric ozone is
temperature dependent; warmer days may enhance the reactions that
generate ground-level ozone.
- Decreased visibility may have an effect on mental health. There
will also be less penetration of light in the aquatic environment
with decreased visibility. This could affect coral reefs.
- Allergies and air quality are linked. Allergies increase with
temperature. Wet periods followed by dry periods may increase the
production of fungal spores, and aggravate existing allergies.
- Other environmental and socioeconomic factors
- More people may be forced to move from region to region due to
the effects of climate on the environment. Climate change may
produce more environmental refugees.
- People living in poverty will be more severely affected by
climate change. For example, poor people are less likely to be
able to buy air conditioners to cope with the effects of increased
temperature. They also may face more danger from extreme storm
- With higher temperatures, populations of nuisance organisms may
increase and decrease the quality of life of humans. Flies and
mosquitoes may increase as well as numbers of termites and
cockroaches. For example, from 1990 to 1995, there was no killing
frost in New Orleans. This was a prolonged El NiÃ±o period.
Termites, mosquitoes, and cockroaches increased. Termites stayed
inside live oak trees avoiding the frost in 1995 and 1996, causing
an overpopulation of termites. Termites can be seen flying under
street lights in New Orleans in Spring, and they have invaded many
of the wooden houses in the city. Occasionally, there are reports
in newspapers about termites swarming.
Research and Information Needs
- Research and information needs related to climate variability and
- Seasonality is important to health. Inter-annual variability,
long term variability and the effects of short term variability on
health need to be studied. Research is needed on how variability
of weather affects illness. Does variability contribute to
sickness? Does it make conditions for illness more favorable?
- Research on wind patterns and the relation between wind patterns
and health must be conducted.
- The effects of daytime and nighttime temperatures (average
nighttime temperatures are rising twice as fast as average daytime
temperature) on health, and on nuisance and disease carrying
organisms should be studied.
- Research on how increased rainfall affects pollen counts and
allergies should be conducted. Wind may have a positive effect in
decreasing some diseases.
- More specific predictions of how climate will change regionally
are needed. Comparisons between different places in the U.S. with
similar climates and how environmentally similar locations are
coping may be helpful.
- Regions need better climate forecasting. People need more
accurate prediction of when heat waves are going to occur so that
they may be better prepared.
- The effects of temperature and precipitation on tick populations
should be studied to determine if ticks may become more of a
nuisance, and to determine if ticks may be disease carriers in the
Gulf Coast region. In general, tick populations increase under
warm, humid conditions.
- Research and information needs on human health
The medical community should attempt to anticipate what the health
concerns of the future may be. To do this, the following areas of
study may be important.
- Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome was unknown before 1993.
Surveillance of emerging diseases needs to be improved.
- Disease monitoring in general needs to be improved. Indicator
species (insects, rodents and algae) should be monitored for early
detection of trends.
- Those in the medical field need to know if climate change will
cause diseases to move up in altitude or if they are going to
spread latitudinally with higher temperatures.
- The effects of UV rays on the immune system must be studied.
- There is a need to study how the salinity ratio may change the
balance between hosts and parasites.
- Studies on multiple exposures to environmental risks and how
they interact and can compound should be conducted. What are the
effects of interactions between precipitation, salinity, and
- Better models of vector-borne diseases need to be developed.
- The impacts of the use of fossil fuels on human health must be
further defined. There is a need to look at the extraction,
refining, and transport of fossil fuel as well as the effects of
- The effects of CO2 and warming on crop yields should
- Policy makers need help prioritizing research problems and
- More funding should be designated for research south of the U.S.
border, especially in Mexico. Studying warmer climates south of
the Gulf Coast region may help the Gulf Coast region to identify
problems that it may face in the future. The U.S. should study the
insects, flora and fauna of Mexico, Central and South America.
- Educational policies should include the younger generation in
- Policymakers need to know at what point changes in climate may
overwhelm the current measures put into place to control the
spread of disease.
- Research and information needs on water supply and quality
- An assessment on how chemicals used in agriculture may be
affected by climate change is essential in order to protect water
quality, and hence reduce human health risks related to
pesticides. The interactions between chemicals released directly
into the environment needs to be studied.
- Key water systems must be monitored to determine the purposes
for which water is being used.
- A study which focuses on how government infrastructure can be
strengthened to reduce health risks and protect water quality
caused by sea level rise is needed. For example, municipal waste
facilities may be overtaken by rising sea levels. What can be done
to reduce health risks caused by the water mixing with human
wastes and to the water quality of the region? How might these
systems be improved to be less vulnerable to heavy precipitation
- Inter-disciplinary research needs
There is a need for an interdisciplinary approach to study the
potential human health risks associated with climate change.
- Ecologists need to interact with human health specialists.
- Often, human health specialists focus only on humans. The
medical field needs to become more interdisciplinary in general
and focus on a variety of environmental and social factors which
can affect human health.
- The medical field must study animal diseases which have
potential for being transmitted to humans. Specialists should
consider diseases which could potentially be transmitted through
the food chain.
- In order to assess health risks to humans, animals, and plants,
more interdisciplinary models need to be developed. Models need to
be more specific and provide useful regional information.
Potential Coping Strategies
As with all risk management, advanced planning of coping strategies to
deal with potential health risks can save both lives and money. The U.S.
should plan for the potential acute and chronic health effects of climate
change. Health risks linked to climate change need to be communicated more
effectively to the public. Early warning systems to inform people of
health risks should be improved to allow timely, environmentally-friendly,
and less costly public health intervention.
- As part of risk management, U.S. production techniques need to be
re-evaluated. Greater understanding is needed of how economic
production techniques will ultimately effect the health of the U.S.
population. Climate change may intensify environmental problems caused
by production techniques.
- Medical workers need to be educated about the potential effects of
climate change, and how chronic diseases may increase due to degraded
environmental conditions and chemical contamination.
- The U.S. needs to develop more "bottom-up" disease
prevention programs. If communities are educated on these issues, then
they will ask governments to respond. Also, the U.S. needs to
concentrate on developing programs to protect the elderly. The elderly
need programs to help them cope with heat waves which are anticipated
to increase with climate change.
- The public should understand that climate change may not be gradual
as many assume. What will happen if there is a punctuated change in
climate? There is no assurance that change will be gradual, and the
public must be made aware of this.
This chapter focuses primarily on impact of global climate change on
fisheries. Since the practices of aquaculture and marineculture are
largely based on precepts of fisheries management, many of the discussion
points would apply to these practices, the main differences being the
artificial and isolated nature of the environments in which aquaculture
and marineculture are practiced.
This chapter also emphasizes climate, or perhaps more precisely,
weather variability, as opposed to climate change in a particular
direction (i.e., warming). After all, most of the climate change scenarios
predict increased variability in temperature at the regional level.
Warming projections are based on annualized temperature changes. The
actual day-to-day temperature changes (which organisms experience and
adapt to) will most likely vary between slightly warmer and sometimes
slightly colder temperature extremes. Moreover, limiting the discussion to
temperature changes ignores the more interesting and potentially more
extreme variation in precipitation that is likely to occur. Increased
variability in precipitation has the potential to greatly impact coastal
fisheries by affecting freshwater inflow to estuaries which, in turn,
would affect flushing rates, the location of the freshwater-saltwater
interface, and the quality of coastal estuarine nursery areas for fish and
shellfish. Further inland, increased variability in precipitation has the
potential to negatively impact riverine fish resources.
Projections of annual rates of sea-level rise along the Gulf Coast
associated with global climate change were judged to be relatively minor,
but even small rates of sea-level rise take on a special significance in
coastal Louisiana. Fishermen of the Terrebonne Fishermen's Organization
expressed concern about coastal erosion and the loss of coastal marsh
habitat. In Louisiana this is mainly attributable to subsidence of delta
deposits of the Mississippi River, and human alteration of coastal marsh.
Louisiana fishermen, who depend on the marsh for their livelihood, are
concerned that sea level changes associated with global climate change
will exacerbate the current problems of coastal erosion.
There is currently little public understanding of the importance of
coastal water and habitat quality to coastal fisheries. Coastal habitat
quality is affected by factors such as industrial and metropolitan
development along the coastal zone, tourism and recreation, inland land
use (natural vegetation cover versus agriculture or silviculture,
fertilizer and pesticide use, animal husbandry, etc.), and atmospheric and
hydrologic deposition of pollutants (e.g., inorganic nitrogen) from
industry located far inland. The extent to which climate change will
exacerbate or ameliorate stresses on fisheries associated with changes in
coastal water and habitat quality depends on future trends of coastal zone
development. Some sense of the minimum amount of undisturbed coastal
habitat and minimally disturbed coastal habitat buffer needed to sustain
current fisheries must be gained in order to project habitat needs under
climate change scenarios.
In 1997 Louisiana fisheries contributed roughly $20 billion to the
gross national product, employing about a million people. Thus, the
socioeconomic impact is substantial. Marsh and other coastal habitats on
which coastal fisheries depend play an important role as nursery grounds
for many commercially important fish and shellfish species. Other
commercially important fishes, whose life histories are not directly tied
to coastal habitats, are dependent on fish and shellfish produced in
Over the past 20 years, research has shown that many of the estuary
dependent species, including the important coastal fishery species, tend
to use only the edges of marsh surrounding the estuary (only the first
50-150 ft). Computer simulations suggest that changes in fishery
production in Louisiana can be correlated with changes in the amount of
marsh edge. These findings suggest that any change in fishery-dependent
habitat, resulting from regional climate or sea level change, that affects
the quantity or quality of marsh edge has the potential to greatly impact
fishery production. Coastal marsh is disappearing at an alarming rate in
Louisiana (25-35 square miles per year). That represents about 80% of the
coastal wetland loss in Louisiana. The losses are not as great in other
parts of the Gulf Coast as in Louisiana, but they are still disturbing.
