Saturday October 10th, 2015 12:09PM
11:23AM ( 46 minutes ago ) News Alert

Report: Southeast 'exceptionally vulnerable' to climate change

By The Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) -- The Southeast is "exceptionally vulnerable" to sea level rise, extreme heat events, hurricanes and a decreasing freshwater supply, according to the National Climate Assessment released Tuesday.

The 11-state region - home to seven major ports and fast-growing metropolitan areas that hug the coastline - is both a major producer and consumer of energy, and it's already suffered more billion-dollar disasters than any other part of the country. Disruptions to infrastructure could spell an economic disaster for areas dependent on tourism - more than 115 million people visited Louisiana and Florida alone in 2012.

According to the report, the Southeast faces three key threats:

- SEA LEVEL RISE: New Orleans, Miami, Tampa, Charleston and Virginia Beach are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise with roads, railways, ports, airports, oil and gas facilities and water supplies at low elevations. Low-lying coastal areas are increasingly prone to flooding during tropical storms and hurricanes, and the report's authors worry that a migration of coastal residents fleeing unaffordable insurance costs may stress the social fabric in other areas. Rising waters also put more pressure on utilities, contaminating freshwater supplies with saltwater or burdening aging storm water drainage systems designed to empty into the ocean. Barrier islands protecting oil and gas production infrastructure along the Gulf Coast are expected to become increasingly vulnerable to storm surge and deterioration from rising seas, the report says.

- RISING TEMPERATURES: Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans and Tampa already have had increases in the number of days with temperatures above 95 degrees, and Florida has set five different monthly records since 2010: two for heat, one for cold, one for wetness and one for dryness. Higher temperatures also are expected to contribute to an increase in harmful air pollutants in the region's 19 largest urban areas, which the report says will lead to an increase in deaths. Crops are expected to wither in hotter summers, especially when there's a drought. In Georgia, that could mean corn harvests decline by 15 percent and wheat yields by 20 percent through 2020. Many fruit crops may need to be replaced.

- LESS WATER: The net freshwater supply availability is expected to decline over the next several decades, particularly in the western part of the region, as demands for water go up due to increases in population, development and agriculture. Higher sea levels will accelerate saltwater intrusion into freshwater supplies near the coast. Porous aquifers like Florida's are particularly vulnerable - the city of Hallandale Beach has already abandoned six of eight drinking water wells due to saltwater intrusion.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 9 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 9 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 9 months ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 9 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 9 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 9 months ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 9 months ago )
Local/State News
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 9 months ago )
Conviction of Putin foe sets off protest in Moscow
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
6:03PM ( 9 months ago )
More Georgians signing up for health insurance
A federal report says more Georgians have selected health insurance plans through a federally facilitated marketplace.
4:16PM ( 9 months ago )
Accident on Highway 441 shuts down roadway
A head-on collision on Highway 441 Northbound has shut down both lanes of the highway.
11:23AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Union Co. FD mourns loss of pilot in Pickens Co. crash
The Union County Fire Department in northeast Georgia said that the pilot who was killed in a plane crash Thursday in Pickens County was a volunteer firefighter who had serve with the department for more than a year and a half.
By AccessWDUN Staff
10:50AM ( 1 hour ago )
SCOGA to hear challenge by college students who are not U.S. citizens; court to meet in Ellijay
A number of college students who are not U.S. citizens are appealing a Georgia Court of Appeals decision that upheld the dismissal of their lawsuit by a Fulton County judge. The students are seeking a decision that they are entitled to in-state tuition at Georgia’s colleges and universities.
10:30AM ( 1 hour ago )
Fire damages southside Gainesville residence
Gainesville fire investigators are looking for the cause of a Friday night fire that damaged a vacant house on the southside of town.
9:10AM ( 2 hours ago )
Donald Trump, brash New Yorker, picks up campaign in Southern states key to GOP nomination
ATLANTA (AP) — Donald Trump is a brash New Yorker who knows the path to the Republican presidential nomination runs through a swath of Southern states where residents pride themselves on graciousness...
5:49AM ( 6 hours ago )