Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, & Warming Earth

There are three parts to this assignment. Part 1 focuses on Hurricane Katrina, Part 2 focuses on environmental problems in coastal Louisiana, and Part 3 is a quick look at recent climate/weather phenomena.
• Please leave off the question and just put the answer (but make sure to include the question number).
• Answer in complete sentences.
• Use line breaks between answers.
• You do not need to reference your answer. However, make sure to put answer in your own words.
• Please watch videos: 1. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017) and 2. An Inconvenience Truth (2006) for references.

Part 1. Conduct an Internet search for scientific information regarding Hurricane Katrina. Answer the following questions:
1. Where do hurricanes get their power?

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2. Over Florida, Hurricane Katrina was only a category 1 hurricane. Why was damage in Florida so great?

3. Before the Hurricane Katrina disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was taken out of the White House and placed in the Department of Homeland Security. What was the main problem with this in regard to Hurricane Katrina?

4. What role did money and the Army Corps of Engineers play in the disaster, and specifically the New Orleans canals?

5. Name four problems with the levees that led to flooding. In other words, why did the levees break?
6. Was a hurricane of this intensity expected? If yes, who predicted it?
7. What were the causes of the flooding in New Orleans? Include the role of Lake Pontchartrain.
8. Long before the storm was generated, was this magnitude of a disaster expected in the Gulf Coast region? Please elaborate beyond ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
9. Could the damage and loss of life been prevented? If yes, how?
10. Opinion question here… please answer in detail (at least 100 word answer). Should we rebuild New Orleans? Why or why not?

11. Assuming we rebuild all of New Orleans, what steps should we take to prevent this from happening again?
12. Another opinion question… Is increased (or decreased) hurricane activity related to climate change? Why or why not?
Part 2. Open the following link on Amazon

13. How much money does Louisiana’s oil and gas industry generate? Does much of this money from Louisiana’s resources filter back to the people of Louisiana, roads schools? What is Louisiana’s poverty rate? (note that the answers here come later in the film)
14. What two natural disasters prompted the construction of the flood control (or river) levee system and later the hurricane levee system?
15. Why were canals cut through the wetlands?
16. What effect has the logging of cypress trees in the swampland had?
17. What “untruth” did Governor Bobby Jindal say about oil spills in Louisiana?

18. Why is the area in the “twilight” of its fishing industry?

19. What causes the toxic “dead zone” that suffocates marine life in the Gulf of Mexico?

20. How many such “dead zones” exist around the world?

21. Where is Cancer Alley?

22. What caused (causes) Cancer Alley?

23. Why did people originally choose the mouth of the Mississippi River as a place to settle?

24. The oil industry dug 100,000(+) pits for their wastes. What did they do to these pits when they were done dumping waste into them?

25. What is “client capture”?

Part 3. Open the following link:
Describe what is happening with each of the following parameters. Please do not copy the text – the purpose here is to get a basic overall view of the key factors that indicate the earth is indeed warming. (The nature of climate change, its causes, and human impact will be addressed in Assignment 2.)

26. Earth’s surface air temperature?

27. Ocean temperature?

28. Ice sheets?

29. Snow coverage on land (snow different system than glaciers, which are more permanent).

30. Global sea level?

31. Arctic sea ice?


32. “Extreme Events” include high temperature and rainfall. What natural disasters does this drive?

33. Other than what is listed on this webpage, why is ocean acidification a problem?

33. This question is related to # 28 above. Here is a link to absolutely amazing video (“Chasing Ice”) showing the melting of ice in Greenland:
a) How high are the chunks of ice shooting out of the water?
b) How does the size of the calving event compare to the size of Manhattan?
c) How far did glacier retreat from 1902 to 2001?
d) How far did glacier retreat from 2001 to 2010?

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