Coastal development typically results in hardening of the immediate
shoreline area, with development of land behind the shoreline. There is
increasing concern that, with sea level rise, there will be no place to
which fishery-dependent coastal habitats can migrate.
It is generally believed that global climate changes will have little
impact on offshore fisheries (e.g., epipelagic species such as tuna and
mackerel, and bottom-oriented species such as snapper) because of their
mobility and the less seasonal nature of offshore habitats. However, the
larval stages of many of these species develop in nearshore areas and are
dependent on Gulf currents for dispersal.
All aquatic organisms have particular ranges of physiological tolerance
to factors such as temperature, salinity, pH, and dissolved oxygen. In
general, species are found only in habitats that meet all of their
requirements for survival, growth, and reproduction. These requirements
often differ with different life history stages (eggs, larvae, and
adults), particularly in marine and estuarine species. A change to warmer
water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico, for example, has the potential to
shift the zone of inhabitance of tropically adapted species northward. At
the same time, the zone of inhabitance of more temperately adapted species
will be restricted because northward movement in the Northern Gulf of
Mexico is limited by the coastline. The same may be said for fishes in
inland freshwater stream and lake habitats along the Gulf Coast. The
species are generally temperately adapted, so any warming, or tendency
toward warmer extremes than at present, has the potential to restrict
their natural range. The ability of any of these species to migrate north
or south is dependent on the range of stream sizes the species normally
inhabits, and the presence of barriers to dispersal such as dams or
natural physiographic features.
Other stresses include:
- Habitat loss due to factors such as subsidence, saltwater intrusion,
and coastal development;
- Habitat fragmentation that results in barriers to dispersal and
- Modification of freshwater inputs due to effects of dams and/or
levees on timing of release of water, sediment, and nutrients to
- Pollution; and
- Overexploitation of fishery resources.
Climate change or variability may exacerbate or ameliorate these
stresses in the following ways:
- Any climate change or variability that results in redistribution of
coastal marsh will likely exacerbate habitat loss and fragmentation
because of the increasingly disturbed nature of the coastal zone;
- Any increase in severe weather has the potential to increase
freshwater input (with positive or negative impacts depending on
timing and location), and damage barrier islands with negative impacts
on marsh and therefore coastal fisheries; and
- Temperature variability has the potential to either negatively or
positively impact remaining fish stocks, depending on the timing
(season, habitat, and life history stage affected).
A critical problem in trying to predict how global climate change might
impact populations of both coastal and inland fisheries is that very
little is known about the specific tolerances and life history
requirements of many of the species involved. Life history information is
being gathered for many of the commercially important species by agencies
such as the National Marine Fisheries Service and state fisheries
departments. However, the information is not being gathered in a
coordinated way, with a view toward future climate change. In cases where
key life history information is being gathered (e.g., in the course of
routine shrimp, ichthyoplankton and groundfish surveys), important
information on conditions of capture is not being recorded, and the
collections are not being precisely referenced as to geographic position,
and the collections are not being archived. What is needed is
comprehensive interagency review of information needs related to impacts
of global climate change on coastal fisheries, better coordination of
ongoing fishery surveys with proper attention to the quality of the
information being gathered, and improved databasing and archiving of
An important and as yet underutilized source of information on the life
requirements of fishes inhabiting the Gulf Coastal Zone is research
collections in natural history museums. The collections are typically well
documented as to provenance and date of collection, and cover periods of
100 years or more. Preserved with the specimens is information on feeding
habits, parasitology, age structure, and reproductive development. The
museums can serve as repositories for collections made by state and
federal fishery resource management agencies.
Efforts to maintain well functioning coastal aquatic ecosystems - now
and in the future - should pay special attention to the natural taxonomic
composition of the biotic communities involved. If too much emphasis is
placed on environmental factors, without proper attention to the natural
interdependencies of coastal aquatic species or understanding of what
constitutes pristine or adequately restored coastal habitat, we are likely
to end up with fishery resources that are as plentiful in terms of
biomass, but very different taxonomically and much less desirable than
what we enjoy today (e.g., sea catfish as opposed to red drum).
Other information needs include the following:
- Information on meteorological/oceanographic changes
- Temperature and salinity changes;
- Accurate projections of precipitation changes;
- Information gained through retrospective analysis of the
relationships between fishery catch data (species composition,
biomass, and life history) and meteorological/ oceanographic
measurements (actual and inferred).
- Information about the extent of coastal habitat alteration and
- Knowledge of the ability of disturbed habitats to sustain
- Information on precipitation patterns and salinity changes.
- Information on changes in human and socioeconomic dimensions
- The potential of changes in fisher population and the fishing
industry to increase or reduce the pressure on important fishery
- Effects of the continuing trend of shifts in human population to
coastal zones increasing pressure on sensitive coastal habitats;
- The potential of pollution resulting from climate change (oxygen
depletion, thermal pollution, nutrients and eutrophication,
toxicity, etc.) to exacerbate problems with fisheries.
The following are pressing research questions related to fisheries and
- Research on the tolerance and life history requirements of coastal
- Retrospective analysis of relevant biotic and environmental data
(fishery, ocean, atmosphere, coastal hydrology);
- Spatial analysis of coastal habitat quality to identify areas for
preservation and/or restoration;
- Analysis of how land use across the Gulf Basin impacts coastal water
- Establishment of long-term environmental monitoring in critical
coastal habitats (coastal rivers, swamps, mangroves, freshwater marsh,
- Research on effects of atmospheric pollution and UV-B's on the
- Information about the consequences of doing nothing;
- Current and future projections of human demographics;
- Current and future projections of coastal economic development and
infrastructure needs (highways, ports, power, water, etc.); and
- Mechanisms for informing fisher communities about changes and other
outreach activities aimed at consumers.
Potential Coping Strategies
- Adopt Best Management Strategies for coastal land use (limit new
- Reservation and/or restoration of critical coastal aquatic habitats;
- Education/outreach to all sectors.
- Current and proposed coastal and wetlands vulnerability
Although the coastal region displays a significant resiliency to
both natural variability (climatic and non-climatic) and human impact,
the potential for additional and accelerated environmental and human
stresses and demands along the coastal zone could exceed the ability
of that ecosystem to adapt.
- Anticipated population dynamics in the coastal region
There are two generally distinct population groups to be
considered: the permanent, resident populations of the coastal region
and the temporary, fluxing population associated with non-resident
tourism and recreation. The coastal zones, and the 'Sunbelt' as a
whole, can be expected to continue to experience marked resident
population growth, as well as human development and settlement driven
by a recreation and tourism industry.
- Potential changes in cost of living, services and maintenance
along the Gulf Coast
As tourism and vacation-oriented industries continue to grow along
the Gulf Coast, the burden for local services can add to an
anticipated increase in the cost of living, and possibly an overall
lifestyle change, for local residents. In some instances, the demand
for coastal "space" could result in the displacement of
permanent settlements or significant changes in local lifestyles,
employment and businesses. Local community cultures may indeed be
threatened as a result of the influx of non-resident investment and
- Information about meteorological (and climatological) changes
Weather plays a major role in the coastal zone, not only in shaping
the environment and impacting the local communities, but also in
defining the attributes that make the Gulf Coast attractive to a
growing tourist industry.
- An extended record of historical climatic data should be
developed wherever possible to represent past trends and ranges of
variability for the coastal region. These data should include both
temperature and precipitation data, as well as other
meteorological factors including winds, atmospheric moisture and
solar radiation. Special attention should be devoted to
information indexing tropical and mid-latitude storm intensities
and frequencies, investigating past and present patterns of
extreme weather-event variability.
- Global-change modeling should be adapted to smaller-scale
regional evaluations, providing guidance regarding potential
and/or expected changes in climatic indicators. This is
particularly true given current considerations regarding the
vulnerability of the coastal zone and the potential for increased
storm activity (both tropical and extra-tropical), which is
handled well by most current global models. In addition and in
support of this effort, a coastal meteorological/climatological
monitoring program should be developed, implemented and
permanently maintained to expand on current data and fill the void
of missing information.
- Development of a complete meteorological/climatological
monitoring effort should be done in conjunction with scientists
from allied areas (i.e. biotic, chemical, etc.) to assure that all
weather variables of interest to coastal zone studies are
available for the research community. This obviously requires
coordination between various research areas.
- The business and resident community of the coastal zone should
be educated about the relationship between weather and the
ecosystem so they are aware of the potential vulnerability of the
coastal zone to climatic variability and change.
- Information about environmental changes
- Local industry and the very survival of the resident communities
are directly tied to the stability and productivity of the coastal
zone. From the perspective of recreational use, the importance of
the visual aesthetics of the Gulf Coast cannot be overstated.
- Sea-level and tidal variability were identified as the two
primary environmental factors influencing the potential impact of
global/regional change on the coastal region, particularly in
instances where these changes develop over relatively short
periods (eg. decades or less).
- Changes in the hydrology and salinity of the coastal zone can
have significant impacts on the area and should be routinely
monitored, preferably through a coordinated effort with the
meteorological and climatological monitoring.
- The sensitivity and vulnerability of coastal vegetation and the
characteristics of the soils need to be fully understood to assess
potential regional climate change impacts. Detailed GIS databases
cataloging soil types, topography and land use (past, present and
projected) are of critical value.
- Concerns regarding aspects of air, soil and water pollution in
the coastal zone need to be addressed. Monitoring efforts should
address these areas.
- The potential for increases in vector-borne diseases as noted by
representatives from the biometeorological and medical arenas
becomes a particularly important issue in the coastal zone,
especially with regard to mosquito-transmitted diseases. The
potential for increased incidence of diseases not only affects the
resident population, but could also make some coastal areas less
attractive to tourists and recreational users.
