Sunday, December 21, 2008

North Carolina needs to prepare for changing climate, ECU report states Climate change is a reality that North Carolina needs to prepare for, according to a recent report produced at East Carolina University. “Global Warming and Coastal North Carolina,” which includes the work of more than 25 faculty members, describes how climate change is affecting the coast, how it may continue to affect the coast and what the state can do to get ready for it.

The report was prepared at the request North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempure Marc Basnight through Erskine Bowles, president of the University of North Carolina's 16-campus system.

…The effort at ECU was headed by Stephen Culver, chair of ECU's geology department. Culver recognizes the political nature of the topic but says that climate change is happening, whether it’s acknowledged or not, and the state needs to do something about it. “We shouldn't get into an argument about why it's happening,” he said. “It is happening. Sea levels are rising. So what are we going to do about it?”

…North Carolina is at risk from rising sea levels and the potential increase in frequency and severity of tropical storms and hurricanes, the report states. Barrier islands face the potential of collapse, especially on the Outer Banks. Low-lying land on the coast also will be susceptible to rising sea level.

“The big challenge for North Carolina is to anticipate and plan for events with potentially massive economic and social impacts, but which remain poorly understood in terms of complexity, timing, causality, frequency and probability,” the report states. “Despite these daunting uncertainties, inaction is not an option.”…

Hatteras (Outer Banks), North Carolina. Shot by Vbofficial

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