A good article from the Charlotte Observer
that spells out both the effects and some of the policy conflicts to result from a one-meter sea level rise on the North Carolina coast and the large Pamlico Sound estuarine systems:
Rising seas may make N.C. coast unrecognizable
A small canal cut from the Pamlico Sound into the Alligator River refuge accommodates a blue crab.
THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
MANNS HARBOR — The sea that sculpted North Carolina’s coast, from its arc of barrier islands to the vast, nurturing sounds, is reshaping it once again.
Water is rising three times faster on the North Carolina coast than it did a century ago as warming oceans expand and land ice melts, recent research has found. It’s the beginning of what a state science panel expects to be a 1-meter increase by 2100.
Rising sea level is the clearest signal of climate change in North Carolina. Few places in the United States stand to be more transformed.
About 2,000 square miles of our low, flat coast are 1 meter (about 39 inches) or less above water.
At risk are more than 30,500 homes and other buildings, including some of the state’s most expensive real estate. Economists say $6.9 billion in property, in just the four counties they studied, will be at risk from rising seas by late this century.
Climate models predict intensifying storms that could add billions of dollars more in losses to tourism, farming and other businesses.
While polls show growing public skepticism of global warming, the people paid to worry about the future – engineers, planners, insurance companies – are already bracing for a wetter world.
“Sea-level rise is happening now. This is not a projection of something that will happen in the future if climate continues to change,” said geologist Rob Young of Western Carolina University, who studies developed shorelines.
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