- Information about socio-economic and human dimension changes
Coastal industries, particularly oil and gas production along
portions of the Gulf Coast, have become significant sources of
employment for many coastal communities yet these industries also
appear to be significant contributors to the loss of wetland habitat.
Continued growth of the coastal tourist industry also places increased
demand for the development of space on the fragile ecosystem. These
factors coupled with sea-level rise and climate change are likely to
exacerbate current rates of wetland loss.
- Projections of human population dynamics must be developed to
determine the potential for uncontrolled growth of resident and
tourist populations in the coastal environment. Recognizing that
the overall value and productivity of the coastal resource exceeds
the value of the development potential, regulations may be
required to minimize over-development.
- Every effort should be made to maintain those coastal
communities that have been in place, but growth in these areas may
need to be limited. This is particularly true in those communities
that already experience occasional environmental impacts (i.e.,
hurricanes or tidal flooding). In some cases the human-environment
system may have already become too unstable to maintain. In other
cases, proposed impacts of regional climate change and sea-level
rise may make engineered efforts of community protection
unrealistic. In those instances where the environmental threat to
the community may exceed feasible solutions, relocation or limited
growth must be considered.
- Comprehensive regional plans for coastal management should be
developed with a primary goal of maintaining, or even re-creating,
wetland areas. These plans should be prepared by intergovernmental
representatives and wetland scientists and coordinated through
coastal communities to allow interactive feedback. Programs and
plans should be developed with "environmental and social
justice" in mind, so that no particular group is unfairly or
improperly burdened in the process.
- Continued development of public/private partnerships should be
encouraged during and after the regional planning process, where
the resident communities and local/regional governments cooperate
with local industries in their efforts to protect and maintain the
Potential Coping Strategies
Coping strategies in the sectors of recreation, tourism and community
life involve efforts to demonstrate the vulnerability of the coastal zone
to unchecked development and misuse. Success in mitigating impacts of
potential regional climate change in the coastal zone for these sectors
requires that users better understand the interactions between
environmental functions and human activities.
- Education is the key. Success in minimizing regional change impacts
along the Gulf Coast is largely dependent upon an understanding by
coastal-zone users of the fragile and vulnerable nature of this unique
ecosystem. There is a need for establishing a common language for
communication between researchers from the various sciences,
policymakers, governmental agents and public and private sectors when
discussing coastal zone issues. Coastal residents, developers, and
industry leaders need to be better informed about the implications of
global and regional change and the overall value of conservation
efforts. There needs to be better coordination among the various
agencies investigating coastal issues to enhance information exchange
between researchers. Data and research conclusions need to be provided
to community and industry representatives in as concise a framework as
- Predictions of impacts along the coastal zone need further
refinement at the regional scale. Improved field-monitoring networks
will provide calibration information for improving the skill of such
regional modeling efforts.
- Specific biological and physical mitigation programs as determined
by the scientific community should be identified and implemented
immediately. In addition to mitigation efforts, proactive conservation
programs should also be developed to re-establish areas of wetland
loss where feasible.
- Objective economic and social impact assessment studies should be
performed to evaluate the consequences of regional climate change in
the coastal ecosystem. It must be recognized that these evaluations
should be performed independently as the specific impacts of climate
change may differ between individual coastal communities.
- Collectively, these four aspects should be integrated with input
from the coastal communities in the development of regional policy to
establish realistic agendas for both short- and long-term response to
regional climate change.
Unchecked access and uncontrolled development along and near Gulf Coast
wetlands, coupled with the potential impacts of global and regional
climate change, will increase rates of loss of this vulnerable coastal
ecosystem. Ultimately this will lead not only to a deterioration of this
unique environment, but also a degradation of coastal community lifestyles
and a reduction in the appeal of the coastal zone for recreation and
tourism. Success for these three sectors therefore is directly tied to,
and greatly dependent upon, the survival of the coastal ecosystem. A
comprehensive program of field research and environmental monitoring,
regional modeling and climate-change impact assessment, and community and
industry education is necessary so that integrated planning and management
strategies can be developed to insure that the fragile ecosystems remain
productive now and in the future.
Anderson DM, Galloway SB, Joseph JD. 1993. Marine Biotoxins and
Harmful Algae - A National Plan. Woods Oceanographic Institution Tech
Report, WHOI 93-02. Woods Hole, MA.
Colwell RR. 1996. Global climate change and infectious diseases: The
cholera paradigm. Science 274:2025-2031.
Curry RB, Pearl RM, Jones JW, Boote KJ, Allen LH. 1990. Simulation as a
tool for analyzing crop response to climate change. Trans. ASAE
Glantz MH. 1994. Drought follows the Plow. Cambridge, Eng: Cambridge
Hales S. 1996. Dengue fever in the South Pacific: Driven by El-NiÃ±o
southern oscillation. The Lancet 348:1664-1665.
Hansen JW, Hodges A., Jones JW.. 1997. "ENSO Influences on
agriculture in the Southeastern U.S. J.Climate (in Press)
IPCC. 1997. The Regional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment of
Vulnerability - Summary for Policy Makers. Watson Rt, Sinyowera MC and
Moss RH eds. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. United Nations
Jones J., Legler DM, Arkin GF, Hansen JW. 1997. Climate Impacts - Major
findings and recommendations: a-agriculture. In "Summary Report of
the Workshop on Climate Variability and Water Resource Management in the
South Eastern United States."Vanderbilt University, Nashville,
Tennessee. pp. 29-33.
Keeling RF, Piper SC, Heimann M. 1996. Global and hemispheric CO2
skins deduced from changes in atmospheric O2 concentrations.
Myneni RB, Keeling CD, Tucker CJ, Asrar G, Nemani RR. 1997. Increased
plant Growth in the Northern High Latitudes from 1981 to 1991. Nature
Nicholls N. 1997. Increased Australian wheat yield due to recent
climate trends. Nature 387:484-485.
Santer BD, Taylor KE, Wighley TLM, Johns TC, Jones PD, Haroly DJ,
Ort AH, Penner JE, Ramaswamy V, Schwarzkopf MD, Stouffer RJ, Tett S.
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Organization, World Meteorological Organization, United Nations
This project was made possible by a grant from the United States
Environmental Protection Agency and technical support from the United
States Global Change Research Program. The project directors would like to
acknowledge significant technical contributions by the steering committee
members of the Gulf Coast Regional Assessment Workshop, Southern
University Office of Research and Strategic Initiatives, the White House
Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Wetland Research
Center, the Science and Engineering Alliance, the Southern Regional
Climate Center, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, United
States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Louisiana State
University, Florida State University, Tulane University, and the workshop
breakout session leaders.
Compiling and Technical Editing: Zhu Hua Ning and Kamran Abdollahi
Editorial Editing: James McNitt
Background Information on the Gulf Coast Region: Paul B. Tchounwou
Remarks: Vice President Al Gore
Keynote Presentation: Dr. John Gibbons
Gulf Coast Assessment Overview/Charge to the Workshop: Dr. Michael C.
Wetland, Wildlife Habitat, and Estuaries: Virginia Burkett, Jacoby
Carter, and Thomas W. Doyle
Farming and Forestry: James L Chambers and Robert Richard
Commerce, Industry, and Energy: David Sailor
Health, Water and Air Quality: Paul R. Epstein and LaShaunda Malone
Fisheries and Aquaculture: Hank Bart and James J. Obrein
Recreation, Tourism, and Coastal Community Life: Lynn Morris and Jay
GULF COAST REGIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE WORKSHOP AND PUBLIC
February 25-27, 1998
Baton Rouge Hilton, Baton Rouge, LA
Workshop Coordinators/Project Directors: Drs. Zhu Hua Ning and Kamran
Wednesday, February 25, 1998
- 3:00pm Organization Meeting for Steering Committee Members, Session
Chairs, Speakers, Panelists, Rapporteurs, and Archivists (Evangeline
- 4:00pm Poster Setup (Salon IV)
- 5:30pm Registration and Poster Session (Foyer IV and Salon IV)
- 7:00pm Welcome Reception (Salon IV)
- 7:45pm Opening Presentation (Salon IV)
Mr. C. C. Lockwood, Author and Photographer of "The
Gulf Coast Region: History, Culture, and People
- 8:30pm Adjourn
Thursday, February 26, 1998
- 7:30am Registration and Continental Breakfast (Foyer IV)
- 8:30am Welcome and Opening Remarks (Salon IV)
Dr. Edward Jackson, Chancellor, Southern University-Baton Rouge
Dr. Leon Tarver, President, Southern University System
Mr. Len Bahr, Special Assistant to Honorable Mike Foster, Governor,
State of Louisiana
- 9:00am Plenary Session Presentation (Salon IV)
Session Chair: Dr. Kirkland Mellad, Dean and Research Director,
College of Agricultural, Family, and Consumer Sciences, SUBR
Dr. Robert Muller, Professor and Director Emeritus, and Mr.
