Sea Level Rise conference reaches more than 250 participants
Exactly how much sea level rise can North Carolina expect on our coast by 2100? It turns out, that’s a complicated question. More than 250 stakeholders from the public, academic and policy institutions, and state and federal agencies attended the N.C. Division of Coastal Management’s Sea Level Rise Science Forum in January to learn the answer.
The forum attracted several national and state experts as speakers who discussed past and potential future sea level rise impacts for North Carolina. Presentations included a history of sea level and shoreline change in North Carolina by Dr. Stanley Riggs, of East Carolina University; a primer on how sea level rise is measured by Dr. Benjamin Horton, of the University of Pennsylvania; and a special presentation on understanding climate and sea level rise projections by Dr. Virginia Burkett, chief scientist for Global Change Research and co-lead author of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third and Fourth Assessment Reports.
The forum presentations are available for viewinghere.
The Forum culminated with the Coastal Resources Commission’s Science Panel giving its preliminary report of data on current and projected rates of sea level rise in the state. Margery Overton, chair of the Science Panel, presented the panel’s findings, suggesting that North Carolina can expect a sea level rise between .04 and 1.4 meters by 2100.
Overton recommended the CRC and other agencies use one meter of sea level rise as a median planning figure when discussing future policy related to climate change. A final report from the Science Panel is expected within the next few weeks.
The CRC and DENR plan to use these metrics as the foundation for education, policy development, and adaptation planning in the state.