By Dan Shapley
In the luck-filled life of the fictional Forrest Gump, a freakish storm leads to boatloads of shrimp and windfall profits. In present-day Gulf of Mexico, fishermen are still reeling from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which brought a real-world "Bubba Gump Effect" to the fisheries. Louisiana has yet to see its usual share of the Gulf's bounty return, while Texas and other states are seeing their catches increase. Scientists are still debating whether and how much climate change increases the intensity or frequency of hurricanes, but many people viewed Katrina and Rita as signs of the climate's angry response to the heating of the atmosphere. The continuing impact -- most acutely felt, of course, on land in those communities still struggling to rebuild -- is also rippling through the Gulf's ecosystem, and those fishermen dependent on it, according to a story in the May 21 Times-Picayune.