Jay Grymes, Southern Regional Climate Center, Louisiana State
University, Baton Rouge, LA
Climate Variability and Climate Change: 100 Years' Climate
Dr. Virginia Burkett: Branch Chief, Forest Ecology, National
Wetland Research Center, USGS, Lafayette, LA
Climate Change Impacts on Gulf Coast Wetlands
Dr. Michael MacCracken, Director, US Global Change Research
Program, National Assessment Coordination Office, Washington, DC
Overview of National Climate Change Assessment and Charge to
the Gulf Coast Regional Climate Change Workshop
- 10:15am Breakout Session Assignment and Charge to Breakout Session
Dr. Michael Slimak, Associate Director for Ecology, National Center
for Environmental Assessment, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency,
- 10:20am Break (Foyer IV)
- 10:40am Concurrent Breakout Session (Your breakout session
assignment is indicated by a letter on your name badge. Please attend
- Wetland, Wildlife Habitat, and Estuaries (Orleans Room)
- Farming and Forestry (Vermillion Room)
- Commerce, Industry, and Energy (Benville Room)
- Fisheries and Aquaculture (Evaneline Room)
- Health, Water and Air Quality (Acadia)
- Coastal Community Life (Feliciana)
- 12:00pm Working Lunch (served in breakout rooms)
- 1:00pm Concurrent Breakout Session Continued
- 2:30pm Break (Foyer IV)
- 2:50pm Plenary Session Presentations (Salon IV)
Session Chair: Dr. Robert Stewart, Director, National Wetland
Research Center, USGS, USDI, Lafayette, LA
Dr. Jim O'Brien, Professor, Center for Ocean-Atmospheric
Prediction Studies, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
El NiÃ±o and Extreme Weather Events in the Gulf Coast Region
Dr. Michael Crowe, Chief, Climate Perspective Branch, Global
Climate Laboratory, National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, NC
Observed Climate Trends for the Globe and the Southeastern
- 3:40pm Breakout Session Reports (Salon IV)
- 4:10pm Remarks by:
Ms. Pat Arnould, Representative of LA State Office of the Indian
Affairs and Indian Tribe in LA
Madam Karen Kraft Sloan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of
the Environment, Canadian Delegates, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
- 4:20pm Poster Session
- 6:30pm Public Forum Reception
- 7:00pm Public Forum (Salon IV. See Public Forum Agenda for Detail.)
Host: Dr. Robert Ford, Vice Chancellor for Research and Strategic
Keynote Speaker: Dr. John Gibbons, Science Advisor to the
President of the United States, Director, White House Office of
Science and Technology Policy, Washington, DC
- 8:30pm Adjourn
Friday, February 27, 1998
- 7:30am Continental Breakfast (Foyer IV)
- 8:30am Plenary Session (Salon IV)
Chair: Dr. Virginia Burkett, Forest Ecology Branch Chief, National
Wetland Research Center, USGS, USDI, Lafayette, LA
Dr. David Schimel, Program Director, Senior Scientist,
Ecosystem Dynamic and Atmosphere Section, Climate Dynamic Division,
National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
Vegetation/Ecosystems Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP)
Dr. Paul Epstein, Associate Director, Center for Health and
the Global Environment, Harvard University Medical School, Boston, MA
Gulf Coast Regional Climate Change and Human Health
- 9:30am Charge to Breakout Sessions
Dr. Michael MacCracken, USGCRP
- 9:40am Break (Foyer IV)
- 10:00am Concurrent Breakout Sessions Continue
- 12:00pm Workshop Luncheon (Salon I, Host: Dr. Robert Ford)
Keynote Speaker: Dr. David Doniger, Counsel to the Assistant
Administrator in Office of Air and Radiation, U. S. Environmental
Kyoto Climate Protocol and the President's Domestic Climate
- 1:30pm Plenary Session (Salon IV)
Chair: Dr. Robert Shepard, Executive Director, SEA
Reports from Breakout Sessions
Lessons Learned from the Workshop
- 3:00pm Closing Remarks
GULF COAST REGIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE PUBLIC FORUM AGENDA
February 26, 1998
Baton Rouge Hilton, Baton Rouge, LA
Workshop Coordinators/Project Directors: Drs. Zhu Hua Ning and Kamran
- 6:30pm Public Forum Reception (Salon II)
- 7:00pm Public Forum (Salon IV)
- Introduction:Â Host: Dr. Robert Ford, Vice Chancellor for
Research and Strategic Initiatives, Southern University
- Keynote Speaker:Â Dr. John Gibbons, Science Advisor
to the President of the United States, Director, White House
Office of Science and Technology Policy, Washington, DC
- Questions and Answer Session
Dr. Michael MacCracken, Director, US Global Change
Research Program, National Assessment Coordination Office,
Dr. Michael Slimak, Associate Director for Ecology,
National Center for Environmental Assessment, U. S. Environment
Protection Agency, Washington, DC
Dr. Robert Shepard, Executive Director, Science and
Engineering Alliances, Washington, DC
Dr. Robert Muller, Professor and Director Emeritus,
Southern Regional Climate Center, Louisiana State University,
Baton Rouge, LA
Dr. Virginia Burkett, Branch Chief, Forest Ecology,
National Wetland Research Center, USGS, Lafayette, LA
Dr. Jim O'Brien, Professor and Director Center for
Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, Florida State University,
Dr. Paul Epstein, Associate Director, Center for Health
and the Global Environment, Harvard University Medical School,
Dr. Hank Bart, Curator of Fishes and Director, Tulane
University Museum of Natural History, Belle Chasse, LA
Dr. James Chambers, Professor, School of Forestry and
Fisheries, LSU, Baton Rouge, LA
Dr. David Sailor, Associate Director, SouthCentral NIGEC,
School of Engineering, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Dr. Doug Daigle, Program Director, Coalition to Restore
Coastal Louisiana, Baton Rouge, LA
- 8:30pm Adjourn
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY AND A&M COLLEGE
In collaboration with
THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA),
THE U.S. GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH PROGRAM (USGCRP),
THE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING ALLIANCE (SEA)
GULF COAST REGIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE WORKSHOP
February 25-27, 1998
Evening of February 26th, 1998
HILTON HOTEL, BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
|Dr. Zhu Hua Ning, Committee Chair and Workshop
Southern University and A&M College
Baton Rouge, LA
|Dr. Robert Watts, Director|
The National Institute for Global Environmental Change
New Orleans, LA
|Dr. Kamran Abdollahi, Committee Co-Chair and Workshop Coordinator
Southern University and A&M College
Baton Rouge, LA
|Dr. James Newman, Principal Scientist|
Golder Associate, Inc.
|Dr. Robert L. Ford, Vice Chancellor
ORSI, Southern University and A&M College
Baton Rouge, LA
|Dr. Richard Shaw, Director|
Coastal Fisheries Institute
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA
|Dr. Kirkland E. Mellad, Dean and Research Director
College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences
Southern University and A&M College
Baton Rouge, LA
|Dr. Virginia Burkett, Forest Ecology Branch Chief|
National Wetland Research Center
|Dr. Robert Shepard, Executive Director
Science and Engineering Alliance
|Dr. Ronald Ritschard, Manager|
Regional Application, Global Hydrology and Climate Center
|Dr. Michael Slimak, Associate Director for Ecology
National Center for Environmental Assessment
EPA, Washington, DC
|Dr. Gerald North, Department Head|
Meteorology, Texas A&M University
College Station, TX
|Dr. Michael MacCracken, Director
National Assessment Coordination Office of USGCRP
|Dr. Robert Corell, Chair|
Subcommittee on Global Change Research
|Dr. Paul Tchounwou, Director
Environmental Science Ph.D. Program
Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
|Dr. David J. Nowak, Deputy Project Leader|
USDA, FS, NEFES, SUNY
|Dr. Safwat H. Shakir, Director
Texas Gulf Coast Environmental Data Center
Prairie View A&M University
Prairie View, TX
|Dr. Rita Schoneman, Director|
National Urban and Community Forestry
|Dr. Tommy Coleman, Director
Center for Hydrology, Soil Climatology, and Remote Sensing
|Dr. James O'Brien, Director|
Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction
Appendix D: Workshop Participant Directory
- Abdollahi, Kamran K.
- Kamran K. Abdollahi is Coordinator and Co-Director of the Gulf Coast
Regional Climate Change Workshop . Dr. Abdollahi holds a Ph.D. in
Ecopysiology. He is an Assistant Professor in Urban Forestry and has
been instrumental in establishing the first B.S. degree granting
program in the nation. Currently is project director to 5 ongoing
global change related research projects. His research focus is on
quantification of pollution removal by urban vegetation. He is serving
as a regional council member for climate change assessment.
- Adames, James
- Chairman of Biology Department at Florida A&M University
- Allen, L. H. Jr.
- L.H. Allen is a Soil Scientist with the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), and a Courtesy
Professor in both the Agronomy Department and the Horticultural
Sciences Department of the University of Florida. Since 1981, Dr.
Allen has conducted research on the response of plants to rising
carbon dioxide levels and expected climatic changes using primarily a
suite of outdoor, sunlit, computer-managed, controlled-environment
plant growth chambers and a set of temperature-gradient greenhouses.
Dr. Allen has also recently initiated research on alternatives to
methyl bromide as a pre-plant soil fumigant.
- Andrews, Donald, R.
- Donald Andrews is a Professor of Economics with the College of
Business at Southern University. He has over twenty years of
experience in teaching, research and service in economics. He is
currently involved with strengthening the economics education program
at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which is geared to
improving economic literacy within the African American community. He
teaches a course in Environmental Management in the College of
- Appeaning, Vladimir Alexander
- Alexander Appeaning is currently working on his Ph.D. in Public
Policy Analysis with an emphasis on Environmental Policy and
Management at Southern University. He interned for a year with the
Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality where he assisted in the
development of Environmental Indicators for the State of Louisiana. He
graduated Summa Cum Laude in the fall of 1994 with a Bachelor of
Science Degree in Urban Forestry, and in the summer of 1996 with a
Masters Degree in Public Administration at Southern University.
- Arnould, Pat
- Pat Arnould is a member of the United Houma Nation (Indian Tribe).
- Ashiru, Mutar J.
- Mutar is an Urban Forestry major attending Southern University.
- Awotona, Adenrele
- Adenrele Awotona is a Professor of Architecture in urban design and
community development at Southern University.
- Babin, Irene
- Irene Babin is the Director in the Division of Administration and
the State Fleet Manager for the State of Louisiana.
- Bachireddy, V.R.
- Professor and Unit Head of Plant and Soil Sciences at College of
Agricultural, Family and consumer Sciences, Southern University.
