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Emissions Patterns In An Industrialized State: Overlapping Legacies of Time, Space, Climate, Geography, Poverty And Race
  • Alexander Kolker,
  • Dallon Weathers
Alexander Kolker
Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium

Corresponding Author:akolker@lumcon.edu

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Dallon Weathers
Delta Geo-Marine
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Understanding interactions among greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, air pollution, race, and poverty is critical to developing strategies to slow climate warming, and is socially important as large GHG-emitting facilities often occur in poor and historically-marginalized communities. We examined such patterns in the American South, where a multi-centennial history of race and poverty coincides with a petroleum and petrochemical industry that is >100 yr old using open-access data to quantify emissions on a 0.1o x 0.1o scale annually from 1970 to the mid-2010s. 26-55% of Louisiana’s emissions of several dominant GHGs and air pollutants are concentrated along the Mississippi River Industrial Corridor, which is < 5% of the state’s area. Despite some statewide emission reductions, fluxes in this corridor, and several parishes with large Black populations, have reduced more slowly or increased, raising environmental justice concerns. Methods herein provide a blueprint for future studies, particularly in marginalized communities, where limited scientific resources have hindered efforts to understand how climate change, air pollution and equity interact.