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Geosciences LibreTexts

17.6: Hurricane Katrina (and others)

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  • Heat wave or drought in 1988 is considered as one of the most costly heat waves in U.S history. In the summer of that year, heat waves close to 90˚ Fahrenheit or more spread across Southeast to Northeast in the United States, this left $120 billion damaged (2014 USD, adjusted inflation) and approximated 6,000 to 10,000 people had died. Before that, global warming and climate change warned by experts did not caught public interest or the media headlines (Massey 2012). However, when the drought occurred, people and politicians were seeking for answers from the meteorologists and climatologists, which they had provided explanation for the change in temperature during that time (Massey 2012). With that, people were concerned about this temperature change but only temporarily, as the temperature change to normal, the attention to change human activities and concern for the greenhouse effect decline (Massey 2012).

    Besides the heat wave mentioned above, Hurricane Katrina is one of the deadliest hurricane in the U.S besides Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Sandy. Hurricane Katrina began in the southeastern Bahamas and continued toward the Gulf of Mexico until it reached the U.S. The cities that were impacted included Florida, Mississippi, New Orleans, and other parts out of the country such as Cuba and Bahamas. Just within the United States, it damaged up to $108 billion (2005 USD) included economic and environmental effects and at least 1,833 people died. For environmental impacted, it caused erosion and subsidence in Louisiana’s wetlands and bayous. The loss of wetlands and bayous were home to many different marine mammals such as brown pelicansturtles, and fish (Wikipedia on Hurricane Katrina).