- Baer, Paul
- Paul Baer is currently a graduate student in Environmental Studies
at Louisiana State University, studying with Dr. Paul Templet. His
interest is in the field of ecological economics, and he would like to
pursue a Ph.D. in that field. His specific foci are the economics of
global warming; alternatives in the valuation of natural capital and
ecosystem services; and the use of modeling, GIS and other information
technologies in the interface between science and policy.
- Bahr, Len
- Len Bahr is Executive Assistant to Governor Foster on Coastal
- Barnett, James
- James Barnett is a Project Leader at the USDA Forest Service
Research Station in Louisiana. His expertise is in forest biology and
- Bart, Henry L., Jr.
- Hank Bart is the Director and Curator of Fishes at the Tulane
University Museum of Natural History and Associate Professor of
Ecology, Evolution, and Organism Biology at Tulane. Dr. Bart holds a
Ph.D. in Zoology with specialization in Ichthyology and Fish Ecology.
His research interests include ecology, taxonomy, life history, and
environmental toxicology of freshwater fish. He is actively involved
in using the specimens and data in natural history collection top
access fish community change in relations to environment change.
- Bart, Philip
- Student in Geology at LSU.
- Bassow, Susan
- Susan Bassow is an AAA fellow at the Office of Science Technology
Policy in Washington, D.C. She holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University.
- Benedict, Linda
- Linda Benedict works as an Editor for LA Agriculture Magazine
published by Louisiana State University Agricultural Center in Baton
Rouge and has expertise in communications and media relations.
- Bernard, Dudley
- Student at Southern University
- Blakewood, Griff
- Griff Blakewood is the Acting Head of the Department of Renewable
Resources at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He is currently
working to develop experimental learning opportunities which
demonstrate the dependence of human enterprise on functional natural
- Blazer, Cherelle
- Cherelle Blazer is an Urban Forestry student at Southern University.
- Borne, Pam
- Pam Borne is a Marine Education Coordinator affiliated with the
Louisiana Sea Grant. Her expertise is geology/paleontology and
- Breaux, Joseph C. Jr.
- Joseph Breaux, Jr. is an Agricultural Environmental Specialist at
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry/Office of Soil and
- Brondum, Bernie
- Student at University of Southern Louisiana.
- Briggs, Betty J.
- Betty Briggs is an Associate Professor at Southern University's
Department of Social Work.
- Brown, Georgia
- Georgia Brown is the Director of Women's Studies at Southern
University. Her areas of expertise are information and library
science, women's studies and religion.
- Brown, William H.
- William Brown is the Associate Director of the Louisiana
Agricultural Experiment Station at the Louisiana State University
Agricultural Center. He specializes in agricultural research and
- Burkett, Virginia
- Virginia Burkett is the Chief of the Forest Ecology Branch at the
National Wetlands Research Center, Biological Resources Division of
the U.S. Geological Survey in Lafayette, Louisiana. Her current
research involves bottomland hardwood regeneration in frequently
flooded sites of the Mississippi River Alluvial Floodplain. She was an
Assistant Director of the Louisiana Geological Survey, Director of the
Louisiana Coastal Zone Management Program, and Deputy Director and
Director/Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and
Fisheries. Appointments include the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries
Management Council, the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, the
Louisiana Forestry Commission, and the National Science Foundation's
National Assessment Synthesis Team for U.S. climate change research.
She received a D.F. in 1996 at Stephen F. Austin State University.
- Cahoon, Donald R.
- Donald Cahoon is a Wetland Ecologist at the National Wetlands
- Carriere, Patrick
- Dr. Patrick Carriere is Interim Chairman and a professor in the
Department of Civil Engineering at Southern University.
- Carter, Jacoby
- Ecologist at the USGS National Wetland Research Center.
- Chambers, Jim L.
- Jim Chambers is an Associate Professor in the School of Forestry,
Wildlife and Fisheries for the Louisiana State University Agricultural
Experiment Station in Baton Rouge. He holds a Ph.D. in Forestry from
the University of Missouri. His research has focused on coastal
forests including baldcypress impacted by saltwater intrusion,
bottomland hardwoods influenced by flooding and cultural practice, and
the effects of global climate change on pine forest.
- Chin, Kit L.
- Professor in plant and soil science, Southern University.
- Connolly, Clair
- Student at University of Southern Louisiana.
- Cook, Jeff
- Jeff Cook is a Research Assistant for an environmental attorney at
the Texas General Land Office where he works on a number of
environmental energy issues. He is also a graduate student at
Southwest Texas State University.
- Cross, Anthony D.
- Anthony Cross is an Energy Analyst with the Louisiana Department of
Natural Resources. He received his BS degree in environmental
sciences; minor concentrations in geography and chemistry. Currently,
he is completing his last term of graduate school for his MS degree in
Environmental Policy and Management at Louisiana State University's
Institute for Environmental Studies. He has experience in energy
consumption, environmental issues, legislation, and policy.
- Crowe, Michael
- Michael Crowe is presently the Chief of the Climate Perspectives
Branch within the Global Climate Laboratory at the National Climatic
Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina. Mr. Crowe directs the work
of a group of fifteen scientists and computer programmers in the
building and use of long-term climatological data sets for the study
of past and present climates, climate variability and climate change.
- Cruise, James
- James Cruise is a professor in hydrology at the Global Hydrology and
Climate Center, Huntsville, AL.
- Daigle, Doug
- Doug Daigle is the Programs Director for the Coalition to Restore
Coastal Louisiana. He has interests in wetlands and estuaries.
- Dardard, Joe
- Joe Dardard is a member of United Houma Nation (Indian Tribe).
- Davis, Donald W.
- Donald Davis is the Administrator of the Louisiana Oil Spill R&D
Program. He has spent nearly thirty years investigating various
human/land issues in Louisiana's wetlands. In that period, he has
written or co-authored more than one-hundred items related to various
coastal-related issues with an emphasis on the human as well as the
physical and economic aspects of Louisiana's coastal environments. He
is currently working on a number of problems related to the oil and
gas industry in southern Louisiana, along with projects that will help
restore Louisiana's wetlands.
- Davis, Rhonda
- Rhonda Davis is the Emergency Coordinator and an Assistant to the
Director of EBRP Office of Emergency Preparedness.
- Dawkins, Norma
- Norma Dawkins is an Assistant Professor of Family and Consumer
Sciences at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.
- Doniger, David
- He is a Counsel to the EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and
Radiation. He is focusing on the development and implementation of the
Clinton Administration's policy to combat global climate change. He
was a member of the U.S. delegation to the climate change treaty
negotiations in Kyoto, Japan. He also helps manage implementation of
the U. S. Clean Air Act. Before coming to EPA, Doniger served for a
year in the White House Office on Environmental Policy, where he
worked on international environmental issues with the National
- Doyle, Thomas W.
- Thomas Doyle received his MS and Ph.D. degrees in ecology from the
University of Tennessee. His primary research interest focuses on
ecosystem analysis and modeling with a special emphasis on the
development of forest and landscape simulation models of coastal
systems and investigating future impacts of global climate changes on
gulf coast wetlands.
- Dunne, Mike
- Mike Dunne is a Reporter with the Baton Rouge Advocate.
- Egbe, Justin
- Justin Egbe is a Research Associate at Southern University in the
Plant and Soil Science Unit.
- Epstein, Paul R.
- Paul Epstein is the Associate Director for Center for Health and the
Global Environment and a faculty member of Harvard Medical School and
the Harvard School of Public Health. He has worked in medical,
teaching and research capacities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
In 1993, Dr. Epstein coordinated and edited an eight-part series on
Health and Climate Change. He currently serves on the Human Dimensions
Panel of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences/National Research
Council and holds an MS degree in Tropical Public Health.
- Feldman, David L.
- David Feldman has a Ph.D. from Missouri and is a Senior Research
Scientist in the Energy, Environment and Resources Center at the
University of Tennessee-Knoxville. In addition to the position of
Senior Research Scientist, he teaches in the graduate program in
Environmental Policy and is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science.
His research interests include water resources management;
international activities to address global environmental problems
including climate change; and comparative risk assessment.
- Felds, Cleo
- Congressman, state of Louisiana.
- Fertitta Allyson
- Allyson Fertitta is a student attending Louisiana State University.
- Finney, Billy
- Student at University of Southern Louisiana.
- Fisher, William
- From USEPA.
- Fomby, Betty W.
- Betty Fomby is the Director for the Center for Wellness at Southern
University. She is a Researcher in the USDA Lower Mississippi Delta
Nutrition and Health Initiative, and Project Director for the Southern
University Horizons Flu Project. Additionally, Dr. Fomby is President
of the National HBCU Health Service Research Network. An avid scholar,
Dr. Fomby has earned a Graduate Nursing degree from Harlem Hospital
School of Nursing in New York, a Baccalaureate degree from the
University of Maryland, a Master of Public Health degree from John
Hopkins University, a Master of Science degree from Northwestern State
University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Texas Woman's
University. During her many years of providing health services as a
nurse, an administrator, a researcher, a consultant, and an educator
she has had experiences in both the domestic and international arenas.
- Ford, Robert
- Vice-Chancellor for the Office of Research and Strategic initiatives
at Southern University.
- Fowler, Claudia R.
- Claudia Fowler is the Science Coordinator for the Louisiana Public
Broadcasting's Educational Services Division. Currently, she is the
Chair of the Governor's Louisiana Environmental Education Commission.
She is also President of Louisiana Environmental Educators
Association. Additionally, she has served on the Environmental
Education Advisory Council of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, and PI for the U.S. Department of Agriculture sponsored Global
Climate Change Workshop for Louisiana teachers.
- Fraizer, Adrian
- Adrian Fraizer is an Urban Forestry student attending Southern
- Gardner, Cassel S.
- Cassel Gardner is an agronomist and Associate Professor in the
College of Engineering, Sciences, Technology and Agriculture, at
Florida A&M University. He Conduct research
alternative/sustainable agriculture and water quality.
