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WASHINGTON -- Afederal study on climate change found that Louisiana, along with the Southeast and Caribbean 'is exceptionally vulnerable to sea level rise, extreme heat events, hurricanes, and decreased water availability.'

New Orleans is one of the cities cited in the study as being particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. Miami, Greater New York, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Virginia Beach were the other port cities named as being vulnerable to sea level rise.

'Nationally, 'more than 5,790 square miles and more than $1 trillion of property and structures are at risk of inundation from sea level rise of two feet above current sea level an elevation which could be reached by 2050 under a high rate of sea level rise of approximately 6.6 feet by 2100, 20 years later assuming a lower rate of rise (4 feet by 2100), and sooner in areas of rapid land subsidence,'' the study found.

Released by the Obama administration, the findings are part of the National Climate Assessment, a third installment of scientific assessment of climate change and its impact.

'New Orleans, with roughly half of its population living below sea level, is especially at risk. Louisiana State Highway 1, heavily used for delivering critical oil and gas resources from Port Fourchon, is literally sinking, resulting in more frequent and more severe flooding during high tides and storms. The Department of Homeland Security estimated that a 90-day shutdown of this road would cost the nation $7.8 billion,' the assessment found.

Friends, family, and the local cab industry are saying goodbye to a cab driver who was killed on the West Bank last week.

Louisiana Sen. David Vitter told the Associated Press the report was supposed to be scientific but was 'more of a political one used to justify government overreach.'

Another impact of sea level rise to Louisiana is to the wetlands, a vital buffer for hurricanes in the region.

'The pace of sea level rise will increasingly lead to inundation of coastal wetlands in the region. Such a crisis in land loss has occurred in coastal Louisiana for several decades, with 1,880 square miles having been lost since the 1930s as a result of natural and man-made factors. With tidal wetland loss, protection of coastal lands and people against storm surge will be compromised.'

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