- Gebrelul, Sebhatu
- Sebhatu Gebrelul is an Associate Professor at Southern University.
- Ghebreiyessus, Yemane
- Yemane Ghebreiyessus is an Agronomist and Associate Professor at
Southern University. His expertise is in soil science and agricultural
- Gibbons, John
- John Gibbons is Assistant to the President for Science and
Technology, and Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy. He
co-chairs the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and
Technology and is a member of the Domestic Policy Council, the
National Economic Council, the National Security Council, and the
National Science and Technology Council, which coordinates science and
technology policy and budgets across the federal government. As the
highest-ranking science and technology official in the Administration,
Dr. Jack Gibbons also represents the U.S. Government in major
multilateral and bilateral international commissions. His awards and
publications are numerous in the areas of energy and environmental
policy, energy supply and demand, conservation, technology and policy,
resource management and environmental problems, nuclear physics, and
origins of solar system elements.Following his formal training in
physics, Dr. Gibbons spent 15 years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
where he studied the structure of atomic nuclei. In 1973, at the start
of the nations first major energy crisis, Gibbons was appointed the
first Director of the Federal Office of Energy Conservation. Two years
later he returned to Tennessee to direct the University of Tennessee
Energy, Environmental and Resource Center. In 1979, he returned to
Washington DC to direct the Congressional Office of Technology
Assessment which provided Congress with nonpartisan, comprehensive
analyses on a broad spectrum of issues involving technology and public
policy, and where his tenure lasted until his Presidential appointment
of February 2, 1993.
- Gibson, Tamue L.
- Tamue Gibson is a graduate student in Biology at Southern
- Goyer, Richard A.
- Richard Goyer has been a Professor of Forest Entomology at Louisiana
State University since 1973. His areas of research interest are
forested wetlands with a special interest in insect defoliators and
interactions with flooding and salinity intrusion.
- Graw, Gerald A.
- Gerald Grau has been the Assistant Director of the National Wetlands
Research Center, Biological Resources Division of U.S. Geological
Survey, Department of the Interior since 1988. He previously worked
for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Northern Prairie Wildlife
Research Center and at the Ohio Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit. He
completed doctorate work on ungulate behavior in the Middle East and
- Gray, Chris
- Chris Gray is a reporter for New Orleans' Times-Picoyune.
- Arnold, Ray
- Director, Global Hydrology Center, Huntsville, AL.
- Groesch, Gary
- Gary Groesch is the Executive Director and co-founder of the
Louisiana-based Alliance for Affordable Energy. He presently serves as
Vice-Chairman of the Task Force on Global Warming established by the
Louisiana legislature and on Governor Foster's Task Force monitoring
the implementation of Louisiana's state-of-the-art Model Commercial
Energy Efficiency Building Code.
- Grossman, Allen S.
- Alan Grossman is a Computational Atmospheric Scientist and group
leader of the Atmospheric Physics Group within the Atmospheric Science
Division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His research
specialties include atmospheric radioactive transfer models and
application of these models to global greenhouse warming effects. His
recent efforts include studies of regional effects of global climate
change related to state water resources, and models of the relation of
increased atmospheric aerosols and agricultural crop yields.
- Grymes, John M.
- Jay Grymes is the Louisiana State Climatologist at the Louisiana
State University Southern Regional Climate Center. His expertise is in
Gulf Coast weather and climatic patterns.
- Guidry, Malcolm
- Malcolm Guidry is a student in the Urban Forestry M. S. Program at
- Guo, Dong-Sheng
- Dong-Sheng Guo is an Assistant Professor in physics at Southern
- Hampton, Jack W.
- Jack Hampton is an Agribusiness and Economics student attending
- Harris, Randy
- Randy Harris is the Assistant Director of Landscape Forestry for the
City of Baton Rouge.
- Henderson, Paula
- Paula Henderson is a Field Organizer with the National Environmental
Trust. Her area of expertise is legislative policy.
- Herke, Bill
- Bill Herke worked from 1958 to 1963 on the effects of water projects
on fish and wildlife in peninsular Florida. From 1963 to 1994, he was
an U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee serving on the Louisiana
State University graduate faculty. His research centered on the life
history facets of juvenile fishes and crustaceans while they used the
coastal marsh, and especially on the effects of water-control measures
on these juveniles. He retired in 1994.
- Hershberg, Paul R.
- Paul Hershberg is a graduate student in meteorology at Florida State
University. Paul received his BS degree in environmental science from
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA in May 1994.
- Hinkle, Ross C.
- Ross Hinkle is the Chief Scientist with Dynamac Corporation. His
expertise is in plant ecology.
- Hitcherson, Daniel J.
- Daniel Hitcherson is a fisherman with Terrebonne Fisherman
- Hogg, Richard A
- Richard Hogg is an environmental microbiology professor at Florida
- Houston, James R.
- James R. Houston is the Director of the Coastal and Hydraulics
Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station in
Vicksburg, MS. This Corps of Engineers' R&D laboratory is the
world's largest water resource R&D laboratory performing research
on a wide array of water resource problems including issues relating
to navigation; flood control; shore protection and restoration;
physical processes in the ocean, lakes, and groundwater affecting the
environment; and military operations in the ocean.
- Huang, Chun Ling
- Chun Ling Huang earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical
Engineering from Chung Yuan Christian University (CYCU) in Taiwan, and
a Ph.D. in Mechanical Eengineering from the University of Alabama (UA)
at Tuscaloosa. He had worked as a full time instructor in the
Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology (5-Year Program) at
Leeming Junior College of Engineering Technology during 1982-84
academic years. Then he became a graduate teaching and research
student at UA before joining the faculty of Southern University in
Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1990. Currently he is Associate Professor of
the Mechanical Engineering Department. His area of interest include
Numerical simulation in heat transfer and fluids, computer interactive
graphics, and computer aided instruction. He is a member of ASME, and
- Hugh-Jones, Martin
- Martin Hugh-Jones is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology
and Community Health, School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State
University. Professor Jones is also the Coordinator of the World
Health Organization Anthrax Research and Control Working Group. He is
affiliated with World Health Organization Collaborating Center for RS
and GIS for Public Health.
- Hughes, Kent
- Kent Hughes is a manager of National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration coastal water program and holds a Bachelor of Science
Degree from the University of Oregon in Biology and an MS Degree from
the University of Washington in Biological Oceanography. His research
interests focus on the zooplankton ecology of the Arctic Ocean. After
serving with the Naval Oceanographic Office of San Diego, he joined
NOAA in 1972 to work on the development of operational ocean
- Hunt, Dianne
- Dianne Hunt obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in zoology with a
marine emphasis from University of Southern Mississippi in 1972. She
worked for 10 years in wetlands permitting in Bureau of Marine
Resources of the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. Hunt
served as Marine Debris Coordinator for three years, and she was the
President of Shellfish Culture, Inc. for four years. She was also the
endangered species liaison for the State of Mississippi. Among her
many accomplishments, Hunt organized and served as chief biologist of
the Redfish Hatchery, Inc., the first commercial fish hatchery in the
United States. She also organized the first wildlife rehabilitation
center in the state of Mississippi.
- Hutzell, Bill
- Bill Hutzell is a Meteorologist with the Minerals Management Service
of the U.S. Department of Interior. His responsibilities include
planning and administrating studies in air pollution and boundary
layer meteorology. He has a Master's Degree in Physics from the
University of Wyoming and a Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His interests focus on
understanding what processes determine the physical and chemical
properties of planetary atmospheres.
- Inoue, Masamichi
- Masamichi Inoue had worked at Florida State University and at
Australian Institute of Marine Science. He has been at Louisiana State
University for the past 10 years and is Associate Professor at the
Coastal Studies Institute, Department of Oceanography and Coastal
Sciences. His research interests include modeling ocean circulation
and transport processes and climate variation due to large-scale
ocean-atmosphere interaction. He received his Bachelor of Engineering
in naval architecture from Tokyo University in Japan, an M.S. in ocean
engineering from the University of Rhode Island, his Master of
engineering in civil engineering and a Ph.D. in oceanography from
Texas A&M University.
- Jones, Dewitt
- Dr. Jones has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics and is the Interim
Associate Dean and Professor at College of Agriculture, Southern
- Jones, Shawnery T.
- Shawnery Jones is an Urban Forestry student at Southern University.
- Justic, Dubravko
- Dubravko Justic is an Associate Professor of Research at the Coastal
Ecology Institute of Louisiana State University where he specializes
in ecosystem modeling, coastal eutrophication, hypoxia and climate
change. He received his MS in Ecology in 1984 and his Ph.D. in
Oceanography in 1989 from the University of Zagreb (Croatia). Before
joining Louisiana State University (LSU) in 1991, he worked as an
Assistant Professor and Associate Professor at the Universities of
Zagreb (Croatia) and Trieste (Italy), and Florida State University.
- Kemp, Paul
- Paul Kemp is Special Assistant to the Governor's Office of Coastal
Activities in the state of Louisiana. He received his BS degree from
Cornell University in 1975, an MS degree in Marine Sciences in 1978,
and a Ph.D. in Marine Sciences with a minor in Geology in 1986. His
areas of expertise are in wave/sediment interactions, coastal
wetlands, coastal erosion processes, ecosystem modeling, estuarine
geochemistry, and natural resources/science policy.Â He has been
affiliated with the American Geophysical/Union, Society of Economic
Petrologists and Mineralogists, American Water Resources Association
(Louisiana Chapter President, 1990), National Research Council Marine
Board Committee on Marine Pipeline Safety (1992-94), Environmental
Defense Fund, Louisiana Oil Site Restoration Commission, Governor's
Environmental Task Force, Governor's Wetland Advisor Task Force and
Louisiana Land Acquisition Task Force (1989-90). Since 1994, Dr Kemp
has been an Associate Research Professor at the Center for Coastal,
Energy and Environmental Resources at Louisiana State University.
- Kermond, John L.
- John Kermond is a visiting scientist in the Office of Global
Programs (OGP) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA). Prior to this position, he was Senior Consultant to NOAA. In
both capacities, he has been responsible for legislative policy and
advice, education, media and public relations from both domestic and
international perspectives; while, at the same time, maintaining a
life-time interest in multimedia communication. He has been involved
in the production of several multimedia works on global change.
Kermond is also the proprietor of JLK & Associates, a professional
representation business with clients in the United States, Canada, and
- Laliberte, Rick
- Rick Laliberte is a Member of Parliament for Churchill River in
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He serves as the New Democratic Critic for
the Environment and for National Parks. Before being elected to
Parliament in June of 1997, he served for 12 years as a School Trustee
and Chairman of the Northern Lights School Division.
- Lam, Nina
- Nina Lam is a Professor at Louisiana State University, Department of
Geography and Anthropology. Her expertise is in Remote Sensing, GIS,
Medical Geography, and Environmental Modeling.
- Lane, Mary
- Mary Lane is staff assistant for Congressman Richard Baker.
- Laverne, Robert J.
- Robert Laverne is an Urban Forester with Davey Resource Group. He is
currently studying the effects of vegetation on residential energy
use, and is interested in managing natural resources in urban
ecosystems to partially offset global change. He currently serves as
the Secretary of the Urban Forestry Working Group with the Society of
American Foresters, and the ISA Research Trust liaison for the Ohio
Chapter of ISA.
- Lawson, Heuy K.
- Heuy Lawson is the Director Center for Energy and Environment
Studies at Southern University in Baton Rouge.
- Lawson, RaHarold
- RaHarold Lawson is an Urban Forestry student at Southern University.
- Ledet, Charles
- Charles Ledet is a fisherman affiliated with Terrebnne Fisherman
- Ledingham, Candace
- Student from University of Southern Louisaina.
- Legates, David R.
- David Legates is Associate Professor at Louisiana State University,
with specialization in hydroclimatology.
- Lindsey, Joel
- Joel Lindsey is an Assistant Manager for CEES at Southern
- Lindsey, Kenyatta
- Kenyatta Lindsey is an Urban Forestry student at Southern
- Lirette, Donald
- Donald Lirette is a former Pipeline and Mechanical Engineer.
Currently, he is President of the Terrebonne Fishermen Association and
Chairman of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. He testified
during the Reauthorization of the Clean Water Act in the U.S.
Congress. He was introduced in Washington, D.C. as a person who lives
in a real wetland for the workshop presented by the Restore American's
Estuaries Group. Commissioned a minister of the Catholic Church, he
helped last summer to put on a workshop on environmental justice for
that committee of the U.S. Catholic Conference. This workshop focused
on the coastal land loss issues facing coastal Louisiana and other
related justice issues. Presently he is writing a book about South
Louisiana's vanishing wetlands and the culture that grew around it.
The book is titled "Terre Mystique" which is French for
"Magical Land." Donald is a Charter Member of EPA's Gulf of
Mexico Program, as well as Charter Member and Vice-President of the
Citizen Committee Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program.
- Liu, Kam-Biu
- Liu, Kam-Biu is James Parsons Distinguished Professor in the
Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University.
His research interests are in climate change (hurricanes, Asian
monsoons), paleoclimatic reconstruction, quaternary paleoecology,
vegetation dynamics, and lake sediments.
- MacCracken, Michael
- Michael MacCracken is the Director of the National Assessment
Coordination Office that was recently established by the U.S. Global
Change Research Program (USGCRP). For the four years prior to that he
served as director of the interagency coordination office of the
USGCRP. His background is in climate modeling of both natural and
human-induced perturbations. Before going to Washington DC, he was a
principal investigator and division leader of research activities in
atmospheric sciences at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)
for nearly twenty-five years.
- Malone, LaShaunda
- LaShaunda Malone graduated from Grinnell College in May 1997 with a
bachelor's degree in Political Science. She is an intern in the
National Assessment Coordination Office of the U.S. Global Change
Research Program. Prior to coming to the U.S. Global Change Research
Program, she was an intern at the U.S. Department of the Interior for
the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science.
- Mbuya, Odemari S.
- Odemari Mbuya is a Research Associate at Florida A&M University,
with expertise in nutrient recycling, cropping systems, and water
- McDaniel, Mike A.
- Mike McDaniel is an environmental scientist with over twenty-five
years of experience with environmental issues. He holds a Ph.D. degree
in Biology and has specialized in environmental impact assessment and
regulatory compliance. He currently works as a consultant out of
Woodward-Clyde's Office and has recently been appointed to the
Governor's Task Force on Environmental Protection and Preservation.
Prior to joining Woodward-Clyde, Dr. McDaniel served four years as
Assistant Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental
Quality. In this appointment, he was responsible for the State's air
quality and radiation protection programs. During his tenure with the
Louisiana DEQ, he was instrumental in the formation and technical
direction of Ozone Task Forces for the Baton Rouge and Lake Charles
non-attainment areas, the development and implementation of a
regulatory program for naturally occurring radioactive materials
(NORM) associated with oil and gas production.
- McNeely, Brenda R.
- Executive Assistant, Office of Research and Strategic Initiatives,
- Mellad, Kirkland E.
- Dean and Research Director, College of Agricultural, Family and
Consumer Sciences, Southern University.
- Milliner, Thomas W.
- Thomas W. Milliner has held the position of Energy Law Fellow at the
Tulane Environmental Law Clinic at Tulane Law School since May 1995.
He has handled energy-related litigation and regulatory matters (which
regulates utilities in Orleans Parish). Such regulator matters have
included efforts to preserve least cost planning and deregulation of
gas and electric utilities.
- Mitchell, James E.
- James Mitchell is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Planning
and Management at the Louisiana State University Institute for
Environmental Studies. His education includes a BS degree in
Biological Science from U.C. Irvine, MS degree in Biology from the
University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Forestry and Environmental
Studies from Duke University. His research involves spatial modeling
and GIS applied to hydrology and urban forestry, environmental
information management and policy.
- Mohanty, Rama C.
- Rama Mohanty is a Professor of Physics and Director of SRIPAS at
Southern University. His areas of expertise are lasers, nuclear
physics, material science, and environmental science.
- Moreau, JoAnne H.
- JoAnne Moreau is the Director of the Office of Emergency
Preparedness in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- Morris, Lynn F.
- Lynn Morris has been the Executive Director of Baton Rouge Green
since 1990. In 1992, she was honored with the Brown Pelican Award for
Exemplary Commitment to Protecting Louisiana's Environment, and she
received the Distinguished Service Award from Southern University and
A&M College in 1994. She has been a member of the Junior League of
Baton Rouge for more than twenty years and holds a Bachelor's of Arts
degree in English.
- Muller, Robert A.
- Robert Muller has been a Professor of geography and climatology at
Louisiana State University (LSU) since 1969. He is a specialist in the
applications of energy and water-budget models to human occupation of
the earth's surface and applied climatology. He developed the LSU
program in applied climatology as well as the State Climatology office
and the Southern Regional Climate Center. He is the author of more
than one-hundred professional papers and reports, and the lead author
of one of the most successful text books in physical geography.
- Newman, James R.
- James Newman is a principle scientist at Golder Associate, Inc. in
Gainseville, FL. He has a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of
California at Davis. He has spent more than twenty-seven years
conducting ecological studies with twenty years of experience studying
Florida's ecosystems. He has conducted ecological inventories of
coastal and freshwater wetlands and upland ecosystems for government
and industry. Dr. Newman has particular expertise in studying the
effects of human disturbance on wildlife. He is also a wildlife
toxicologist who has investigated the effects of pesticides and heavy
metal on birds and mammals. He has conducted regional ecological risks
associated with development activities, heavy metals and air
pollution. He is presently a facilitator for a project to develop
probabilistic tools to conduct ecological risk assessment of
pesticides. Dr. Newman has extensive international experience in
evaluating the effects of coastal zone development in Jamaica,
Pakistan, India, and Thailand.
- Ning, Zhu Hua
- Zhu Hua Ning is the Director/Coordinator of the Gulf Coast Climate
Change Workshop. Dr. Ning holds a Ph.D. in Forestry. She is an
Associate Professor in Urban Forestry at Southern University and the
Project Director for "Assessing CO2 Sequestration
Capacity of Urban Trees in Response to Elevated Atmospheric CO2."
Other research projects include quantifying the O3, NOx,
SO2, and particle pollution removal capacity of urban
trees; the effect of floods on urban trees; and tree fungal relations.
- Novak, David
- David Novak is a Project Leader at the USDA Forest Service. His
expertise is in determining the effects of urban forests on air
pollution and CO2 levels.
- O'Brien, James J.
- Dr. O'Brien is the Director for the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric
Prediction Studies at Florida State University.
- Oloko, Ademola
- Ademola Okolo is a Resource Manager at CEES at Southern University
in Baton Rouge.
- Opal, Jefferson
- Jefferson Opal is a researcher and author and has a B.S. & M.S.
in Computer Science from LSU. He is now researching a novel and it's
screenplay for a futuristic portrait of how humanity can stabilize our
population, end war, and minimize our bad effects on the enviroment.
- Page, Anthony
- Anthony Page is an Urban Forestry student at Southern University.
- Page, April
- April Page is a student at Episcopal High School.
- Person, Carolyn
- Carolyn Person is Chair and Director of Special Education at
Southern University. Her areas of expertise are in communication
disorders, speech and hearing sciences, special education and
- Raisanen, Satu
- Satu Raisanen is a student at Louisiana State University.
- Rajbhandari, Narayan B.
- Rajbhandari is a Research Assistant Professor in hydrology at
Alabama A&M University in the Plant & Soil Sciences
- Reed, Joseph
- Joseph Reed is an Urban Forestry major at Southern University.
- Reese, Bryant
- Student at LSU.
- Reese, Terrence
- Assistant Professor in Physics at Southern University.
- Ricard, Robert M.
- Robert Ricard is an Extension Educator for Urban and Community
Forestry at University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System.
His duties include volunteer and nonprofit development, GIS and Tree
Warden training. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of the
Journal of Forestry. Mr. Ricard is also the Chair-elect for the
Society of American Foresters (SAF) Urban Forestry Working Group and
is the recipient of the 1993 Urban Forestry Professional Medal.
- Robbins, Kevin
- Kevin Robbins is the Director of the Southern Regional Climate
Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- Rochon, Gilbert. L.
- Gilbert Rochon is an Associate Professor and Director of the Urban
Studies and Public Policy Institute at Dillard University in New
Orleans, Louisiana. His graduate training was in Public Health at Yale
University and in Urban Planning in Developing Countries at the
Massachussetts Institute of Technology. He concentrates in Remote
Sensing and GIS applications. He studied urban ecosystems and global
change jointly with the Russian Academy of Sciences. He was a faculty
research fellow at JPL, NASA Goddard, NASA Stennis, the Naval
Oceanographic Office, the USDA Forest Service's International
Institute for Tropical Forestry in Puerto Rico and in the UK, at the
Environmental Change Unit at the University of Oxford.
- Rogers, Greg
- Greg Rogers is the Compliance Manager and Alternative Fuel Vehicle
Coordinator for the State of Louisiana, Division of Administration.
- Ruebsamen, Rickey
- Rickey Ruebsamen is Chief of the National Marine Fisheries Service,
Baton Rouge Office.
- Sailor, David
- David Sailor is an Assistant Professor at Tulane University and has
expertise in energy and regional climate modeling.
- Schneider, Douglas
- Douglas Schneider is an Assistant Professor in building construction
technology at Southern University.
- Schoeffler, Harold
- Harold Schoeffler is the Conservation Chair for the Delta Chapter of
the Sierra Club.
- Schoeneman, Rita S.
- Rita Schoeneman is the National Program Manager of Urban and
Community Forestry, USDA Forest Service.
- Schroeder, William W.
- William Schroeder is a Professor of the Marine Science Program at
the University of Alabama. He earned a Ph.D. from Texas A&M in
Oceanography in 1971 and has been involved in oceanographic
investigations for over 32 years. He is presently a principal
investigator on research projects dealing with geological and
biological aspects of shelf-slope hardbottom environments, late
quaternary sea level paleoceanography of the Gulf of Mexico, and
modeling of the coupled katabatic wind ocean and ice systems in
Antarctica. He is also researching biochemical and physical regulation
of nutrient/production dynamics in shallow marine environments. Dr.
Schroeder serves as a technical expert on studies concerned with the
offshore transport of the offshore transport of both drilling muds/fluids
and dredge soil material, and estuarine, coastal and open ocean waste
disposal and incineration.
- Scott, Roderick C.
- Mr. Scott is a Field Representative for U.S. Senator Mary L.
- Selders, LaWanda L.
- LaWanda Selders is an Urban Forestry student at Southern University.
- Shakir, Safwat H.
- Director of Texas Gulf Coast Environmental Data Center with
expertise in global climate change, ecology and modeling.
- Shaperd, Robert
- Executive Director, Science and Engineering Alliances.
- Shope, Robert
- Robert Shope is a Professor of Pathology at the World Health
Organization Center for Tropical Diseases at the University of Texas
Medical Branch in Galveston. He is a virologist who has done research
on dengue and viral encephalitis, mosquito-borne diseases affected in
distribution and severity by weather and climate changes.
- Skinner, Mark
- Mark Skinner is a Plant Systematist with the USDA-NRCS.
- Slimak, Michael
- Michael Slimak is the Associate Director for Ecology in the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's National Center for Environmental
Assessment where he is responsible for developing and implementing a
risk assessment program to understand ecological risks associated with
multiple stressors such as chemicals, habitat loss, loss of
biodiversity, and global climate change. Prior to this assignment, he
was the Deputy Director of the Office of Environmental Processes and
Effects Research responsible for directing a research program into the
fate and effects of pollutants upon aquatic and terrestrial
ecosystems. As Chief of the Ecological Effects Branch in EPA's
Pesticide Office, he was responsible for assessing the ecological
risks associated with the use of pesticides. He began his EPA career
in 1974 with the Office of Water, developing risk assessments for the
priority toxic water pollutants. Mike Slimak is a recognized authority
on ecological risk assessments, has authored numerous
government-sponsored reports, and has published in peer-reviewed
journals and books.
- Sloan, Karen K.
- Karen Kraft Sloan is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of
the Environment in the House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
- Spears, DeRowan
- Delowen Spears is an Urban Forestry major attending Southern
- Spicer, Brad
- Brad Spicer is the Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture and
Forestry at Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
- Stamps, Delmer C.
- Delmer Stamps is the Wetlands Coordinator for the Mississippi Delta
Regional Wetlands Team of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation
Service in Vcksburg, MS. She is a twenty-two year veteran with the
agency. In 1977, she graduated from Alcorn State University with a BS
degree in Agronomy/Soil Science. Her career started with the agency as
a soil scientist. Since 1995, she coordinates the agency's wetland
technology transfer for Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi,
- Stewart, Robert E.
- Robert Stewart has been the Director of the USGS National Wetlands
Research Center since 1986. His doctorate work was on waterfowl,
wetlands and forests. He has worked on energy policies in Washington,
DC and has received the U.S. Department of Interior's highest honor
awards for his work. Under his direction, the Wetland Center
scientists have produced over 1,000 publications and hundreds of maps.
- Stich, Emily
- Emily Stich is the Vice-President in Research and Programs at with
- Stine, Bonnie
- Bonnie Stine is the Urban Forestry Program Director for the
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
- Stone, Rodney
- Rodney Stone is an Urban Forestry Specialist for the U.S. Department
of Agriculture Forest Service.
- Strahan, Rick
- Rick Strahan is the Chief of the Resource Management Division of the
National Park Service/ Big Thicket National Reserve. He spent 14 years
in land and recreation management with the Bureau of Reclamation in
Wyoming, Nevada, California.
- Sun, Jian
- Post-Doctoral Scientist at Southern University.
- Tammami, Zia
- Zia Tammami is the Vice President of Turner Environmental, Inc. He
has managed the evaluation of a wide range of groundwater projects in
the Gulf Coast region and worked on groundwater contamination studies
for twenty major chemical plants in Southeast Louisiana, Texas,
Mississippi, and Alabama. His expertise includes Soil and Ground Water
Assessment and Remediation, Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, and
Environmental Permitting. He holds a BS in Geology and a BS in
International Economics from Louisiana State University.
- Tchounwou, Paul B.
- Paul Tchounwou is the Director of Environmental Science Ph.D.
Program at Jackson State University, Jackson, MS.
- Thibodeaux, Louis J.
- Louis Thibodeaux is a Chemical Engineering Professor at LSU, with
expertise in environmental chemodynamics.
- Thompson, Ojo
- Ojo Thompson is a Ph.D. student in the Public Policy Program at
Southern University. His area of expertise includes environmental
management and policy.
- Thorton, Alma
- Alma Thorton is the Director of the Center for Society Research at
- Tupaz, Jesus B.
- Jesus Tupaz is the Director of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant
Consortium. He is the Sector Leader for the Coastal Area for the
Southeast Region assessing regional climate variability and change
- Udoh, Oscar
- Oscar Udoh is a Research Associate in agricultural economics at
- Upshaw, Shelly
- Shelly Upshaw is an Administrative Assistant with the Women's
Studies Program at Southern University. Her areas of expertise are
information science and religion.
- Vandersteen, C.A. Buck
- C.A. Vandersteen is the Executive Director of the Louisiana Forestry
Association, with expertise in forestry.
- Vawter, Nancy
- Nancy Vawter is the Associate Director of Alabama Science in Motion
at Alabama State University. She specializes in training high school
teachers on highly technological chemistry equipment. Her focus is on
the environment and the Web.
- Vincent, Charles
- Professor in History at Southern University.
- Ward, Darold E.
- Darold Ward has been Project Leader for the U.S. Forest Service Fire
Chemistry Research work Unit since 1988. He has considerable
experience in characterizing the release of greenhouse gases and
particulate matter from fires in North and South America.
- Warmsley, Lin
- Lin Warmsley is the Executive Director and Coordinator for the
Greater Baton Rouge Area Clean Cities Campaign. She has interests in
commerce, industry and energy, and how they affect the environment.
- Wasike, Grace N.
- Grace N. Wasike is Assistant Professor in textile at Family and
Consumer Sciences at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.
- Watts, Robert G.
- Robert Watts is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the
Director of the National Institute for Global Environmental Change. He
has expertise in energy systems and climatology.
- Wei, Jing-Fong
- Jing-Fong Wei is a Professor of Chemistry at Southern University.
Her areas of expertise are electrochemical analysis and analytical
- Wells, Alvin
- Alvin Wells is a student at Southern University majoring in Urban
- Whitaker, Tim
- Tim Whitaker is President of Mercury Systems Computer Consultants,
Inc. His areas of expertise are database development and web site
production. He developed audit software for the major New York
Transportation Authority tracking revenue collection, developed a
multimedia corporate training CD for Engineers and Management of Xerox
Corporation. Currently, he is developing web site products for
training and the display of video content presentation.
- Young, P. Joy
- P. Joy Young is a graduate student in the School of Forestry,
Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana State University.
- Yu, Shufang
Shufang Yu is a graduate student in the School of Forestry, Wildlife
and Fisheries, Louisiana State University.